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Name of OS is also confirmed

Until now, we knew (officially) that an unnamed successor to Windows 8 would enter Release Preview testing next month at Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFTBUILD Conference.  Now that unnamed release has received an official title.  

At JP Morgan & Chase Comp.'s (JPM) Media and Telecom conference today Windows chief financial officer Tami Reller confirmed rumors that the upcoming OS, codenamed Windows Blue, would be christened "Windows 8.1".

More importantly, the update -- which reportedly will allow users to boot to desktop, return some semblance of the Start button (albeit one that dumps users into Metro), and include better mouse support in Metro -- will be offered for free to Windows 8 customers.  The update will be distributed via the Windows Store.

OEMs are hopeful the update will revive floundering PC sales.  Q1 2013 marked the worse percentage drop in PC unit sales in history.

Tami Reller
Tami Reller announced today that Windows 8.1 will be free. [Image Source: Microsoft News]

Tami Reller yet again addressed Microsoft's sentiments on another key topic -- Windows RT.  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] have all attacked complaining about its lack of legacy compatibility and Microsoft's poor marketing of the platform.  Many of these OEMs have refused to release Windows RT products, sinking sales to an anemic 200,000 tablets in Q1 2013.  But Microsoft, like its hardware partners Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) and NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) [1][2][3], is standing clearly behind the platform.

In a statement at the conference Ms. Reller stated, "We need the flexibility of ARM"

Windows RT
Microsoft is standing behind its ARM product, looking to new form factors.
[Image Source: TalkVietnam]

There may be relief in sight for Windows on ARM (WOA), aka Windows RT.  One of the improvements Windows 8.1 is expected to bring is UI adjustments to accommodate 7- and 8-inch displays.  The explosion of this lower-priced segment helped propel another struggling tablet platform -- Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android -- from a bit player to a serious contender, with designs like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Kindle Fire, and ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (TPE:2357) Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet.

There's not much Microsoft can do about the legacy compatibility issue, other than to try to foster the growth of ARM-compatible apps in the Windows Store.  But hopefully Microsoft improves its educational efforts, both in general on how to use Windows 8 (for new users) and the differences between Windows 8/8.1 and RT (for potential ARM device buyers).

Source: Microsoft



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By XZerg on 5/16/2013 9:19:01 AM , Rating: 1
your statement don't make sense
quote:
Windows RT Isn't Going Anywhere Until... x86 tablets get better battery life. And even then, ARM will always be ahead of the curve.
at all

Windows RT is meant for ARM based chips and should in fact benefit from x86 tablets not having better battery life and inversely suffer a pathetic death if and when x86 tablets get better battery life.

As for
quote:
ARM will always be ahead of the curve
- correct Ms. Sylvia Browne. Look at how fast Intel is progressing towards cutting the power envelope and at the same time improving performance/power - try comparing the same against ARM chips. ARM chips are easily beat by the "poorly" designed Atom chips in performance and are NOT superbly better in terms of battery life. The same Atom chip you would not like to have on your computer to run the heavy weight Windows OS and applications. How do you think ARM chips would fare against the same usage?

Wait and watch how things play out and go for the products that best suite your needs at the time. For me I am in no hurry to pick up a tablet and would rather have a full-fledged Windows system capable of running the apps I have to use.


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