End of the line for Windows RT?
Now this is a line we have read many a times, in many a places. The original Surface RT was met with joyous excitement upon release, but things have been in a bit of a limbo on the Windows on ARM front.
Granted, Nokia jumped in with the Lumia 2520, and Microsoft is standing tall in support of the platform.
But Intel took Computex by storm yesterday when it unveiled a 12.5-inch tablet prototype.
This was a reference design that ran on the company’s newest Broadwell architecture. An architecture that the chip giant has ported onto tablets. No longer is Broadwell confined to the traditional world of desktops and notebooks.
It was a statement of intent from Intel that showed just how serious the company is on the tablets front.
Along with impressing audience with the 12.5-inch prototype, the company also showed off a smaller version with a 10-inch display. Both are codenamed Llama Mountain.
The Intel Core M chips are based on a low-power 14nm process, and although the chips are not shipping just yet, the chip giant has promised that a wave of these hybrids machines are being prepared right now, and will hit store shelves before the year is out.
The company also mentioned that half of them will sell under the $700 mark.
Ultimately, the biggest selling point of these new devices is that they are light and thin (the larger 12.5-inch model is 7.2 mm thick, and the smaller 10-inch one, only 6.8 mm) and they as passively cooled.
So where does that leave Windows RT on tablets?
The tide, it must be said, is getting rougher for the platform, which is under attack from both sides of the market, the budget and premium. Consumers are showing increased interest in Windows 8.1 Pro.
Microsoft will be inclined to develop Windows RT based devices for another generation or two, but if things don’t add up as they should, then the technology titan could reserve the platform for enterprise usage primarily, owing to the security (along with familiarity) it provides.
It might not exactly be game over for Windows RT yet.
But the game just got a whole lot tougher.