back to article Microsoft reveals Windows RT OEMs

Microsoft reveals Windows RT PC partners Dell, Lenovo, Samsung and ASUS ARMed for “RT PCs” Microsoft has revealed the full roster of Windows RT PC OEMs, and detailed more about the future products' users interfaces. The details were revealed in a blog post, as is the case for many such announcements in these socially-oriented …

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  1. Nate Amsden

    where do updates come from?

    Will OS updates come from MS or will they come from the OEMs? Just thinking of the Android world where many complain about how most models don't get updated fast enough and often is because of drivers and hardware and stuff.

    Is RT standardized enough that patches/upgrades can be applied generically?

    1. Richard 81

      Re: where do updates come from?

      I don't think manufacturers will be bolting on their own interface, like they do with Android. Also, no mobile network crap. I expect the relationship between MS, OEMs and users will be much more like it is for regular PCs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      @Nate

      Who cares...

      As long as you paid your fee's to $anti_virus_vendor_we_love_and_respect all will be safe with your Windows.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: @Nate

        Windows 8 comes with anti-virus built in. No need for Norton or McAfee (*shudder*) who sneak onto practically any new system you buy. Last time I removed McAfee for someone, I actually had to download a special program buried in the depths of their website to uninstall it, as the regular Windows uninstall process wouldn't work.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple 2?

    Sounds like it might be like Apple MK2. Buy the hardware and the OS comes with it and it is not available anywhere for retail sale. At least that's the way I read it.

    1. Elmer Phud
      IT Angle

      I'm worried

      I looked at the fingering pics and am now unsure if Apple will take my fingers away or at least have them ordered not to swipe surfaces.

    2. Mark .

      Re: Apple 2?

      Windows 7 Starter is already like this - AFAIK you can't buy it on its own. Whilst things will perhaps become more significant as it rules out building say an ARM desktop, it's not closed in the Apple sense (where you can only buy hardware from Apple), and since this is targetted at ultra-portable/netbook/tablet type machines, it doesn't seem to me a problem that you can't buy it separately.

      The bigger concern as far as being closed like Apple is the idea that WinRT only runs Metro applications (except for Office), and if these can only be distributed via Microsoft's site.

      I do wonder if WinRT PCs will end up replacing current x86 netbooks, in the sense of being low cost portable PCs. On the one hand, it seems a good thing to improve netbooks with touchscreens, make them even lighter, and give them even better battery life, and perhaps ARM is more suited to that than Intel Atom. On the other hand, I like having x86 compatibility in a netbook, and would still want to be able to run windowed applications rather than just Metro. So it would be a shame if the options for x86 low cost ultra-portables/netbooks dries up, meaning our only option is to spend far more on the high end ultra-portables. If MS don't have a low cost "Starter" version of Windows x86, and instead only do for Windows RT, then that will make it even more likely this change happens...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given the lockdown required by redmond to ship with this...

    ... I think I'll pass, thanks. Call me a stick-in-the-mud if you wish, but I do prefer to stick in mud of my own free will, not because someone else says so, thanks.

    1. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: Given the lockdown required by redmond to ship with this...

      I agree with you, but I have a sneaking feeling that appliance based PCs might be quite popular with a lot of people.

      Any ideas if the PC form factor can support the Citrix ICA client?

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: Given the lockdown required by redmond to ship with this...

        Not yet, you would have to ask Citrix kindly so they release an ICA client for Windows RT, same time next year, maybe.

        1. fourThirty

          Re: Given the lockdown required by redmond to ship with this...

          Do you really think Citrix aren't already working on this?

  4. Blarkon
    Thumb Up

    Looks like the TF Infinity

    Looks like the TF infinity - which is a great bit of kit - but Win RT'd.

    1. Mikel
      Windows

      Re: Looks like the TF Infinity

      That's because the that's what Microsoft built it on.

    2. Stacy

      Re: Looks like the TF Infinity

      It does, and it is... But can I install RT on my current infinity???

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Looks like the TF Infinity

        "It does, and it is... But can I install RT on my current infinity???"

        Looks highly unlikely. From their blog post:

        "Windows RT software will not be sold or distributed independent of a new Windows RT PC, just as you would expect from a consumer electronics device that relies on unique and integrated pairings of hardware and software."

        1. Stacy
          Unhappy

          Re: Looks like the TF Infinity

          What I was expecting... No really biggie, but it would have been nice to try :)

  5. Robert E A Harvey

    Yawn

    The usual suspects then...

    1. Arctic fox
      Joke

      Re: "Yawn" You are clearly horribly dissapointed that Acer is not on the list.

      See title.

      AF.

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        Re: "Yawn" You are clearly horribly dissapointed that Acer is not on the list.

        grin.

  6. Shagbag

    Slavish Copy

    They've slavishly copied the iPad.

    There. It's been said. And I beat Apple to it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slavish Copy

      No kidding. Microsoft has been trying very hard to make Steven Sinofsky look/act like Steve Jobs.

      Even the Surface announcement press conference shamelessly copied Apple to the tiniest detail.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Slavish Copy

        "Even the Surface announcement press conference shamelessly copied Apple to the tiniest detail."

        People have been standing on stages holding products up for the press since before Apple. Just so you know.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slavish Copy

          "Even the Surface announcement press conference shamelessly copied Apple to the tiniest detail."

          The worst bit of copying is shown in the diagrams of how to use gestures ... they've clearly copied Apple in designing a product for 5-fingered people - where's the innovation there?

          1. blofse
            Angel

            Re: Slavish Copy

            Did apple not copy star trek though? They have rounded corners and 'pads' the same sort of size. Or even Firefly, they had quite big pads which were used with finger swiping?

            Surprised the "Gene Roddenberry"* foundation has not got involved in the suing slang match....

            *made up. Possibly.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: Slavish Copy

      "They've slavishly copied the iPad."

      Because it has rounded corners? ;)

      Not sure if you're joking - probably are. But just in case, exactly what format would you expect a touch-screen interface that you want to be easily held in the hand to be? Normal screen-sized? Obvious. Thin and light? Obvious.

      So is a thin, rectangular device supposed to be some strikingly unexpected design revolution that anyone who uses it must be "slavishly copying" Apple from? Does anyeone expect Asus to start manufacturing triangular devices now? I hope you're not a jury member on the Apple v. Samsung trial! ;)

      1. wowfood

        Re: Slavish Copy

        Triangular. I expect all future tablets to be triangles, with razor sharp corners.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Er, that gesture graphic...

    ...it looks like a guide to entertaining ladies.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Er, that gesture graphic...

      On our Thinkpads we used to call the rubber mouse in the middle of the keyboard button the "Clito", so your gesture comments are spot on......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Er, that gesture graphic...

        Oh I thought they were nipples....

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Er, that gesture graphic...

        Those nubs have always been called clitorises. It's the common name for them in the UK in my experience.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Er, that gesture graphic...

          The problem is they've forgotten the key gesture that many people will give Win RT, namely the one finger salute (or possibly the two finger one, if you're being historic).

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Er, that gesture graphic...

            "The problem is they've forgotten the key gesture that many people will give Win RT, namely the one finger salute (or possibly the two finger one, if you're being historic)."

            I think you'll need the Kinnect for that.

        2. Elmer Phud

          Re: Er, that gesture graphic... unknown object

          When the little red nub thing first arrived I said it looked like a clitoris -- much to the puzzlement of many males.

          They seemed to be unaware that if you wiggled one of these things then other people might get excited.

          Some of them seemed a bit reluctant to use it after that as a mouse is bigger and fills the hand.

          1. h4rm0ny
            Unhappy

            Re: Er, that gesture graphic... unknown object

            "much to the puzzlement of many males."

            Now that I belive. *sigh*

            1. JDX Gold badge

              Re: Er, that gesture graphic... unknown object

              Well they were IT people presumably, they'd probably never gotten near one.

        3. B4PJS

          Re: Er, that gesture graphic...

          Nipples to all my mates.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mark my words: these won't sell

    Expect lots of furious customers wanting a refund because these machines don't run their normal Windows programs and games.

    1. Arctic fox
      Megaphone

      Re:"Expect lots of furious customers........."

      Only customers buying from retailers who are themselves too stupid to drill into their sales people that they must make sure that they explain to the customer that those tablets (Win RT) only run apps from MS' app store (something you can after all articulate in one sentence). Retailers who fail in something so basic can expect and will thoroughly deserve a large amount of earache from their punters because it will be them the customers come back to in the first instance.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Expect lots of furious customers........."

        That's PC World knackered then.

        1. Arctic fox
          Happy

          Re: "That's PC World knackered then"

          We can always hope!

      2. kissingthecarpet
        Trollface

        Re: Expect lots of furious customers........."

        I imagine there'll be a significant proportion who won't really understand that no matter how many times its repeated to them. You know, the "I want a Google" crowd

        1. Elmer Phud
          IT Angle

          Re: Expect lots of furious customers........."

          ""I want a Google" crowd"

          Just slap a 'Google' sticker on the case and they'll be happy - it's does internet 'cos it's got Google built in.

          1. Ilgaz

            Google will be there

            They just need to ship chrome for it. Once it is running, win will be just a shell.

            Why did they get into panic mode once Netscape started to show a mature browser? They could just postpone the nightmare.

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: Expect lots of furious customers........."

          The "I want a Google" crowd are probably better off with a more locked down system that has their email, browser, Office setup for them, along with the usual Facebook integration and whathaveyou. These will do what 90% of that demographic want, I expect. Those of us who need more will be informed enough to know the difference between a machine running full Windows 8 and a "RT PC" as these are being called.

      3. wowfood

        Re: Expect lots of furious customers........."

        Considering at my local PC world I heard a sales rep trying to explain that "The i3 has 3 cores, the i5 has 5 cores and the i7 has 7 cores."

        oh and

        "You want a laptop for your uni work? You'll want the i7 then, it's really the only one powerful enough to run multiple applications at once like you'll need."

        And not forgetting

        "You want to use it to play games? The integrated graphics should be enough because it has more RAM."

        (there were two laptops, one with dedicated nvidia and one with the intel onboard graphics. The intel one was more expensive because it had 8gb of RAM rather than 6)

        And yes I did memorize these and other stupid things I've heard from sales reps at PC world. I find their stupidity makes me feel smarter, and generally I go to the customer after the guy has left and tell them he was talking out of his ass... I'm not all bad.

        1. Mark .

          Re: Expect lots of furious customers........."

          They always seem to grill me on anti-virus. The first time, he wouldn't believe me when I said I planned to install a freely available anti-virus, claiming that such a thing didn't exist, and that I had to buy Norton that they were offering. The second time with my Samsung netbook, he was willing to believe that such things exist, but still seemed to want a promise from me that I would do so, since I wasn't buying Norton. (Well okay, I guess encouraging anti-virus is a good thing, but if they were that concerned, they should just tell people about the free options from the start.)

    2. blondie101
      Devil

      Re: Mark my words: these won't sell

      eeh, you meant it doesn't run their usaul iPad apps... ;-)

    3. Mark .

      Re: Mark my words: these won't sell

      It will be indeed interesting to see how things go. Remember how when netbooks first appeared, with the revolutionary Asus Eee PC - to begin with, it seemed like Linux was way ahead. The argument was that most people don't need x86 compatibility if they just want a low cost machine for email and web. But still, my understanding is that there was consumer confusion, and when Windows 7 Starter came out, pretty much all netbook manufacturers switched over to Windows.

      But I fear that MS may be shooting themselves in the foot if they make a switch from x86. It shouldn't be a problem if there's still a choice for x86 at the low end (in which case, they could let the market decide), but as I say in my comment above, I worry that the choice for x86 netbooks will dry up. Microsoft's strongest advantage is x86 compatibility, and a windowed desktop environment, especially when we're talking about laptops/netbooks/hybrids rather than pure tablets. But most people don't want to spend hundreds of pounds extra for the high end ultra-portables.

      I guess that's the question - what are OEMs planning for Windows 8 x86? The Surface Pro looks cool, but what will be available at lower prices?

  9. xyz
    Devil

    Officially baffled...

    Look MS, all I want is a surface tablet that I can do my regular WIN stuff on + skype on a train without dragging assorted guff around with me. What I don't want is a sawn in half laptop and having to decide what version of windows to get on it. Tablets are a consumer product where you >>>MS<<< can stuff the competition by allowing the user to do work stuff on it too. But what do we get, a morass of hardware and software and the user/consumer will just go "whatever..., I'll just get a shiny. It doesn't confuse me."

    1. B4PJS

      Re: Officially baffled...

      What train do you get that has a decent enough connection for Skype?

      Anyway, MS is looking at making Skype work in the browser.

    2. Mark .

      Re: Officially baffled...

      Why doesn't the Surface Pro fit that?

  10. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    There is one good point for these devices...

    Multi-user support. The pain in having an iDevice (iPad) with multiple users is rather high. If you configure the device with mail then every joker in your household can access your mail and if you can't be bothered to enter card details or passwords for every app purchase (as in you don't want to have to remember them and "remember this password" functionality is very easy - this is common), then look forward to kids bankrupting you within a few weeks (or days).

    Obviously, from an Apple point of view there's a simple solution - put a key code on the device and buy every member of your household one of their own. In reality however few are likely to spunk that much cash on easily broken toys for kids.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dell

    Abandoning mobile device in 5, 4, 3.....

  12. Big_Ted
    Angel

    I have a better idea.............

    What we need is for some company to produce something like the sreen protector you put on your phone / tablet but touch capable. Just apply to screen, and plug into usb port and there you go, Windows 8 with full touch but on the laptop you already have, Of course you would use a DVD or flash to boot the windows 8 from so as not to mess up your laptop but at least the ludite in you will be happy with the old tech whilst the gadget freak could have is bit of fun too.

  13. Old Painless
    Go

    ..an even better idea...

    I thought someone clever could probably do something equally clever with a usb or pc -card style box of tricks that would mean i could plug it in to my tiny old dell latitude ls-400 or Toshiba Libretto, use their keyboards, ports, screen etc, but the clever plug-in box actually does the OS and the heavy lifting . You can have that for free- I'm throwing pearls at you here, gold even..off you go....you'll send me a postcard when you're rich and famous....

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Whenever I hear RT...

    I keep on thinking of the Windows RG Edition, that was released quite a few years ago...

    A Flash demo, no doubt seen it before:

    http://www.deanliou.com/winrg/

  15. /dev/null
    Boffin

    RT PC?

    This is an RT PC :-)

    1. xyz

      Re: RT PC?

      Thanks god this is the 21st century, that's all I can say. Beardieman was bad enough until the camera panned over that hulk of a machine.

  16. Daz555

    I am far from Windows 8 doom-merchant but I do feel that Windows RT is a bit of a waste of time. With the low power Intel chipsets (clover trail), why would anyone want to limit the versatility of their tablet by going down the ARM route?

    1. Big_Ted

      Because ARM arm still a year ahead of Intel and cheaper than clover trail........

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    Will they crash all the time?

  18. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    On the quotation in the article

    Windows RT software will not be sold or distributed independent of a new Windows RT PC, just as you would expect from a consumer electronics device that relies on unique and integrated pairings of hardware and software

    Just what are they trying to compare the devices with? Games consoles? Because I can download Android (or aftermarket replacements) independently of any device purchase.

    I suppose, though, that the speaker is correct: platform lockdown/lock-in is exactly what I expected from Microsoft.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Two-Finger Slide...

    That's a new name for it ...but it's what Microsoft gets from me.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RT Device without Windows

    Any offers, please ?

    I like the idea of a lightweight laptop, that does hours & hours on one charge, with a reasonably sized screen, powered by an ARM.

    Toshiba got close with the AC100, but I couldn't trust them to not drop support after 6 months.

    No, I'm not going to run Linux or Android on it, there are other options - google them.

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