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Windows RT continues to struggle

With millions of consumers snapping up tablets running iOS and Android, Microsoft had high hopes of competing its Windows RT operating system. So far, consumers have yet to fully embrace Windows RT, or Windows 8 for that matter. In fact, many analysts are pointing to Windows 8 as part of the reason for the woes in the computer industry.

A Dell executive recently stated that demand for the company's first Windows RT device, the Dell XPS 10, has been weaker than expected. "Demand is not where I would like it to be at this point in time," Neil Hand, head of Dell's tablet and high-end PC business, told CNET. "The amount of market information about it is not good enough, and the market sentiment is still pretty negative."


Hand also says that the Windows app experience "has not been as strong as it needed to be."

Dell and Hand aren't alone in criticism of Windows RT. Windows RT is the first version of the Windows operating system specifically designed to work with ARM-based processors from NVIDIA, QUALCOMM, and others.
 
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has also noted that sales of Windows RT devices have been disappointing. Samsung even ditched plans to launch its own Windows RT device in the U.S.
 
The upside to poor demand for Windows RT tablet for consumers is that weak demand has forced prices down.

Source: CNET



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Bad name
By Motoman on 4/16/2013 10:27:11 AM , Rating: 5
They shouldn't have called it "Windows." Metrosexual UI aside, which may be fine for tablets anyway, if a consumer sees a device whose specs include "Microsoft Windows <anything>" they naturally expect it to be Windows.

Which means it runs Windows apps.

So when you produce a "Windows" product that doesn't run Windows apps...it's not Windows. And trying to explain to a normal person why Windows RT isn't the same as all the other Windows is an exercise in futility - they don't know and don't care about ARM vs. x86, and on top of that they don't want to have to know. And they shouldn't.

Windows RT isn't Windows, by virtue of the fact that it can't run Windows apps. Marketing fail 101. It'd be like putting a skirt in a box labeled "Pants" and then pretending not to know why people who bought that product wound up getting something other than what they thought they were buying.

Windows RT may have been just fine if Microsoft had released it with some other product name that didn't include the word "windows." Like, call it Microsoft Tablet for example.

Then people wouldn't expect it to be compatible with Windows apps...and they wouldn't be upset when they found out it wasn't compatible with Windows apps. And then they might judge the product on it's own merits and decide to buy it, instead of walking away mad because they felt that Microsoft is trying to pull a fast one on them.




RE: Bad name
By kattanna on 4/16/2013 10:33:56 AM , Rating: 4
that, and the fact they start at $450 and quickly go up in price.

they should have targeted it against the kindle fire and other simple tablets that can be had for under $300


RE: Bad name
By Motoman on 4/16/2013 11:10:23 AM , Rating: 4
The real problem is when someone puts their hands on a ~$150 10" Android tablet and realize that it does everything they can possibly think of to do on a tablet just as well as a Surface or an iPad. At a fraction of the cost.

The vast majority of tablet users in this world get no benefit out of the higher specs of the more expensive stuff.


RE: Bad name
By karimtemple on 4/16/2013 11:25:29 AM , Rating: 1
There's a difference between being able to do something, and a computer being able to do something well (or 'comfortably'). You are "able to" play video games on a TI-83 graphing calculator. Still, you buy a PlayStation 3 anyway.

A 10'' Android tablet someone would actually want would be more like $400. Coincidentally, that's about the sweet spot Clover Trail devices should be targeting. Long story short, this is not exactly an open-and-shut case.


RE: Bad name
By Mitch101 on 4/16/2013 11:41:00 AM , Rating: 2
I have a HP touchpad running Android and the only reason I can see of upgrading is when H265 becomes the norm. Otherwise Im happy with this.

If I want to play a serious game Ill go to my PC or X-Box.


RE: Bad name
By Motoman on 4/16/2013 11:54:18 AM , Rating: 2
Nope.

Look at what the average person does on a tablet.

1. Surf the web.
2. Facebook.
3. Check email.
4. Words with Friends.

None of those things are going to tax even the cheapest Android tablet. Hence, if you have an average person do those things on a $150 Android tablet, then on a Surface, then on an iPad...they're not going to be able to tell the difference. The cheap Android tablet does everything just as well (or as comfortably) as the more expensive tablets, from the average person's persepctive.

And no...you're not an "average person" - by the very notion that you have the slightest idea what "Clover Trail" even is. Let alone that it exists.


RE: Bad name
By karimtemple on 4/16/13, Rating: 0
RE: Bad name
By 91TTZ on 4/16/2013 12:39:11 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe $150 was a stretch, but the fact is that Microsoft is selling a tablet for $500 that competes with $300 tablets. As a result not many people are buying Surface.


RE: Bad name
By karimtemple on 4/16/2013 12:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
This I'll agree with. Windows 8 ARM should never have gone to market in the first place. My problem with the "$150 tablets are all you ever need" argument is that the experience on (today's) $150 tablets are garbage even to the 'layperson,' and for less than $500 you can get tablet with 'full' Windows 8 on it. The performance is respectable, and in a few months they'll have faster clocks and faster RAM.


RE: Bad name
By Motoman on 4/16/2013 1:12:32 PM , Rating: 2
You're wrong. About many things.

The 4 things I listed above are all the vast majority of people can even think of to do on a tablet. And we've shown many times that my wife's $150 Android tablet does those things exactly as fast as iPads and more expensive tablets. It makes no difference.

And no - the average person is categorically NOT going to play GTA on their tablet. The % of consumers that would even consider such a thing is so tiny as to not matter.

And also no on needing Office on a tablet. People don't do that...not average people. If they need to do something in Word or Excel they're going to switch to their laptop or desktop. Never mind the fact that ALL Android tablets can convert into a laptop, essentially, with a $15 keyboard/folder accessory from Amazon.

You, sir, are delusional.


RE: Bad name
By karimtemple on 4/16/13, Rating: 0
RE: Bad name
By Motoman on 4/16/2013 5:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
1. The $150 tablet works fine on those websites. You don't get to pretend it doesn't.

2. I don't care what it was - anyone wanting to play GTA isn't an average tablet consumer. You've missed the point.

3. Yes, a tablet is a computer. But firstly, people already have laptops and desktops with Office on them, will full-size keyboards and mice, and they tend to use those for actual productivity. Even with a keyboard, any tablet is pretty subpar for creating anything. Tablets are primarily consumption devices. So whether or not Microsoft Office in and of itself is available on Android is pretty much a non-starter. People don't care. That's not what they're buying a tablet for.

3a. Those $15 keyboard folders are wildly popular, and I've had my hands on a few of them myself. You can try to "fool" anyone you want to with your uninformed stupidity, but considering the things cost $15, the fact of the matter is that the prop the tablet up like a laptop and the keyboard works as advertised. If you don't like the $15 folder keyboard, then don't buy one - or buy something else that you think is reassuringly expensive. Your opinion is of no value.


RE: Bad name
By kmmatney on 4/16/2013 4:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
Just surfing the web can show a difference between tablets. My first tablet was a Nook, and it just was too slow for me to enjoy it, even doing simple things like browsing the web. I had rooted it, installed CynogenMod, and even overclocked it. I was able to sell it for more than I paid for it (the rooting of it added value) and I bought an iPad, and felt the price difference was well worth it.

Nowadays, there are certainly good tablets cheaper than the iPad, but I couldn't recommend anything at the $150 level yet.


RE: Bad name
By Motoman on 4/16/2013 5:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
We've done "taste tests" several times with our $150 Android tablet side-by-side with iPads and more expensive devices, like Transformers.

Web surfing speed is subjectively the same. Maybe you can come up with differentiation on some kind of benchmark, but it won't make any difference in usability. I can't speak about the Nook...I never even laid eyes on one.

It's kind of like trying to convince my mom that she should spend $1500 on a big-ass gaming rig PC like I have. The thing is, is my mom used my PC to check her email do Facebook, and play Angry Birds, the 6-core CPU, 16Gb of RAM, Radeon 7850 GPU and SSD aren't going to make the slightest difference. All the things she does happen just as fast on a 10-year old Windows XP machine from the bottom bin at Walmart.


RE: Bad name
By Pirks on 4/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: Bad name
By ciparis on 4/16/2013 6:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
My comment is anecdotal, but the super cheap Android tablets I'm familiar with (through online sales) have had exceptionally poor satisfaction rates. As in, almost everyone who purchased one deeply regretted it, to the point where it adversely affected the average satisfaction scores for the entire site.

Where tablets are concerned, it seems to be advisable to stick with name brands and price points around $300 (10-inch) and $200 (7-inch).


RE: Bad name
RE: Bad name
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 12:48:58 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, you just need to stop.

1. That's a "promise." How many promises have been made by the likes of Intel that never happened?

2. No mention of the size or form factor of such devices. Maybe he's talking about a 7" tablet for $200. Yay. Doesn't change the base arguments here when the 10" Android tablet is $150.

3. Even if the size were the same - if he's promising a 10" Surface tablet for $200, that's still 33% more expensive than the $150 Android tablet at the same price. Granted, the price premium sucks a lot less at that point - but it still sucks.

You can insist that the spec sheet for the Surface is more impressive than the cheap Android tablet. Probably is. You can insist that it's a "Ferrari" compared to a "Taurus." That might be valid too. But if grandma is the one who needs the car, and all she's going to use it for is to drive to the corner store for groceries, what good did it do her to spend more money on the Ferrari instead of saving a lot of money and getting the Taurus?

Vast majority of the tablet market = grandma.


RE: Bad name
By karimtemple on 4/17/2013 4:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
Your argument is that there isn't a market for convertible (i.e. convergent productivity) tablets.

And that there isn't a market for powerful tablets.

And that the only market is for terrible cheap $150 tablets that only you and your wife like.

Your argument is sorely mistaken.


RE: Bad name
By Motoman on 4/18/2013 11:28:54 AM , Rating: 2
Nope. I've argued elsewhere that there is a market for convertibles - nothing I've said here contradicts that.

There is a market for powerful tablets. A very small one.

The largest market is for inexpensive tablets, because the vast majority of people have no need for great power in a tablet.

My argument is rock-solid. You can either poke your head out of your hole and look at the real world and realize this to be true, or you can continue to pretend you live in a different world. Which is fine by me.


RE: Bad name
By Belard on 4/17/2013 5:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
But the $100~150 tablets tend to be garbage... cheap screen, with high failure rates. Bad touch sensors, weak and small batteries with limited power usage and life-span. 2+ year old SOC/CPU designs and performance.

Apple is not having problems selling $300 8" tablet or the $400~500 10" types.

The MS Surface is a quality product... mostly. Even thou its screen is out-dated. The Surface should be a $300 product.

Microsoft's best chance to save RT would have been to sell the SurfaceRT for $200 (pretty much at costs) to create buzz. of course that pisses of their partners who would have a $280~300 build costs.

On Newegg, they have dozens of 7" tablets for $70~120, most have little or low ratings, low resolutions (800x480). Limited memory with 512mb~4GB. once you hit about $150~200, you get ASUS and Lenovo, etc.


RE: Bad name
By Motoman on 4/18/2013 11:33:35 AM , Rating: 2
Apple wouldn't have a problem selling sh1t in a box for $500 a pop.

I've seen and used a large number of the cheap Android tablets. Have never seen one that didn't work well, and with which the user wasn't happy. They get even more happy when you do the "test drive" thing where you find a guy with an iPad and/or Transformer, Surface, whatever else, and have everybody do the basic things that people actually do on tablets side-by-side.

Then the people with the inexpensive Android things feel even better about their purchases, while the people with the iPads et al just get mad and go away.

Everyone I've seen, with the exception of one, has loved their cheap Android tablet right out of the box. One person said their initial one was wonky, so it got replaced and the replacement is perfectly fine.

I'm under the impression that only nerds are leaving feedback for such things on Newegg etc. Whining about things that normal people don't have any interest in.

When it comes right down to it, the cheap, no-name Android tablets are just as good as anything else for web surfing, email, Facebook and Angry Birds. And that's all the vast majority of people care to do on a tablet.


RE: Bad name
By andrewaggb on 4/16/2013 11:36:58 AM , Rating: 2
They had 3 big issues.

1) Price. They said we'd see devices starting at $300, but we never did. They started at $500. And by the time they launched, with the nexus 7 and various kindle products, and now ipad mini... $300 is starting to look premium.

And then they didn't bundle the keyboard cover and charged a small fortune for it...

For anyone with a budget the surface wasn't an option.

2) For the tech crowd and people who should have been excited about surface rt, the hardware was somewhat dated and the screen resolution was low. This was the deal breaker for me, I (like many others), decided not to pay a premium price for yesterdays hardware.

3) The bundled version of office (the killer app) didn't have outlook and wasn't permitted for business use, and vpn/active directory options were limited. So businesses weren't interested. BUT office isn't a killer app for home users (apparently the target market for rt), they should have had a version of halo and gears of war with support for wireless xbox 360 gamepads. And if they weren't losers about store only apps and let you recompile any app for arm... there could have been lots of games ported. The bundled office would be good for students, but what student doesn't also want to play games?


RE: Bad name
By kmmatney on 4/16/2013 4:07:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think you forgot one major issue - people already bought tablets before this came out. If I already hadn't spent $450 in my iPad2 a year before, I might have considered a Microsoft tablet.


RE: Bad name
By Belard on 4/17/2013 5:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yet people are STILL buying tablets to REPLACE their desktop and notebook computers.


RE: Bad name
By inighthawki on 4/16/2013 11:17:06 AM , Rating: 3
Every time I see your comments and you say "metrosexual ui" you sound like the biggest 10 year old I've ever had the pleasure of reading comments from here. You sound like such an idiot lol. It's a shame I stop reading your comments there, you may otherwise have good points. Too bad.


RE: Bad name
By karimtemple on 4/16/2013 11:28:33 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, I thought he was complimenting Windows 8 (lol); a metrosexual is a man who cares about his appearance.


RE: Bad name
By drycrust3 on 4/16/2013 11:46:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You sound like such an idiot lol.

Except for one thing: he is right.
You didn't explain yourself very well, so we don't know why you think Microsoft thought calling it Windows RT was a great idea, it has all the hall marks of a silly idea. The two products, x86 Windows and ARM Windows are totally different operating systems, they are about as compatible as Windows and Ubuntu.


RE: Bad name
By inighthawki on 4/16/2013 3:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't call him wrong, or that the contents of his post were dumb, just referring to "Metro" as "Metrosexual UI" is a very childish demeanor, which I think makes his posts lose a bit of credibility. I tend to not bother reading posts by people I don't feel can make a mature and intelligent conversation.


RE: Bad name
By Motoman on 4/16/2013 11:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
If you're under the impression that I care what you think...about me, my comments, or anything else - rest assured that I don't.


RE: Bad name
By crispbp04 on 4/16/2013 12:43:59 PM , Rating: 2
Of course you care. Why else would you troll?


RE: Bad name
By inighthawki on 4/16/2013 3:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
Good for you, that doesn't make your posts sound any more intelligent though. You may not care what people think, but you might one day realize that writing posts that sound intelligent instead of like a 10 year old trying to make fun of something earns you more credibility and people can actually take you seriously. Obviously you don't care about that.


RE: Bad name
By Motoman on 4/16/2013 5:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
If you do something that seems to have been the action of a 10-year old, I'll say so.

The Metrosexual UI looks like something made by, and for, 10-year olds.

Whether or not you personally take me "seriously" is of no consequence. And while it really isn't of any consequence either, if you look at our post counts you'll see that our average rating is exactly the same...except I've posted about 3 times as much as you have.

...so, apparently, it's just you.


RE: Bad name
By Lord 666 on 4/16/2013 6:20:57 PM , Rating: 2
First off, Moto is much older than most of us... somewhere in his 40's is my guess.

Second, his points on UI are valid. Office 2007 was one of the worst design changes from 2003, something Moto always strongly stated. His opinion of the Windows 8/RT reflect what the majority of the population thinks as well.

Office 2013 and Windows 8.1 will bring balance to the MS UI universe, but it needs to come quick.


RE: Bad name
By 91TTZ on 4/16/2013 12:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is clueless. Their entire business plan used to be to copy other companies and then use their size to push everyone else out of the market.

Now they let a competitor get too big so they can't do that anymore. They're also late to the party. They're still going after the 2011 market where a nice tablet sells for $500 and then people buy a new one 2 years later. The problem is that it's 2013 and you can get a small tablet for under $200 or a bigger 10" tablet for under $300.

Microsoft must be shaking in their boots right now. Not because they aren't currently making money but because their future moneymaking ability is in doubt. Their entire initiative for the future has failed. Microsoft bet big on becoming a dominant mobile player with their simultaneous push of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Windows RT, and Surface. None of these things are doing well at all.

The company needs to get rid of Steve Ballmer and Julie Larson-Green. Their leadership and ideas are awful.
Everyone knows who Ballmer is and Julie Larson-Green is the woman partially responsible for the Office Ribbon interface and Windows 8. The other person responsible, Steven Sinofsky, was already fired.


RE: Bad name
By karimtemple on 4/16/2013 12:57:13 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 is a strong concept an a competent overall design. It would take very little to fix what's wrong with it. I don't think it's safe to say that their initiative has failed. One smart idea from one smart leader could be enough to put 8 back on.

If anything, Intel's competition with ARM in the mobile space is going to keep Windows alive. When we get a Core i5 processor with iPad-level thermal and power characteristics, people are going to be singing a very different tune about Windows 8 tablets. Windows can ow scale down to ARM (though it could do an infinitely better job at it than it is lol), but even ported to x86 Android does not scale up to the higher levels of Windows performance and experience.


RE: Bad name
By 91TTZ on 4/16/2013 1:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think they tried taking Windows 8 in a direction where there was no market. They also got too artsy with it.

First of all, Microsoft owns something like 93% of the desktop OS market. People and businesses love their desktop operating systems. People and business ignore their mobile operating systems like Windows CE and Windows phone.

But they made their desktop operating system, Windows 8, to be optimized for mobile. People didn't want this, and people aren't buying it. Businesses are also avoiding it. It's not that Windows 8 is horrible for a tablet operating system, it's that they gave desktop users an operating system optimized for tablets. It's just not a great fit.

It's as if Chevy made the new Corvette a motorcycle like the Harley Davidson Sportster. It could be the fastest, best handling vehicle ever and demand would be weak because it wasn't what people in that market wanted.

You need to position a product to appeal to the people in your market. You can't position the product outside the market and expect the market to follow you. This is what IBM did with the PS/2 and look what happened to that.


RE: Bad name
By karimtemple on 4/16/2013 1:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
Fixing the "tablet-OS-on-your-desktop" thing is one of the "few things" I meant needed fixing. It actually wouldn't be that difficult or drastic, either. The Start Screen could actually be made to work for desktop/business. I've put a lot of thought into this.

Also people don't ignore CE because it's mobile, they ignore it because it sucks. Also they don't really ignore it -- you'd be surprised how many CE devices are out there. Two were brought right to my door in just the past 30 days -- one being used by a Comcast technician, one was a signature pad a delivery person had me sign. You see them in warehouses and pharmacies and those little credit card swipe pad things all the time.

All it takes to get someone to buy something is to make it worth their while. That includes Windows 8. Now, whether Microsoft has the competence to change course and execute, that's another story.


RE: Bad name
By DiscoWade on 4/16/2013 1:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
It is my personal belief that those who do everything do nothing well. I believe Microsoft's greed is what is costing them. Instead of focusing on what they are good at, they wanted to expand into areas that other companies are successful. "Apple is making a fortune on app store purchases. We can do that too!" "Google is making a fortune on their search engine. We can do that too!" Microsoft is trying too hard to be somebody else. Which is leads me to another one of my personal beliefs: You cannot be successful pretending to be something you are not; you cannot make a round peg fit in a square hole.


RE: Bad name
By kmmatney on 4/16/2013 4:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now they let a competitor get too big so they can't do that anymore. They're also late to the party. They're still going after the 2011 market where a nice tablet sells for $500 and then people buy a new one 2 years later. The problem is that it's 2013 and you can get a small tablet for under $200 or a bigger 10" tablet for under $300.


I think your right on here. However I think there is hope for the future, once tablets get powerful enough for real work, with long battery life. I was playing around with the Sony 20" tablet computer at Microcenter the other day, and there is obviously potential here.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/2168/

This computer is basically a 20" tablet that you can hold on your lap, but you can also dock it and get real work done. It looks promising, but battery life at less than 3 hours might be an issue. Still, I could see myself using something like this.


RE: Bad name
By lucaser on 4/16/2013 3:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should hire you for their product branding. Interesting point.


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