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Lenovo is using Windows 8 Pro for its new ThinkPad Helix instead

Lenovo chose to use Windows 8 Pro for its new hybrid notebook/tablet because it believes businesses don't want Windows RT

Lenovo Think PC and visual category manager Simon Kent said Windows 8 Pro was the obvious choice for its new hybrid notebook/tablet -- the ThinkPad Helix -- because businesses want the full Windows 8 experience instead of the sliced and diced OS that is Windows RT.

"We don't believe that Windows RT is what businesses want," Kent said. "This is particularly true for a premium product such as Helix, which gives you the performance and capability of a full Ultrabook as well as a business tablet."

"Even Microsoft has started to review the RT path they have gone down."

Kent described the ThinkPad Helix as an Ultrabook first and a tablet second, where businesses can use it as a hard-working, performance tool or just a vehicle for content consumption -- whether they're at a desk or on-the-go. 



Windows RT has been a huge disappointment for hardware makers. Companies like Dell and Lenovo have recently slashed the prices of their RT-powered devices because they can't seem to clear their inventory. For instance, Lenovo offered a seven-day deal last month where its IdeaPad Yoga 11 was available for just $599 -- down from the original $799 price. Amazon sells the model for just $499.

The Dell XPS 10 tablet with Windows RT, which launched at $500 for the 32GB, is now $450. The 64GB model launched at $599 and is now $499. 

Neil Hand, head of Dell's tablet and high-end PC business, even told CNET that demand for the XPS 10 tablet was a disappointment. 

"Demand is not where I would like it to be at this point in time," said Hand. "The amount of market information about it is not good enough, and the market sentiment is still pretty negative."

Despite criticism of Windows RT, Microsoft has been defending its baby and denying rumors that it will die off. However, a Bloomberg source anonymously revealed that Microsoft has sold 1.5 million Surface tablets as of March. More specifically, the company had sold a little over a million Surface with Windows RT tablets and about 400,000 Surface with Windows Pro tablets.

Source: PC World



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Windows RT was just a contingency plan
By Mint on 5/1/2013 12:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
They wanted to make sure Intel didn't slack off with Atom, which they did in the past because they wanted to avoid cannibalizing i3 sales but make it just good enough to hold off AMD/Via. It also puts pressure on Intel to not overprice their low end offerings.

In addition, MS wanted to make a statement that iOS and ChromeOS running on ARM were nothing special.

I don't think MS put much effort into RT. They had the ARM kernel for Windows Phone anyway.




RE: Windows RT was just a contingency plan
By Crazyeyeskillah on 5/1/2013 2:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
I think of a stable, cut down version of it being utilized in restaurant touch screens and the like. I just don't see spending that much money and not having full blown windows 8 on any of these devices. I can't speak from experience having only toyed around with RT in some stores, but can anyone sound off that owns an RT device regarding how its real world use may compare with android or iOS?


RE: Windows RT was just a contingency plan
By Solandri on 5/1/2013 2:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
OP is correct. Windows was married to x86/x64, and runs solely on Intel and AMD CPUs. RT is essentially the port of Windows to ARM. That gives Microsoft a finger in both pies.

If ARM somehow ends up beating Intel on the CPU front, Microsoft can still sell Windows. It will just be the RT version.


RE: Windows RT was just a contingency plan
By twhittet on 5/1/2013 3:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
They still won't be able to sell RT to businesses - RT can't join a domain. I had been interested in using RT tablets at my job until I realized it was just a crappy consumer tablet, and no better at "enterprise" integration than android or IOS.


By Labotomizer on 5/1/2013 3:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
It could be so much more. Although I think not offering RT Pro was a good move. Sometimes more choices are bad.


By Da W on 5/1/2013 4:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
If they still won't want RT, then they won't want ARm either. x86 is saved!


RE: Windows RT was just a contingency plan
By domboy on 5/1/2013 4:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
I own a Surface RT. I wanted the battery life of the ARM CPU, plus couldn't justify the extra $400 a Surface Pro. I was however very hesitant about the whole ModernUI apps only situation, and THE only reason I decided to pull the trigger is when the "jailbreak" to unlock the desktop executable signing requirement was designed by the XDA developers (I also got in on sale at Staples). It showed what Windows on ARM should have been. While I think the Surface RT is very nice, I think MS should have released Windows 8 Pro for ARM as well. An artificially limited desktop is a dumb move as business should be allowed to recompile desktop apps for ARM, it would have made the VPN a non-issue as vendors could have just recompiled their VPN clients, and besides, a lot of .NET 4.x apps can run on ARM with little or no modifications already. Not everything should be full-screen modernui app.

I really think Microsoft missed the boat in thinking RT should be a consumer only device. There may be some people that just want a touch-only device, but my attraction to the Surface is that is designed to be a tablet and a laptop (I got the type keyboard). ModernUI/tablet/consumption mode for surfing the web and a few games, and laptop/desktop mode for productivity. It makes sense why Office is still a desktop app even on RT, and I doubt I'd switch to a ModernUI version, as I'm going to be using a keyboard and in laptop mode when I'm doing any serious typing.


RE: Windows RT was just a contingency plan
By andrewaggb on 5/1/2013 11:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I agree with you. Why couldn't they have allowed recompiling desktop apps to arm and put them in the store. It would have made the product way more compelling.

We haven't heard anything about the windows 8.1 RT release though.. and it sounds like microsoft is starting to take feedback for windows 8 seriously (after their sales disaster...) so maybe there is still hope for it.


By inighthawki on 5/2/2013 12:17:29 AM , Rating: 2
Preventing people from compiling desktop apps for Windows RT and sticking strictly to a closed marketplace environment decreases malware and also makes the platform more viable for businesses who wish to protect their content, such as the media industry, who will likely be more willing to provide content via xbox music and xbox videos if they can be more assured that people won't just write programs to rip the DRM off their content on that platform.


RE: Windows RT was just a contingency plan
By w8gaming on 5/2/2013 2:14:25 AM , Rating: 2
Atom based Windows 8 hybrid tablet already has the battery life equivalent to ARM CPU, and the price is normally only slightly higher than Surface RT. Microsoft could have made a Surface variant running Atom and it would have the great battery life and support for proper desktop mode. Not sure why they decide not to. Many people who wants long battery life running Windows, and is willing to go with the tradeoff running ARM, could have gotten Atom based tablet. ARM performance is not faster than Atom at this point of time.


RE: Windows RT was just a contingency plan
By domboy on 5/2/2013 9:18:22 AM , Rating: 2
Very true, I have played with a Dell Latitude 10 at work which is Atom based. It's pretty nice, just quite as refined as the Surface. And it lacks the a detachable keyboard like the Surface and some of the other convertibles out there. I'd be interested in seeing an AMD APU in something like the Surface in the future. When x86 gets down to near the battery life of current ARM cpus and if Windows on ARM stays what RT currently is, x86 running Windows 8 will probably marginalize it which would be unfortunate. It could have been so much better.


By Pirks on 5/3/2013 2:53:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'd be interested in seeing an AMD APU in something like the Surface in the future
With the huge performance strides in Haswell GPU - not likely. After reading Anandtech's article about Haswell GPU I realized that AMD is dead.


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














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