back to article HTC drops 12-inch Windows RT tablet, sticks to a 7-incher

It's been a while since we've heard much about Windows RT from Microsoft's OEM partners, and the latest rumblings from HTC are both good news and bad for Redmond's ARM-based OS, according to sources. The good news is that the Taiwanese smartphone maker is still moving ahead with plans to ship a 7-inch fondleslab running Windows …

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Windows

Windows... on a tablet

Can you believe it's been a running gag for 18 years already? Where does the time go?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows... on a tablet

A gag that just never worked anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows... on a tablet

We had a sample of one of the Compaq tablets. Amazingly expensive enclosure and screen covering innards which were slower than a hand cranked Brunswiga machine. I think Microsoft basically killed tablets by trying to run a full desktop operating system on one, giving end users the idea that you had to press a key and then go for a lunch break. It was only when the innards actually got fast enough that Apple was able to exploit the niche.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows... on a tablet

I'm gagging alright...

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Joke

"Only five such devices have shipped since the OS launched in October 2012,"

I knew the sales were low...but less than double digits , no wonder MS is worried.

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It might have sold a few more if it had better integration with Kin.

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Sil

Why RT

Why buy RT when you can buy an Atom-based tablet that is much faster, offer full Windows compatibility and competitive battery autonomy?

Office is the only added value in RT. It could perhaps be interesting if it was super cheap, as in 50% of the price of a W8 tablet but I doubt MS & OEMs would earn any money.

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Re: Why RT

the point is not to sell ARM machines but to try and stop others selling ARM machines.

Go piss £25 on a Pi and you can run Libre Office on it - when something 10 times the price with RT on it wont run MSOffice???

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Re: Why RT

> the point is not to sell ARM machines but to try and stop others selling ARM machines.

It worked perfectly on HP ... for a while, HP are now seeing that the customers want Android not WebOS or RT.

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Paris Hilton

As I understand it

The idea of Windows RT was that it would be used for lightweight jobs around the office, like looking at dashboards, responding to email, and updating your Facebook status (whatever that is, I'm just quoting), and then when you needed to do some serious work you clicked on the "Windows desktop" icon on the blue screen of widgets, and were rdped into a serious Windows instance running in the server farm, thus providing all the benefits of security, backup, access to mass storage and compute power that are an unnecessary expense for 90% of office computing. In other words, RT is a thin client with desktop utilities.

The catch seems to be that (a) corporates aren't buying and (b) that's because the backend architecture really isn't there yet.

Paris, because she too is doomed to irrelevance.

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Facepalm

Re: As I understand it

That makes a lot of sense, but I've not seen it mentioned in the adverts. All I know is that the keyboard makes a nice clicky noise when it attaches.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As I understand it

Yup, Microsoft has a problem here. Do you pee off the manufacturers even more by saying "OK, lads, powerful laptops and desktops are going to DIE and your margins will be hammered by cheap tablets with keyboards"? Or do you come up with a thin client with apps/heavy lifting backend concept and just let it gradually emerge - "wasn't our idea, folks, users wanted it"?

Manufacturers only like industry game changers when it means they get to sell loads of expensive kit. I do wonder, within Apple, how well the laptop people get on with the tablet people.

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Thumb Down

Re: As I understand it

This is a moral ( not electronical ) downvote for insulting Paris.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As I understand it

No, I meant Paris Hilton (who?), not la ville lumiere, which will never be irrelevant so long as you can spend a whole morning in the Louvre and nobody bangs on the door. Hence the little picture to the left. But thank you for not delivering an electronic downvote; such good manners are increasingly rare.

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Re: As I understand it

> when you needed to do some serious work you clicked on the "Windows desktop" icon ...

The failure of that is: when you needed to do some serious work you attach the keyboard and find a nice flat surface on which to place the machine and then ...

Windows 'legacy' software, the stuff that does serious work, is designed around using a largish screen, keyboard and mouse. A 10inch screen with touch is completely inadequate, mainly because fingers are much bigger than a mouse pointer and the programs don't know that they should get their inputs out from under the on-screen keyboard.

And now they want to halve the screen area with a 7inch ? Will that have a 7inch keyboard or one that won't fit in your pocket ?

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Re: As I understand it

Maybe they're not expecting people to use the 7" version for remote desktopping. Feck knows what they're expecting it to be used for though. The only reason to get one is if you have some paid apps on your large Windows machine and want to use them on a smaller one too, otherwise just get something more established like a Nexus 7. Regarding that type of lock-in, I look forward to the day when all apps are free, available on all devices and HTML 5, and we pay for the use of the services they offer. I doubt it will happen, but it should.

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FAIL

MSFT fails to kill ARM

MSFT successfully stemmed the tide of linux-based netbooks by offering XP without any real attempt to promote the form factor (they just wanted to kill off the threat from linux).

They've now tried to do the same thing with RT but it's backfired. RT has not been given any love by MSFT and they're only offering it to try and get people onto their Surface Pro. The problem is that no-one really wants a Surface Pro at the price MSFT is asking. Bring the Surface Pro within the realms of existing Android and iPad devices, put the form factor on a diet (ie. make it slimmer) and Surface Pro will start to gain some traction - at the expense of laptops and desktops.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MSFT fails to kill ARM

To make the Surface Pro thinner and lighter will make heat dissipation problems worse, and make it even more expensive.

We've been pushed into a diet of bloated portable computers, and any Microsoft U-turn is going to be difficult. Thin and light, powerful,cheap, two out of three only.

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Happy

Re: MSFT fails to kill ARM

Good post, Shaggsy, except (much as I love conspiracy theories) what seemed to be happening (at least with my punters) with netbooks was 'eh? where's winduz gone innit, can't do nuffink on this'. I actually saw the emergence of XP as a bit of a saving grace for netbooks, a form factor I loved - and still do. I really didn't see any evidence of the 'I'll get you, Linux, yes, and your little dog, too...' kind of thing.

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massive subsidies

Are the only way MS are going to convince people or biz to buy these things. They are far far too expensive at the moment. I can see the potential, windows on a tablet has its appeal.

They need to treat the surface like the xbox, and throw money at it.

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Not sure I see the point of RT

It sounded good at first, and the Office compatibility (not to mention built in Office) was appealing. But there are similarly priced Atom based devices on the market, and they run full Windows 8.

As for Windows 8's alleged drawbacks, I haven't tried it enough to form an opinion, but I suspect a lot of whingers who are unable or unwilling to learn and adapt. Feel free to flame.

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FAIL

Just too damned expensive

No one is going to drop $1000 on something just to see what the damn thing is for. It isn't an iPad. I was sold on the Pro right up to the point where they put the price tag on it.

If they do want it to be a thin client onto a back-office farm, then it needs to be priced as such, ie the revenue is from the maintenance of the back-office machines, not trying to force a 50% margin on the client device.

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FAIL

Another crack in Job's halo

Seven inchers were an anathema to Jobs.

How wrong he was.

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When Microsoft or OEMs can get 7 inch RT devices released in the £150 to £200 price bracket they may start to sell but at the price they are now they aren't going to shift

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> When Microsoft or OEMs can get 7 inch RT devices released in the £150 to £200 price bracket

Given VAT, retail margins, transport, packaging costs, then to sell at 150 would mean ex-factory of 90 or less. The RT licence that is paid to Microsoft is more than half of that.

No. OEMs won't be doing that.

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Anonymous Coward

7" - 12 months too late!

If 7" WinRT devices of a similar spec and price to the Nexus 7 had been released at the time as Windows 8, then a lot of people might have tried them as a companion device, with the same Metro apps that you selected on the desktop automatically showing up on the tablet, and vice versa.

12 months after the release of Windows 8, when the market has demonstrated that the appetite for an 13" tablet with an iPad pricetag is practically non-existent, the brand may already have been too badly damaged to recover.

A 7" RT tablet needs Office about as much as a Nexus 7 does - not at all for 95% of people. The key question is whether there is anything else that an RT tablet can do better than an Android tablet, other than the "companion device" mentioned above. Especially for paid-for apps, being able to use a single license on my desktop and my tablet and my phone would make RT a little bit more interesting.

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Flame

12 Inch Untapped Market

Surely there are less 12 inch Tablets than their are 7 inch?

HTC and Windows RT I see you both becoming more and more irrelevant with each passing day.

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