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. Nanners
    Headmaster

    I'll give you one reason.

    NO APPS. I ain't gonna shell out that much to check my email...Knowing it's going to have bugs.

    1. Marvin the Martian
      WTF?

      Fortythousand Schmortythousand

      The cited "there's only 40K apps" and similar (much higher) figures for Android and iOS beg the question:

      How many apps are needed?

      Disregarding games (where infinite variations and clones can be had), how many other apps are needed? *Four-five office suits,

      *ten editors (baby versions of popular desktop ones, and mainly for markup and scripting languages --- nobody in their right mind will do heavy duty work, e.g. compiling, on a tablet),

      *less than ten browsers,

      *ten weather widgets,

      *less than ten calendar widgets (which IMO the OS should already do),

      ...

      All in all about a thousand, tops?

      Any more than a thousand makes managing choice hopeless: people cannot usefully scan, they will only consider the top-five or so in whatever category they search (count review-stars, some comments, the end).

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Fortythousand Schmortythousand

        how many other apps are needed?

        *Four-five office suits,

        Zero, Office is it.

        *ten editors (baby versions of popular desktop ones, and mainly for markup and scripting languages --- nobody in their right mind will do heavy duty work, e.g. compiling, on a tablet),

        Zero, desktop apps are banned. There are two modern apps, one with a single suspect 5 star ratting, one with 4 ratings and the first review said no copy and paste.

        *less than ten browsers,

        Yes it's less, zero. IE is all you need.

        *ten weather widgets,

        There are a few, I'm using the Weather Network app. Better then Bing and no flippin big ad in the middle.

        *less than ten calendar widgets (which IMO the OS should already do),

        There is a very basic one built in (you must log into a windows account to use it) but I'm not using it since I don't carry the surface around with me.

        Your editor is not needed by most people, but they may need other specialized apps for what they do. Sales might need an expense tracking app for example. Educational apps are mostly unrated, or 1-2 star.

        The missing apps are things MS will not allow (Browsers, desktop apps), and the specialized apps.

        Lots of companies from radio stations to shopping malls produce apps, but just for IOS and Android, nothing for surface.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the conclusion is...

    The market for 'tablets' with 'tablet' like OS is limited. People basically want Windows 8 Pro (desktop) on a tablet form factor. Added + if it can dual-boot other OS like a real PC today.

    Price is subjective tbh one has always been expected to pay a premium for smaller form factor devices that has the same power as a desktop variant.

    Surface Pro will not gain mass adoption just because it's a monster cross-breed between an ultrabook and a tablet, not a true tablet FF when taking the weight and thickness into account.

    People going on about the death of the PC industry is talking out their bottom since this just verifies people want the functionalities of a PC in a true tablet FF.

    My prediction is that we'll have to wait a couple more years for that, prototypes might be around next year when Intel comes out with even more power efficient CPUs. It really remains to be seen whether ARM (or more precisely their partners) can come out with a mass market 64-bit processor that can be on-par with Intel in benchmarks (or the other way around). Anyone who says otherwise is BSing since nobody truely knows today.

    Oh and any other architectures, FF, gadgets until this ultimate 'tablet' comes to market in the interim will phase out of existence eventually. Mobile OSes, Android, iOS etc will either scale back to phablets/phone devices only or be expanded into a fully fledged "desktop" OS.

    I do favour Intel winning out in the end just because of their manufacturing capabilities will remain 1-2 generations further than anyone else which means they can manufacture more power efficient CPUs negating any advantages a RISC (ARM) vs CISC (Intel) architecture may have, IMO.

    1. jnffarrell1
      Happy

      Re: So the conclusion is...

      Lots of power users will never give up on PC, but they may not buy another laptop until:

      1) it doesn't burn their knee when used as a laptop

      2) does not require a plug in an airport

      3) has batteries that last 6_8 hours

      If such a device has productivity Apps that are easier to learn to use than Word, Excel, PowerPoint so much the better, but don't make me give up my Excel and PowerPoint wizard hats.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Meh

      Re: So the conclusion is...

      "I do favour Intel winning out in the end just because of their manufacturing capabilities will remain 1-2 generations further than anyone else "

      Perhaps in your universe mr AC.

      " which means they can manufacture more power efficient CPUs negating any advantages a RISC (ARM) vs CISC (Intel) architecture may have"

      But Mr AC if Intel have had that "more power efficient" ability enabled by their technology lead why have they never used it?

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Reason 8 - Eadon predicted Win 8 RT would fail

      "And the market listened to Eadon. And lo! Windows RT failed."

      Voted down due to head being firmly placed in rectal cavity.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. Tank boy
    Holmes

    Too little too late?

    To me it seems that the market is already saturated with tablets that work, and don't need an MS brand on the OS to sell the product. I'm sure at some point in time the folks in the headshed at MS thought that if they wait for the technology to catch up with their OS, they'd be printing money, but that doesn't seem to have happened, and the window of opportunity has all but closed.

    Good for them for offering an alternative, that's the nature of business, but a wag of of the finger at them for trying to jump on the bandwagon long after it's gone.

  5. johnwerneken
    Happy

    The Store isn't for income

    Not having 'developed' anything since before Windows 95, I have no idea what challenges there might be in ARM/win8 RT software. My hunch is that the whole ARM concept is a mistake, that having the familiar to build on is more important, and much harder to get around, than battery technology. And I myself just don't want computation following me around. I mean it's anywhere I spend much time or I won't go there; I hate travel in principle but if I am walking by choice, it's to talk and to look, not to futz with some contraption (on other modes of travel I find either books or daydreams preferable). I only have a cell phone because my ISP is less reliable than my old landline and payphones are rare, working ones rarer, and affordable working ones, nonexistent – and the landline would cost me more than the cell and almost as much as the ISP. I don't WANT people or information reaching out and touching me!

    Yet the tablet IS important simply because its use is part of making one's connections to work, to people, to places, and to goods/services place-independent and portable (I'm cool with place independent, lol). If Win 8 Surface_Pro works as intended rather than as the review says windows RT Surface_plain, it will address a real market. People do different things portably than sitting at home or at a fixed workplace; I can't imagine using Access on a city bus.

    The STORE: I think it was the combo of seeing people actually like or at least tolerate the thing that was the key. Maybe it's just easy, maybe it's more secure, maybe the choices being sorted by authority pleases some people, maybe the lack of channel partners makes it more efficient but probably all of those to some extent. The reason it makes money is people WANT the contraptions and enough of the APS in the store, to buy the contraptions in huge numbers. The first mover tends to win when a new niche is found and especially if the same outfit gets to ride the wave, should the niche develop into a major market all by itself.

    Eventually all dominators have competition. Sooner or later some combination of wanting to preserve all that wealth, please late-coming stakeholders, and the end of the ‘cosmic inflation’ phase, leads to conservatism and bureaucracy. Others will offer things that seem to be the same, are somewhat interchangeable with the originals, but do more for less faster and flashier. Then someone will throw in something new, as in a human need not previously addressed by the old stuff, possible by never-before-seen concepts and technologies. Then the next new niche and the next new tsunami will start somewhere else.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Store isn't for income

      > I can't imagine using Access on a city bus.

      I can't imagine using Access anywhere outside of a locked ward in a mental hospital.

  6. Number6

    Alternative Software

    Of course, they can't even easily dump surplus stock cheaply because if it's got a secure bootloader that prevents people putting Linux on the device, it won't be popular with the penguin crowd.

  7. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I have never understood why Microsoft insisted on using the Windows branding for anything other than their PC and server OS and thats just for legacy reasons, A lot of home users experience of windows is its often prone to crashing, getting virus and trojans and taking 15 minutes to boot to the desktop because every program you install insists on running on startup, struggling to get device drivers and other such problems. Don't really see how Microsoft expected to sell phone and tablets with the Windows name when it has that reputation especially after Apple have the reputation of 'it just works' on its tablets and phones.

    Microsoft needs to drop the Windows name from RT and Windows phone and maybe capitalize on its positive brands such as Xbox, but the main problem with Windows RT is the price of the surface. It needs to be prices to compete with low cost Android tablets such as the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle fire or it will fail as its not strong enough to compete with Apple and Samsung at the high end

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Microsoft needs to drop the Windows name from RT and Windows phone and maybe capitalize on its positive brands such as Xbox

      ... which, for the first couple of years of its existence, was deliberately marketed without the Microsoft name.

  8. JaitcH
    Happy

    The one thing I like about the RT ...

    are the many coloured cases.

    Even YEO, ex-Minister, he of Pink Laptop fame (on expenses), would be satiated.

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    Maybe

    Just maybe, MS should have set up a shell company and marketed this without any reference to Windows at all.

  10. Tezfair
    FAIL

    one version too late

    If surface was able to run Windows 7 and thus all 'normal' software it would have been a success.

    I have an andriod tablet I use for playing quick games in the evenings, the wife has an Ipad 1 for playing scrabble. Neither of us want to sit at a desktop and use a big computer / laptop.

    Where the surface would have worked is as a direct laptop replacement with maybe some form of docking station for supporting a larger screen. This way it would have been the PC during the day and play at night and all the software like accessing network files, outlook etc., means that the end user could switch in and out of work as needed.

    I use a laptop so that my work follows me (IT Support) when needed. A surface could have been an ideal business tool.

    1. El Andy

      Re: one version too late

      @Tezfair: The device you're looking for (and indeed most people) is the Surface Pro. Quite why Microsoft didn't have that ready alongside the RT version at launch is beyond me. Windows on ARM has always been about keeping a foot in the door should Intel bugger up and lose traction to ARM, it's never really been a product anyone might actually need otherwise.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: one version too late

        > Quite why Microsoft didn't have that ready alongside the RT version at launch is beyond me.

        Because Intel were ready with sufficiently low-power CPUs that are needed to meet the battery life and heat requirements. These are just now coming on stream.

        Take an Intel 'fry an egg' CPU, a LiPo 'exploding' battery and a magnesium 'incendiary' case*, what could _possibly_ go wrong.

        > Windows on ARM has always been about keeping a foot in the door should Intel bugger up

        Conspiracies would have it that WoA was entirely about preventing the OEMs building non-Windows ARM tablets and servers. It already worked for HP WebOS. Without an ARM version of Windows the loyalty discounts were safe. Dell was developing Android tablets, now they are stuck between losing millions of discounts or making a failure with RT.

        Servers are actually a bigger prize. ARM servers can save huge amounts in saving electricity. Microsoft needs to kill that quickly, but it already may be too late.

        * apparently it is only the coating that is magnesium 'VaporMg' now, the case itself is no longer a magnesium alloy.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: one version too late

          Not true - the whole cover is magnesium - about 0.7mm thick and very very strong.

          And btw - the ignition temperature of solid magensium is about 473 degrees C - it's not likely to get that hot unless you visit Venus....

  11. Matt_payne666
    Facepalm

    Too many windows 8 os's...

    I think Microsoft should have just had 2 OS's, Full win8 for laptops, desktops, and high end tablets/convertibles.... Win8 Phone for phones...

    And for ARM devices, they should really be running Windows phone 8 OR RT, merge or kill off one of the two... phone and tablet hardware crosses over nicely - just add another resolution or two and a happy phone/tablet software ecosystem could grow... instead there are 2 small niche software platforms in the ARM hardware stable... similar, but different... with a terrible software selection.

    as for surface pro? well, im typing this on an Acer W510 Full win8 convertible, running on an atom, I wont be doing any CAD or any video editing, but for office, internet and remote desktopping, its a very useable platform, after remembering odd swipes, metro makes sense, the win8 desktop and standard windows applications respond nicely to prods and having used the machine all day having the battery remaining at 70% is remarkable!

  12. jnffarrell1
    Happy

    Windows 8 does not address Microsoft's basic problem. Word functions can be duplicated, Excel functions can be duplicated and relearned only with great pain by the user and the same goes for the wizz bang features of PowerPoint. Rather than address the inhumane features of human/Office interfaces MS has used them as shackles. Now when those experts with 10,000 hours invested in becoming wizards are offered an opening toward freedom they refuse.

    However, mobile open APIs for office like Apps exist and are easy to use by non-wizards. Non-wizards do most of the work so even CIOs with wizard credentials will have to trade off the cost differences for training Wintel wizards vs stuff that just does what the novices want it to do. Too bad MS didn't think through 'it just works for new hires'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Windows 8 does not address Microsoft's basic problem.

      Course it doesn't. Microsoft's basic problem is nothing to do with technology.

    2. El Andy
      FAIL

      " Too bad MS didn't think through 'it just works for new hires'."

      Er, if that were even remotely true they'd never have changed the Office interface to use the Ribbon, which was precisely designed around what was easiest to learn for a completely new user.

  13. mistergrantham

    this bee has stung itself

    silly bee...

  14. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Windows Surface RT has damaged two brands

      I'm not sure Surface has made enough of an impact to actually count as a brand, but you're right about the first one. When Windows 9 finally oozes out in a year or two, ordinary people will hesitate before buying because "they know" that just because it says Windows on the tin doesn't mean it will run their existing apps.

  15. Jess

    I reckon RISC OS has a much brighter future than RT

    A quarter the cost, and not tied down.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't run full Windows apps? so what, that doesn't seem to have affected iOS and Android tablet sales.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      IOS and Android

      Are NOT called Windows

  17. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    One more reason for failure

    Amazing, unearthly, eye-piercing ugliness.

    PDP-11 programs shown on VT100 monochrome terminals in text mode were more esthetically pleasing than the schizophrenic flat coloured rectangles of Win8, RT etc.

  18. Noodlesoup
    Thumb Up

    Microsoft has winner - albeit a hidden one!

    Windows RT will be a success for Microsoft, but not in the way people imagine.

    The problem is that everyone is considering Windows RT from the perspective of Business or Personal use, as though that were all there is!

    People, there is world outside of the office!

    Think Retail and Industrial, Transport and Energy, Medical and Pharmaceutical, even Defence and Military! There are literally tens (if not hundreds) of millions of potential users who are screaming out for tablets, and for whom, what is in the market now, simply does not tick the boxes!

    Android is fractured mess with hardware cycles measured in months, while the iPad is a “one size only” solution that is simply way too fragile for Industrial use!

    There are already industrial and military-grade Windows RT Tablets that can withstand drops of six feet to concrete (on the screen!), are viewable in direct sunlight and are completely immersible water! Try that with an iPad!

    That said, I’m sure the Surface will bomb.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Microsoft has winner - albeit a hidden one!

      > Think Retail and Industrial,

      Windows RT simply does not address any of the problems that commerce or industry may have with iPad or Android. Windows-on-ARM offers no advantages when compared to iPad or Android.

      It is not the tablet they were looking for. That's the whole f*cking point of everyone's complaints.

      1. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Microsoft has winner - albeit a hidden one!

        "Windows-on-ARM offers no advantages when compared to iPad or Android."

        Actually it offers lots of advantages. Primarily full support for Microsoft Office, Windows drivers and a proper multitasking OS (for instance run one app on the tablet and a second on an external screen.)

  19. Dreams
    Mushroom

    Yeah, I'll just stick with my Blackberry Playbook. It runs Blackberry and Android apps, costs 180 Euros for a 32GB wifi version, and gets the new OS 10 for free at the end of January.

  20. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Would appear to be designed to convince users an ARM cannot run a "real" OS

    That's why you need the "Pro" version.

    This feels like another part of the ongoing MS/Intel relationship. The Micky & Mallory Knox of the IT world.

    However should someone succeed in a reasonable jailbreak of the Surface you have a quite nice piece of hardware to act as a Linux host.

    And quite a few should be on eBay by then as their current OS design is rubbish.

    What I simply don't get is why MS insist on making it macro incompatible with their desktop version.

    It's nowhere near the bare metal and most of it does not even address the screen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: designed to convince users an ARM cannot run a "real" OS

      "why MS insist on making it macro incompatible with their desktop version"

      You are right, there is no sensible reason to do make it incompatible (not from the end user or IT department's point of view, anyway).

      You are right, there may be commercial reasons to make it incompatible, reasons visible only inside HQ (as there were when the Wintel alliance ensured the non-Wintel netbook could not succeed), reasons which if they were visible outside might be considered abuse of significant market power. (Have MS paid their EU fines yet, or is the appeal still in process?)

      Were you aware of the rumours that the macro code in Office contains x86-specific details which have either been impossible to port or have been lost forever somewhere in the Redmond source control systems? Does it sound plausible to anybody?

      1. El Andy

        Re: designed to convince users an ARM cannot run a "real" OS

        "Were you aware of the rumours that the macro code in Office contains x86-specific details which have either been impossible to port or have been lost forever somewhere in the Redmond source control systems? Does it sound plausible to anybody?"

        The Office VBA engine is based on VB6, which compiles to x86 before running the code. It's the same reason the MacBU in Microsoft tried and eventually gave up trying to port VBA over to the Mac version of Office years ago. And from a security design standpoint, it's awful. That's why they're moving Office plugins over to a HTML/JS model instead, which is built on open standards and much safer.

        But hey, lets all moan and beg for the return of old-school Office macros and there persistent ability to be used by virus writers the world over....

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Re: designed to convince users an ARM cannot run a "real" OS

          "The Office VBA engine is based on VB6, which compiles to x86 "

          So either the toolchain cannot support other processors or no one knows how to do so. Either show a real contempt for any users not running on Windows.

          As for macros they are the reason Excel was once described as the most common programming language in the world. Because it allowed accountants to program without realising they were.

          Wheather they should be used to construct complex financial models of various things is debatable they have certainly been in the past.

  21. fzz

    MSFT's biggest bomb?

    Bigger than Bob? Hard to imagine.

    Windows RT may have a future, but it'd be without a desktop at all, only be available on the Surface, so only as a MSFT-branded hardware product, and cost less. It's not going to go the more business-friendly route because that'd cannibalize MSFT's Windows 8 license sales. Besides, and I ask this in all ignorance, if the only thing a Surface RT could run were Windows Store Style apps (Wuss apps?), how much group policy would be needed?

    Anyway, it seems the future as only 2 paths: only MSFT still making Windows RT tablets, or no one making them. Corporate face saving leads me to figure the former wins out.

  22. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
    Paris Hilton

    Hear, hear

    How is WIndows RT different from the iPad? It has no keyboard, no USB or Ethernet connector. Just a tiny screen smeared by greasy fingers. Your old Mac or Win software won't run on it, just apps bought from Jesus's App Store, which only seems to offer something called 'angry birds'. You can buy a decent laptop for the same price.

    You convinced me: nobody in their right mind will buy the silly iPad (or the MS Tablet).

    1. El Andy

      Re: Hear, hear

      @Daniel von Asmuth: Assuming you mean Surface RT and not Windows RT (which is just software) it has both a keyboard and USB as well as wireless Ethernet (does anybody really still use wired Ethernet on their home laptop?)

  23. Atonnis
    Happy

    Excellent Piece

    I have to say that out of all the opinion pieces I've ever read on The Register, this has to be the most clear, concise, well argued and downright spot-on.

    Personally, I don't think Windows 8 will bomb - it's actually surprisingly good to use once you've gotten used to it - the same thing happened with all of the other Windows versions. After all, the changes to the Control Panel that came along with Vista->7 were really f-ing annoying. I STILL REALLY *HATE* that it keeps reverting back to Category View...

    Windows RT will collapse into the realms of nothingness, but the opinions around the City (London) are steadily drifting away from Apple, as it's lost it's lustre, and people are now starting to ask about new laptops and PCs, and I've told them all to hold on until the new array of proper WIndows 8 tablet/laptops come out. I have a Lenovo Yoga 13 (core i7 - I was shocked!) and it's a wonderful device to use and to carry around. Granted, I removed the build of Windows that came with it and installed Enterprise instead, for various technical reasons, but just generally it's been a delight to use - not the least of which is because I can work on it from home, using Mouse Without Borders, and DirectAccess, then take it into work and carry on after plugging in my monitor, mouse and keyboard - since I like a big desktop setup.

    I also love watching TV series and movies on the train to and from London every day - makes the time rocket by. Lots of envious glances, but really I'm just happy to see my carefully ripped and lossless VOBs (all neatly named by TheRenamer) playing perfectly smoothly.

    Then in work, the Yoga turns into my Management Console for the network, where System Center is keeping track of everything for me.

    Anyway, sorry, I digress - and I started to sound like an MS shill - which I'm truly not - I'm just extremely pleased with the device I bought (and all the work I put into getting a really good network put together within a two month timeframe from planning to production), and it was well worth putting the extra money into the Yoga 13 rather than just falling into the Apple ecosystem when I have just so much Windows software...and Apple's software would've been a nightmare to integrate into my network needs. (Android would have been as much of a pain as well).

    It even plays MWO pretty well, as well as GW2 and a good few others...

    p.s. I must emphasise that I actually think that Android and Apple devices have their place as well, but as the Head of IT for a global organisation, I've been truly impressed with how MS have managed to put together all of their server suites and get them interoperating properly with each other (thank you, Powershell). This is the one area where MS still wins - their servers are just so damn good, and rather than needing a few days to figure out or find the specialist knowledge on how to get something working, there's tons of assistance from across the web, from resellers, service providers, and even an IT temp you can hire for a week, just to suck out his brain, muwahahah. I built in three weeks what would've taken me months on any other platform, and I didn't need to pay any reseller/IT service company to do it.

    And Azure is surprisingly cheap, I used their calculator for server provisioning and it came up at under half the price I was going to get charged by other resellers or providers of hosting services. Crikey - I'm sounding like a real fanboi - I apologise, I'm just riding high at the moment from being flush with some very good successes in the last few weeks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Excellent Piece

      > as the Head of IT for a global organisation

      Tell us which one, so we can avoid doing business with it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And that's not all!

    Microsoft are going to get it wrong with Hyper-v too. Their different divisions cannot work well together to glue the apps to the hypervisor, lots and lots of hype from MS FUD market boys.

    vSphere 6 will raise the bar again, and potentially be embedded into next Intel and ARM servings. MS still play with antiquated beliefs like AV agents in physical and virtual machines (performance =zzzzz) whilst all security vendors will plug-in their wares into technologies such as vShield.

    So far behind, and getting kicked by Apple, Google, VMware, and new start ups leveraging Android.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: And that's not all!

      Erm, but Microsoft already got it right with Hyper-v - you obviously are a bit behind the times and havnt read any Windows Server 2012 reviews?...Vendors are already writing plugins for it too.

      vSphere might play catchup with V6 , but Hyper-V is totally free. nada, zero, no charge for it at all, including all the features like replication and software defined networking that VMWare charge a fortune for.

      VMWare are slowly dying. The only question is will it be Hyper-V or Open Stack that damages them the most. And my money is with Hyper-V.

  25. StooMonster
    Megaphone

    It's all about the long term strategy

    Microsoft only make money with Windows and Office, everything else they do bleeds cash, and they know this isn't going to last forever. So what can they do? Copy Apple! Take a fee for every app / program sold on their OS, that's how.

    So, they have developed Metro as the successor OS to Windows desktop, where commercial apps are only available from the Microsoft Store (Enterprise apps can be distributed directly, as per iOS) and a large proportion of the revenue goes to Microsoft.

    Windows 8 is the first step in this direction with the addition of Metro to desktop, but as Windows Blue arrives and we get annual updates to the desktop OS with relentless promotion of Metro apps we will see depreciation of desktop by stealth (like we did the transition from DOS to Windows in the past). They've given up on backwards compatibility, as few care (those that do can run VMs) and it doesn't help the cash flow.

    Windows RT was obviously perceived as a driver of Metro apps, but really it's the timing that is wrong. It may be DOA but it will be like a zombie and come back from the dead because eventually Metro will be the mainstream Windows OS and desktop will be as relevant as DOS is today.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: It's all about the long term strategy

      voted up for being loathsomely accurate, not for being liked.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: It's all about the long term strategy

      Microsoft also make a profit on:

      Servers and Tools (Server, SQL, Visual Studio, etc)

      Entertainment and devices (Xbox, LIVE, Windows Phone)

      Business (Exchange, Sharepoint, etc)

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