back to article Microsoft's ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA

Industry doomsayers were circling Windows 8 like buzzards before it even launched, but they picked the wrong carcass. Microsoft's real 2012 roadkill was Win8's ARM-powered cousin, Windows RT. The chattering class's comparisons of Windows 8 and Windows Vista are premature – it will take several more quarters before we can gauge …

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        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Surface Pro will also fail

          The reality is that Windows is now a niche operating system for the decreasing proportion of computers which sit on desktops (or laptops) and have displays, while Linux owns the rest of the market from supercomputers to domestic routers and is rapidly gobbling up the information appliance market as well.

      1. LOL123
        FAIL

        Re: Surface Pro will also fail

        It's obvious you are not aware that the Mac OS and therefore all mac os software is also based on open source code called Darwin.

        So Mac OS is BS??

        PS: Everyone isn't buying Apple.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: Surface Pro will also fail

          > It's obvious you are not aware that the Mac OS and therefore all mac os software is also based on open source code called Darwin.

          People are "not aware" because Apple does it's best to hide it. It's like a Tivo. It's like a tree falling in a forrest. If no one actually hears it, is it really there?

          Anything the user sees on an Apple system is strictly proprietary and is for Apple brand hardware only.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surface Pro will also fail

        Everyone isn't buying Apple. Those days have long gone...

        Apple's tablet marketshare is at best 50% (more likely 40% when you add in the uncounted stuff that's not Google Play certified), and Android has already killed the iPhone, in both sales, and desirability. (pick up a Nexus 4 and tell me it's not a better phone than a iPhone5 is every respect, and half to 2/3rds the price - depending where you get it from).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Surface Pro will also fail

          Killed the iPhone? Were you in a coma when the 5 came out? Everybody medium was wall to wall with free advertising for Apple.

          Android and the iPhone have different business models. The iPhone is all about profit, otherwise they'd licence iOS to other manufacturers. It's like saying Ford are killing Mercedes after looking at nothing other than the market share figures.

      3. Chris 3

        Re: Surface Pro will also fail

        I suppose I'll just note that Apple used a lot of open source material when building Mac OX . The underlying OS (Darwin) is constructed from a Mach kernel with BSD userland software on top. It is only on top of that Apple has placed its Cocoa frameworks.

        The combination has worked very well.

      4. Allison Park

        Re: Surface Pro will also fail

        Winner of the down vote contest! Just goes to prove the truth hurts.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Surface Pro will also fail - it already HAS failed.

        Actually Microsoft Surface is at 0.4% after 2 months. So that would mean a >2.4% market share after a year - pretty good for a new product that is one amongst many other RT tablets. And Microsoft also just widened their sales channels to other retail stores, so actual sales are likely to be higher.

        http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/story/chitika-ipad-tablet-web-traffic-share-plummets-over-holidays/2013-01-03

        And the correct figure for Surface market share of browsing would be 1/197th of the iPad usage - or 25 times more than you claimed!

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. LarsG
      Meh

      SO IT'S OFFICIAL

      The Surface RT is the new KIN.

      1. Fatman Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: SO IT'S OFFICIAL

        Or maybe the next Zune?

      2. Euripides Pants Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: SO IT'S OFFICIAL

        No, its a little too ZUNE to be sure of that...

    3. Pet Peeve
      WTF?

      Re: Surface Pro will also fail

      Yeah, I can't see spending a thousand bucks for a tablet when you can get a great laptop for that price. It might find a nice niche in places like hospitals and warehouses where high-power in a portable config is a big winner and pockets are deep, but I can't see a single consumer buying one. You can get a kindle fire for every room at that price, or nearly two ipads.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Surface Pro will also fail

        "I can't see spending a thousand bucks for a tablet when you can get a great laptop for that price"

        I think you are making much the same mistake that Microsoft is making.

        You don't buy a tablet because it is cheaper than a laptop. You buy a tablet because it is easier and quicker to pick it up to check emails and the latest news on El Reg than it is to do it on a laptop.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Surface Pro will also fail

      It doesn't really matter if Surface RT or Surface Pro fail, what matters is if the OS fails. If they'd have knocked out their reference designs later on after the OS's release then perhaps it wouldn't have been a problem, as Google did (one well after launch then after that one reference design with each major revision of the OS released in small numbers). As it is they just annoyed their OEMs from the start which is generally not a very good thing to do if they want their OS to succeed. They tried to be Apple yet carry on with their old OEM relationships at the same time and oddly enough, managed to fail completely.

      They also tried to carry on with Windows x86 and launch a touch OS at the same time and also failed. They should have done something like let Windows x86 run TIFKAM apps but not have a TIFKAM mode unless specifically requested by the user or the hardware profile allows it (it detects it's running on a fondleslap or on a combined device in fondleslab mode), called Windows RT something completely different (probably Microsoft Touch given how much their like their original names) which only runs TIFKAM apps and only has TIFKAM mode.

      Finally make it obvious like the shop bridges both platforms with a name that doesn't link it to one platform or the other (i.e. Microsoft Store instead of Windows Store or Touch Store), encourage their developers to make desktop and TIFKAM versions of their apps, and if you buy one you get the other free if you sign in from a device which allows it (see SteamPlay).

      In short, when faced with a decision they should have taken the other choice. But then again hindsight is always 20/20...

    5. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Surface Pro will also fail

      I have a Surface tablet and it's great to use and a league ahead of anything from Apple or Android as yet. (Full USB support, proper App multitasking - run one app on the tablet and another on an external screen, best screen display of any tablet for the resolution, better bettery life than any similar Android tablet, best keyboard solution of any tablet etc, etc).

      RT App store sucks atm is about the only thing I can agree with from this article, but that will come over time.

      Big journalistic error in the article too - Nokia's sales of the Lumia actually far exceeded market expectations - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20978136

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surface Pro will also fail

        Hmm, shill alert, this post sounds suspiciously like other posts, ignoring the critical errors with Surface (like the inability of Word to keep up with even slow typing speeds), and shouting about some lame background app screen "feature" that nobody cares about...

        PS. Android does proper multitasking just fine, I think you are confusing Android and iOS (which doesn't do multitasking, unless Apple allow it).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surface Pro will also fail

        I think as you only joined the other day and as RICHTO stopped posting a day or two before that you are he, esp. as you seem spout the same sort of drivel

        You really should be TCFKAR

      3. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Surface Pro will also fail

        "Full USB support" is no selling point for any Microsoft device. My PHONE has "full USB support". The rest of your post is similar marketing nonsense that's simply out of touch with reality. You need to step outside of the Redmond echo chamber and so does the upper management at Microsoft.

      4. Orde
        WTF?

        Re: Surface Pro will also fail

        I also have a Surface tablet and disagree with most of your assessment. I've written up what I thought of it in detail here: http://decadecity.net/blog/2013/01/22/hands-on-with-the-microsoft-surface-rt/

    6. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Surface Pro will also fail

      To be honest there is no reason at all to buy either of them.

      I have an iPad, a MacBook Pro (and a Galaxy Note, Windows 7 desktop, Windows server and SuSE Linux server). I use the correct tool for the job I want to do, and what Microsoft still don't get is that laptops and fondleslabs are used for different things, and therefore require different user interfaces.

  1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    here comes the onslaught

    I thought a comment on slashdot recently specifically on the topic of the dual UIs was excellent.

    they cited this microsoft paper

    http://www.sigchi.org/chi96/proceedings/desbrief/Sullivan/kds_txt.htm

    "The Windows® 95 User Interface: A Case Study in Usability Engineering"

    "Separate UI for Beginners

    The first major design direction we investigated was a separate UI ("shell") for beginning users. The design was quickly mocked up in Visual Basic and tested in the usability lab. (See Figure 4.) While the design tested well, because it successfully constrained user actions to a very small set, we quickly began to see the limitations as more users were tested:

    If just one function a user needed was not supported in the beginner shell, s/he would have to abandon it (at least temporarily).

    Assuming that most users would gain experience and want to leave the beginner shell eventually, the learning they had done would not necessarily transfer well to the standard shell.

    The beginner shell was not at all like the programs users would run (word processors, spreadsheets, etc.). As a result, users had to learn two ways of interacting with the computer, which was confusing. "

    "For these reasons and others, we abandoned the idea. Importantly, because we used a prototyping tool and tested immediately in the usability lab, we still had plenty of time to investigate other directions. "

    ---

    Those same conclusions should of been drawn with the new Metro/Modern/whatever UI. MS was too impatient, they should of taken the time to do it right, don't give two different UIs that you have to switch between. Especially if they are not compatible with each other (e.g. doing certain things can only be accomplished in one or the other, and I have read things like IE is separate in each, not having any knowledge of the other as well).

    For that reason alone Windows 8 should of never had been allowed out of the gate. Forcing the same metro UI on windows server 2012 (which they do if I recall right - one of my friends who is a MS employee was complaining about it recently) is even more absurd.

    Also it appears that the low end Win8 laptops are getting terrible reviews and high return rates (too slow, bad quality, etc). I imagine the cost of the touch technology just compromises the rest of the system too much for a low end box.

    1. stu_ekins
      Thumb Down

      Re: here comes the onslaught

      Down vote for repeated "should of", I'm afraid.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. petur
          Happy

          Re: here comes the onslaught

          nope, he only mentioned it once ;)

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: here comes the onslaught

            Hoist the Grammar Nazi flag, for Great Justice!

            Bombastic wagnerian music to a song rich in germanic gutturals begins to play in the background

            1. Blitterbug
              Headmaster

              Re: Hoist the Grammar Nazi flag, for Great Justice!

              Funny gag, Mr Monsters, but actually that appalling grammar actually hurt my eyeballs, even as I agreed with the sentiments expressed by the poster. Not understanding the difference between 'of' and 'have' is pretty bleedin' fundamental in English, and it's actually not all that Hitlerian to expect the technically literate to also be - er - literate... or something.

      2. RubberJohnny

        Re: here comes the onslaught

        "Should of" used to be wrong. But now it is used so often that it has become the correct form. Fluid language you see. The modal verb plus "have" plus past participle has had its day.

        But I might have been called old fashioned, once.

        1. Obvious Robert
          Headmaster

          Re: here comes the onslaught

          " "Should of" used to be wrong. But now it is used so often that it has become the correct form. "

          No it hasn't!! It makes no bloody sense at all! For example, compare the following statements:

          - I should have gone to the shop.

          - I should of gone to the shop.

          This only *sounds* ok because of the homophone with the correct abbreviation 'should've'.

          Now compare that with how blatantly stupid this sounds:

          - I have gone to the shop.

          - I of gone to the shop.

          And THAT is why "should of" is, has always been, and will always be WRONG.

    2. RubberJohnny

      Re: here comes the onslaught

      Ahhh, Control Panel defaults to thicky mode and offers "Switch to Classic Mode" for the less thick.

  2. h3

    The killer feature for Windows RT is any app you like via Remote Desktop with Remote FX.

    Dunno why everyone seems to ignore this. (It works like native).

    Not sure why people slagging off the surface ignore this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can run any Windows program I like from my Android tablet via one of a number of available remote desktop apps. This option is by no means restricted to Windows RT.

      1. rgh

        With the Microsoft remote control, the desktop running Windows 8 behaves as if it's running locally on the tablet (swipe from right edge for charms, swipe from left to change apps, sound plays via local speakers). Which app do you use in the Android marketplace to do it? I haven't seen the same functionality with my Android tablets, but I may need to try a different app.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Stuff swiping

          I have seen the Android Net Support, he was able to do anything he liked including running our own software

        2. Blitterbug
          Happy

          Re: Which app do you use in the Android marketplace to do it?

          I was playing Borderlands 2 today on my Nexus 7, running on my PC but streaming to the tablet over WiFi with SplashTop (Google Play free or paid). It's not perfect (have to muck with the aspect ratio some) but by god is it fun! Incidentally my XBox 360 controller was plugged into the usb port of the tablet, btw, not into the PC.

          I'm not sure if you were trying to be sarcastic or not, so I'm hoping you were simply unaware of solutions such as this.

      2. RonWheeler

        Not with RemoteFX rendering the 3D, HD video streams etc of the remote machine you can't. For a VDI solution where users need Direct3D whizzyness (and in the real non-linux world they do) it is hard to beat

        1. Daniel B.
          FAIL

          @RonWheeler

          "For a VDI solution where users need Direct3D whizzyness (and in the real non-linux world they do) it is hard to beat"

          Direct3D for work? Where do you work, id Software? If anything, *disabling* whizzyness is probably an intended course of action in enterprise PCs/clients as to avoid employees doing LAN parties on company hardware.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @RonWheeler

            id Software use OpenGL and not DirectX

        2. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          A solution in search of a problem...

          What solution that needs Direct3D?

          There really isn't one. At that point, you are far better off using local hardware. Use something just slightly less lame and eliminate the need for some noisy monster in another room that's being forced itself to do things in the least effective way possible.

      3. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        None of them support Remote FX. No Android client has licensed it.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Remote FX

          Remote FX may be cool and better than anything you can do to remotely operate a PC with an iPad or Android, but is it worth $600? Why not get a $600 laptop and operate a local PC?

          The market for people who want to operate their PC remotely frequently enough to spend $600 on it is not going to be all that large. The market for such people who need to have it work exactly as if it was local using Remote FX, rather than a generic remote desktop type client as on iOS/Android is even smaller.

    2. p3ngwin1

      are they "ignoring" it, or are they just processing the idea and not seeing the value in a $600 hardware remote to another PC ?

      if you think "$600 remote control for your PC" is the best "killer app" for Microsoft's entire reason to release a new OS, you both have issues.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Linux nerd downvoters

      Didn't know that, but I've never seen it pitched as a VDI solution. And sod the trigger-happy downvoters, they've clearly never used RemoteFX and just like Ms bashing.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Linux nerd downvoters

        You clearly have not used HP thin clients + altiris as well as many other Linux based VDI solutions out there. In fact, on the "terminal" side Linux running a Citrix client is probably a majority, not minority of VDI.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Linux nerd downvoters

          I have used HP RGS, and it sucks loads.....Just try getting RGS to support a decent USB camera / Microphone for instance...

    4. Pet Peeve
      Facepalm

      Every tablet out there has some sort of remote desktop client. Yeah, it's not the full-bore microsoft/citrix Remote Desktop, and again there might be a niche there, but if you're a home user, the last thing you need to do is spend big bucks on your tablet to remote across the house to your PC. If you need to do it (and I admit I do it fairly often with my ipad), just run a VNC server.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why?

      Duh!

      Not everyone is connected to the Internet every minute of the day everwhere they go.(or wants to be for that matter)

      Sometimes that can't afford the data plans that would allow it even if they wanted it or they had the connectivity to allow it.

      solve this and then RDP to some server/cloud somewhere might have a chance for those who don't have a life.

      You could try getting out of your Mom's basement from time to time and experience the real world out there.

      Rant over, I'm off to get a plane to Novosibirsk. Please tell me how I can get data access to my servers from there at anything less than $5 per megabyte?

    6. MJI Silver badge

      Not it isn't

      Chap at work has a Sony tablet, he logged in from home to control his Win 7 PC with it.

      He bought the Sony after trying a lot including Apple products

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > The killer feature for Windows RT is any app you like via Remote Desktop with Remote FX.

      The 'killer feature' on my vacuum cleaner is that it has a plug to connect it to the electricity.

      Shill fail.

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