ASUS Steps Away from Windows RT
July 31, 2013 8:26 AM
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Jonney Shih on Windows RT: “The result is not very promising,”
ASUS chairman Jonney Shih has announced that his company is pulling away from Windows RT. The chairman says that one of the only bets he's made in the technology industry that didn't pan out was Windows RT.
Shih isn't saying that ASUS is ruling out future Windows RT products, but his company is putting the bulk of its energy and money into devices running Intel chips.
ASUS isn't alone in pulling away from Windows RT; Lenovo recently
online sales of its Yoga 11 Windows RT tablet. Microsoft itself is also facing challenges in selling Windows RT devices and recently
cut the base price
for its Surface RT tablet to $349 in the U.S.
ASUS chairman Jonney Shih [Image Source: NYT]
Microsoft was also forced to take a
$900 million write-down
due to its inability to sell sufficient volumes of the Surface Tablet.
Shih also pointed a finger at Microsoft for missteps with Windows 8, noting that one of its most popular apps is one to bring back the classic Start menu (this “misstep” is
being addressed with Windows 8.1
ASUS recently unveiled a new machine called the
Transformer Book Trio
running both Windows and Android operating systems. The chairman also noted that ASUS is considering building 10-inch and eight-inch Windows tablets, but admits the 10-inch may be the better choice.
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RE: The start menu hasn't been resolved
7/31/2013 10:13:43 AM
Some people do actually use the start menu. Personally, I make use of it moderately due to the shear number of programs I use on a regular basis and the fact that I can't stand a cluttered desktop. Professionally, at my workplace, people tend to fill up their desktops with product spec sheets, manuals, and documents they are working on. They don't even bother docking their most used applications to the task bar. You can imagine that they use the start menu quite a lot. Don't dismiss a usage scenario just because it doesn't match yours. Given the fact that there was enough user feedback to make Microsoft rethink their decision, I'd wager more than a few people use the start menu to some extent.
That said, the Windows 8 start screen isn't unusable by any stretch of the imagination (especially by a forum full of techies). Nobody made that claim. What they claim is that the old menu was better. Frankly, there are some measurable metrics to agree with this (others don't). For instance, the old start menu exceeds the Windows 8 start screen for number of applications visible (and readable) it can display on a single display. One could argue that the new menu takes less clicks, but if you have enough programs, you'd waste just as much time scrolling as you would clicking. While the Windows 8 start screen can be organized in such a way as to be quite efficient, for those that don't spend the time to mess with it, the old start menu is better by default. Also, it takes very little effort to arrange things alphabetically to make things even easier.
I do feel like Windows 8.1 has moved into the realm of equal but different by giving quicker access to the applications in list mode and allowing it to be set as default. It would be even nicer if they'd allow a contextual default. I'd use tiles for undocked (typically touch input) and list for docked (precision pointer available). Perhaps they already do this, but I don't have anything to check it out with at the moment. Unfortunately, the advantages still lie with tablets. Even if the desktop interface can be considered roughly on par with the older interface, there still isn't a compelling reason to switch. If convertible style tablets pick up steam, though, the change will be worth it.
All things considered, the hardest thing for me to understand is why any company would be so reluctant to monetize a product that they already have and people want.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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