Lenovo: There’s No Longer A Need For Windows RT Devices

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Speaking at Lenovo’s 2013 press conference at IFA Germany, Lenovo executive answered during Q&A session that there is no need for Windows RT devices. He said that with the arrival of power efficient processors like Intel Haswell and Bat Trail, you no need to have a choice between long battery life and good performance. Users will be able to run full Windows 8 and also enjoy a full day of battery life from a single charge, so there’s is not much need for a low-power version that runs Windows RT.

Microsoft announced Windows RT as a fully-fledged Microsoft operating system that is compatible with ARM-architecture to make the devices running on it thin and have long battery life. Currently, Microsoft(considering Nokia is also part of Microsoft) is the only manufacturer developing on Windows RT platform.

Microsoft lists following as the advantages of Windows RT PCs. I think recent Windows 8 tablets based on Intel processors also offers most of the below without any compromises.

  • Thin, light, and designed for touch, Windows RT PCs are great for life on the go.
  • Windows RT PCs stay connected even in sleep mode and resume quickly.
  • Keep in touch and have fun with built-in apps like Mail, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Music, Video, and more.
  • Windows RT only runs built-in apps or apps that you download from the Windows Store.
  • Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, and Windows Update are turned on by default, so you’re automatically up to date and more secure.
  • Comes with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview * so you can do more with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

What do you think? Should Microsoft validate their Windows RT offering with more new devices that have great design and experience?



About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • MarcXW

    Lenovo’s right. New processors make Windows RT a little useless. Windows 8 is much more useful.

    • SategB

      After the Billion $ write off the Surfsce RT made Windows RT pretty worthless.

    • NGM123

      Totally agree. Android, ipads and RT are all compromised, but these new 8 slates are game changers

  • donzebe

    RT may be good for Tablets below $200 to compete with cheap Android Tablets.

  • Tirinti

    There is a need for WinRT tablets, but for small and cheap not big, sophisticated and expensive.
    I think Microsoft should make WinRT license free to make it more popular and atract customers to Metro apps.

    • Yuan Taizong

      I agree, also developers would prefer cheaper Windows R.T. Tablet-P.C.’s over full ones for strictly designing Windows RunTime applications.

      • NGM123

        Problem though is, RT is creating fragmentation.

    • tropolite

      Totally agree … if RT had a free license it would provide pure entrylevel and incentive for partners to keep price point down and give a great alternative to droidies. Developers would get onboard, currency can be made from apps which would also generate incentives to increase the Store. It would also bring new customers to Win 8 devices that want to ‘upgrade’ their experience and developers would come to the party too.
      There is plenty potential to generate excitement here..

      • Bugbog

        Doubtful. OEM’s don’t want to “get on-board!” They only use Microsoft technologies where they have to (i.e. Windows 8), but would rather use something “disguised” as free!

        You would think businesses would know better; NOTHING is ever free! There may be a question on what they should be paying to license the O.S., but free? That’s just juvenile thinking.

        Given the over-arching Patent issues with Android (not the OEM’s, but Google-Oracle itself), when that finally gets settled, they (the OEM’s) are going to get a rude awakening!

    • efjay

      How cheap? We’ve already seen the first Bay Trail 8″ tablet for $330, RT would have to be free to compete and MS is too stupid to lower the price. Its a pointless OS getting more irrelevant as Intel improves further.

      • UMovies

        but that 330 atom tablet compares to a 100.00 snapdragon, the snapdragon 800, will make that one look like a crack head.

        • Viktor

          Don’t understand what you said, but that 330 atom tablet is much faster, then everything on ARM in 2013 – first half of 2014.

      • leharmeerak

        Asus MeMo Pad is exactly £99, and not really that bad, Microsoft needs to compete with these devices…

      • Tirinti

        Cheap enough to compete with Android not with iPad.
        It don’t need high and finish i powerfull CPU. I could pay 200$ for it.

      • Cruncher

        You assume only Intel makes improvements but not ARM? That is not particulary reasonable. In the grand scheme of things Intel is at 22nm while the ARM competition is at 28nm. Still ARM is ahead with performance. Can you imagine what happens, when the global foundries catch up? It is not a question of if, but when as we approaching the shrink barrier.

        • coip

          This is a good point. Everyone says that Windows RT is now superfluous because Haswell has closed the gap on ARM in terms of battery length. First, it hasn’t quite closed the gap (but it has made it smaller, thankfully). Second, this encourages more innovation with ARM to make them even more battery friendly. If they can get double the battery life of ARM tablets, well, that is something.

          Windows RT tablets need not die, but they do need to get smaller, thinner, faster and have even better battery life (to set them further apart from Haswell). I love my Surface RT. It’s a great tablet.

      • The Eagle01

        Yeah – where have you seen the 1st Bay Trail 8″ tablet for $330? If you are talking about ACER, it is not Baytrail.Please elaborate.

  • Wieland

    RT enables cheaper devices since the platform (ARM) is still a little cheaper than Bay Trail. The licensing of RT is cheaper than a full x86 Windows 8. And still, with ARM you can reach the higher peaks in battery life, weight and device thickness. MS needs to outbid these advantages WAY more! Surface is heavy and bulky, yet a quite sexy device. But an ultra slim, ultra light device with good battery power would be better. Like the Xperia Tablet Z. Thats a tablet that shows how ARM can kick Atoms arse.

    • efjay

      Sorry, there’s nothing about an ARM device that’s better than a Bay Trail Atom device. Sony managed to get a Haswell chip into their Asus Smart tab clone, BT would offer even longer battery life in the same slim form factor. RT just needs to die.

      • Wieland

        http://www.mobilegeeks.com/lenovo-s5000-tablet-hands-on-video/

        7.9 mm, 250g, 8hrs battery life, starting at 199, or 249 with LTE. If THAT can be approached by a Bay Trail tab I’ll consider RT as redundant. And I doubt that there will be devices soon that sport these specs.

        • Viktor

          It has Tegra 3 specs.

  • Yuan Taizong

    I still hope that smaller Tablet-P.C.’s will be launched running the O.S., at present these new developed technologies are still expensive, Microsoft needs to reconsider their strategy and port it to low end Tablet-P.C.’s for free.

  • toph36

    Cost is a huge benefit of RT. If they can get the prices down between to $200 and $250, then it will sell. We are already seeing full Windows tablet in the low $300s, so RT should still make it much lower, especially if they make Office optional. For 7-8″ devices, RT makes more sense too. Unless I can get an 7-8″ tablet that comes with a docking station that turn it into a mini desktop, I would probably go with RT at that size.

  • sri_tech

    If OEMs start making full Windows 8 tablets like Toshiba encore ($380) with Quad core Bay trail processors, the only way for RT to survive is to go cheap.

    I believe this is a great opportunity for Microsoft to bring developers to platform with their next gen RT tablets.

    Make an 8 inch surface RT with high res display (FULL HD) and SD800 and release it at $299.
    Price may seem very low, but iPAD mini 2 will come with retina display for $329 and they are still making good profits on it.
    Also, Toshiba is selling almost same specs with full Windows 8 for $330.

    Snapdragon 800 will cost less than Bay trail and Microsoft dont need to pay the price for Windows license.

    This will help in bringing more sales and hence developers to the platform.
    Also, they need to push Nokia to release rumored 10 inch tablet for $400 instead of $500. At $500 it will be DOA against new iPAD 5.

    Also, hopefully other OEMs (HP, DELL, ACER, ASUS, LENOVO) will release good 8 and 10 inch tablets with Bay trail processors for similar prices to Toshiba tablet.

    High launch prices killed the Windows RT, Windows 8 tablet sales.

  • UMovies

    rt is going anywhere, yes you may see a lower priced intel soon but it will also be a lower specked intel the lowest 1080p gaming machine from intel will be in the 600 dollar range the same on rt will be in the 300 dollar range.

  • UMovies

    just wait till the snapdragon 800 rt devices are ready. Things like 1080p or higher resolution, 4k video encode and decode, 1080p gaming, much improved gps experience, 21 mp dual image processors, quick charge upto 75 % faster charge, and much more. All built into one chip, to get 1080 on intel you gonna have to add a video card, or go with a higher end haswell, I think the snapdragon will fly off the shelves (no pun) this holiday, not to mention mindshare qualcomm snapdragon has been running commercial for months, so when the rt’s come it will be able to grab that as well. Plus who in thier right mind would run a full windows app on a 8 inch tablet.

    • Viktor

      Have a little read of bay trail’s specs.

  • Scott McBurney

    I’ve got a surface RT, surface pro, and acer iconia w3. I have to say, the surface RT seems to be a much faster and more reliable device than the iconia w3 (running an atom cpu). I’m not impressed by the performance of the atom CPUs. Battery life is good, but speed is not. The surface RT is just much faster at doing most tasks. I think if the price point of RT devices were lower (like the $199 surface rt on ebay), they would be much more accepted.

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    What, have any of you guys seriously, never, had to clean the crapware off of one of your friends pc’s whom wasn’t so tech saavy? I do it every single day. Folks that don’t know as much as we do, and kids that play Minecraft etc, get victimized perpetually by downloading crap that is all over the internet. Maybe YOU can’t fix stupid, but RT can.

  • Azjerei

    I say to hell with RT. Sure, I own a Surface RT, but it is nothing compared to the new processors from Intel that last almost as long as perform thrice as fast.

  • Cruncher

    This is coming from an executive who decided no to support RT is not surprising. They are afraid of the competition and fear RT take away market share.
    Technically speaking Bay Trails are no replacement for the latest ARM designs, since Intel had to cut corners to keep it power efficient. In particular Qualcomms Snapdragon 800 will significantly outperform Bay Trails when it comes to gaming performance.
    It is important for the consumer and the eco system, that you have the choice between between performance (ARM) and x86 compatibility (Atom).
    In addition I absolutely disagree, that RT should only cover the lowest price points. There is nothing wrong with having a feature, build quality and performance parity with likes of iPad.

    • Bugbog

      I had the Acer W500 (x86) tablet before trading it in for the Surface RT. Unless You are willing (or desire) to use your tablet with a dock/trackpad or mouse, then having x86/backwards compatibility is wholly useless and irrelevant!

      It serves absolutely no point, and worse, all the [legacy] applications that you load on it, while able to work, are almost non-functional, as they are not adaptabile for touch functionality.

      In short you Will be able to load your old apps, but you Definitely Won’t enjoy using them in desktop mode.

      So, for those that want to enjoy a pure Metro tablet experience, the ARM/RT path is ABSOLUTELY the way to go!

      To listen to the nay-sayers, looking to protect their current business stacks, is the path to mediocrity and stagnation!

      • SategB

        Great Post & So Right!

        We only need to look at MSFT under Ballmer to see what happens to a good company when it just focus on keeping the past success alive and waiting to long to innovate!

        • Bugbog

          Err, don’t know how you’re ‘reading’ Ballmer’s legacy in to my comment. The comment is strictly regarding the benefit of RT usage.

          • SategB

            You spoke of those who “look to protect their current business iOS the path to stagnation and mediocrity” is the perfect discretion of Ballmer management of MSFT- it was great insight to why we are in the trouble we are in. Lets hope it is not to late for MSFT.

    • Billy Henshaw

      I agree. The issue is trying to explain what RT is without vomparing it to Android and iOS. If MS does, all the consumers will ask, “Well,why not get the iPad or Android tablet?” because thwy understand its implications more.

  • leharmeerak

    I wouldn’t pay more than $150 for an RT tablet…

  • ECM2

    Agree with Lenovo… BUT only if OEMs can sell high quality X86-based tablets for $200-300 ala Google Nexus. I doubt this can be done, so WinRT should remain as an option. Who would want to run old Windows programs (other than Office) on a tablet anyway? MS should speed up the creation of a full-fledged touch-based Office Suite (Metro App) and then they can disable the Desktop mode of WinRT. The ultimate goal is for WinRT to be 100% touch.

    • Ahmed A

      Office 2016?

  • peterpulmonary

    windows NT released in 1993, was designed to run on the forerunner of the ARM chip architecture (RISC and MIPS chips) as well as x86 chips. at the time it was not clear whether that or x86 chip design would become dominant. as the ARM chips were not used/not capable enough, that version of windows stopped being developed or at least commercialized.
    with a little more vision, the alternative ARM compatible windows could have been kept alive to run on the limited hardware available at the time, and eventually when the chip became adequately powerful, mobile form factors. had that been the case, one might speculate what tablet might have been introduced running windows which ipad would then need to compete against with its cell phone OS.
    it is difficult to anticipate all future pathways, and maintaining an OS is a mammoth task. now that windows RT has been born, it is best not to throw it away again. who knows what future applications might best run on windows RT phablet or tablet or other device (car audio/mapping/phone system, etc) rather than on windows embedded or phone.

  • NegLewis

    MS has no need for RT. It’s just a Marketing Strategy at it’s best.
    But WE DO!!!

    Now we have the OS’s competition. There will be NO winner.
    After that we will have a CPU battle – the greatest battle of them all.
    The CPU (architecture) WWW War will redefine absolutely every aspect of our life.

    MS will be in the position to offer CHOICES to people who want ARM Computers or x86.

    It will be a Price Unleashed V2.0 war.

    THAT CEO it’s more that worthless… he has no vision to USE his environment to gain more… …. or in his case to just survive another day.

  • Orc

    Just give me 8 inch tablet with small bezels and Here Navigation. RT will do fine.

  • NGM123

    Bat Trail !

  • Patrick Morris

    I think there is a point in RT, cheaper and thinner, and in future should add sim cards. RT OS should be free and remain cheaper. Just want to add, though Intel could handle mobile internet now?

  • Henry

    Well, if RT tablets continue to be priced at the same range as Atom ones, then they are as good as dead.