Redmond has been having a bit of a sizzle as far as Windows RT is concerned. And I don’t mean sizzle here in a good way. OEMS have been jumping away from the operating system, sales of Surface RT leave a fair bit to be desired and even close partners said that they expected more.
The main area of contention is that the platform has failed to prove its value over the regular version of Windows 8, keeping in mind the fact that Windows RT does not allow for backward compatibility with legacy Windows applications.
And then there is the case of some Windows tablets running the full version of Windows that are priced similar to Windows RT devices.
But in a recent interview with CNET, Microsoft’s corporate VP of Windows Planning, Hardware & PC Ecosystem (whew!), Michael Angiulo defended the new platform, saying it will only get better with time:
“It was a ton of work for us and we didn’t do the work and endure the disruption for any reason other than the fact that there’s a strategy there that just gets stronger over time.
Looking at things now like power performance and standby time and passive [fanless] form factors. When we launched Windows 8, it was really competitive with a full-sized iPad. A lot of that was made possible by the ARM [chip] architecture.”
The Redmond executive talked about the bright future of ARM based Windows tablets, saying that the performance of these devices is said to escalate radically in the coming years. And besides, Michael believes that the public focus is shifting to apps, instead of traditional software and programs:
“People are talking about legacy desktop software not running, but they don’t think about the customer benefit of only running modern apps. […] Let’s say you drop that PC in a pool. Well, you get a new one and then you just redownload [the apps]. That’s the kind of model people are used to with a phone or tablet today. I can maintain all the apps in the [Microsoft] Store and reset with a single switch.
So, on Windows RT, the user experience stays consistent over time. That’s a big benefit. And as the number of apps grow in the store, that value promise only gets stronger.”
He capped off the interview saying that ARM based tablets offer several advantages over competing Intel powered devices, including efficient power management and longer battery life.
Nevertheless, Windows RT could face an even further uphill struggle as both Intel and AMD are applying finishing touches to their mobile platforms that target tablets and provide many of the advantages that ARM based devices enjoy including low power requirements.