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Company says ARM-compatible OS holds great promise

While Windows on ARM (WOA) seemed like a slam-dunk due to the power efficiency and lower cost of ARM processors, lack of support for legacy software and poor marketing have sunk sales of the ARM-compatible Windows RT.

A slew of OEMs -- including Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), The Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992), Dell Inc. (DELL), and Acer Inc. (TPE:2357) -- have attacked the OS [1][2][3][4] and refused to expand sales of Windows RT products.  In the end, these snubs have compounded the OEM-highlighted gripes, to sink Windows RT device prices and limit sales of Windows RT tablets to a mere 200,000 units in Q1 2013.  Some analysts have suggested Microsoft should kill off its ARM offerings.

Microsoft has adamantly stood behind the product, saying it will continue to produce ARM-compatible operating systems.  Now it's getting some support from its OEM partners.

The latest OEM to step up is NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA), makers of the Tegra series of ARM processors.  While some early Windows RT product has been powered by NVIDIA's rival Qualcomm, Inc.'s (QCOM) Snapdragon processor line, Tegra has scored many design wins as well, including the Lenovo Yoga 11, ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (TPE:2357VivoTab RT, and the Surface RT.

Rene Haas
Rene Haas, NVIDIA Computing VP

Rene Haas, NVIDIA's vice president of computing products says, his company is eager to get in the Windows RT game, telling ComputerWorld that Tegra chips will be found in "multiple" upcoming Windows devices.

On the low sales and OEM criticism, he counters:

Nvidia is very invested and very committed to Windows RT, and we feel it has a bright future.  We feel this [platform] is where things are going.  We're not discouraged by the start and very, very excited going forward. 

It's very early in what is a very significant transition for the PC platform.  If you step back and look at how we use computers today, everything is driven by mobile and access to information everywhere. Windows RT devices are very thin and have a very long battery life, and these are the key tenets of what a PC will look like in the future. Windows RT is an initial effort by Microsoft to move the PC into the tablet arena, which starts with RT powered by the ARM architecture.

There's no reason to believe ARM won't have dominance in tablets as well.  The faster [the] growth [of ARM-compatible Windows Store apps] continues, the better for the overall platform, but we're in the first inning of this ballgame and it's not over by any means.

Mr. Haas says he personally uses the Surface RT as his day-to-day device.  He says he gets around 14 hours per charge, commenting, "When I flip it shut with the keyboard, it's like any other tablet.  There's no fan and no rotating hard drive, so it's light. I get a quick boot, so if I'm sitting in an airport or a coach seat, I can easily shut it off, put it in the seat and when I pull it back out, I don't have to wait 10 seconds to resume work. It's easy to run around with."

Windows RT
NVIDIA's Haas loves the Surface RT, powered by Tegra. [Image Source: Microsoft]
If there was one shred of critique in his defense of WOA/Windows RT, it was that he commented that Microsoft needed to continue its efforts to expand app selection to grow Windows RT device sales.  This commentary echoes that of NVIDIA CEO Jen Hsun Huang who in a March interview pled to the "Outlook god" and Microsoft to release a Windows RT compatible version of the Microsoft's popular email client app.

Source: Windows RT

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By Belard on 5/10/2013 2:46:31 PM , Rating: 3

Does anyone else "feel" that this is nothing but a circle jerk.

RE: yawn
By Ammohunt on 5/10/2013 3:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
yeah that about sums it up frankly doesn't matter if Nvidia likes Windows RT the consumers don't seem to keen on it which is what really matters.

RE: yawn
By Mitch101 on 5/10/2013 3:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
Could be worse they could be talking about Chromebook sales.

RE: yawn
By sprockkets on 5/10/2013 3:36:42 PM , Rating: 3
I know, poor Google. Samsung's Chromebook is only the 11th best selling device in the computer category at Amazon, with no Windows8 tablets making the list at all.


RE: yawn
By inighthawki on 5/10/2013 3:59:31 PM , Rating: 3
Must be why its market share is basically abysmal compared to even Windows RT devices.

RE: yawn
By sprockkets on 5/10/2013 4:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't even know why Mitch or others trot out ChromeOS, it isn't as if Android on tablets outnumbers them greatly.

But hey, look at this strawman over here!

RE: yawn
By Bubbacub on 5/12/2013 2:25:33 AM , Rating: 2
i dont think lowish market share right now is really a problem for chrome right now - i think google long term aim is to develop it up to the point that they can integrate the chrome codebase with android -

a chrome based OS that could run android apps (and linux apps with a bit of know how) would be a much more attractive propostion.

RE: yawn
By inighthawki on 5/12/2013 2:37:00 AM , Rating: 2
a chrome based OS that could run android apps (and linux apps with a bit of know how) would be a much more attractive propostion.

It's actually fairly easy, and I'm not sure why they don't do it. You can already run android apps on windows.

RE: yawn
By jabber on 5/19/2013 9:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Google are still considering ChromeOS/Books as long-term beta still.

They haven't done much of a media push for them so far and its improving all the time.

I was sceptical about Chromebooks but then I got one to try and I am very impressed. Everyone I have demoed it to has liked it as well.

I think a lot of the negativity towards them from certain quarters comes from fear. Basically if a lot of folks start using Chromebooks and the like (and for a lot of folks a Chromebook will do all they need), the need for IT support and the jobs it fills will just disappear.

RE: yawn
By karimtemple on 5/10/2013 3:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well, more like a self-jerk really. Nvidia only benefits from a larger customer base. They have no real reason to bash RT, yet very important reasons to promote it.

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