Lenovo: Businesses don't want Windows RT tablet

Lenovo is doing well with its PC business even as other large OEMs have seen sales go down. Lenovo also continues to come out with new Windows 8 all-in-ones, notebooks and convertibles such as the ThinkPad Helix. Now, an executive at the company has stated that businesses don't want to get a product that uses Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 that runs on ARM processors.

Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix is the latest Windows 8 convertible from the PC maker.

PCWorld.com reports that, according to Lenovo's Think PC and visual category manager Simon Kent, companies want the full experience with Windows 8 and not the "cut down" version of Windows RT, which cannot run software made for previous versions of Windows. He added, "We don't believe that Windows RT is what businesses want."

He also seemed to hint that Microsoft might be rethinking their stance on Windows RT, saying, "Even Microsoft has started to review the RT path they have gone down." The article did not go into detail on those allegations. Microsoft execs have said recently that Windows RT tablets have a "very bright future."

Lenovo has only sold one Windows RT device so far, the Yoga 11 convertible notebook-tablet. There's no word if Lenovo plans to launch any more products that run on Windows RT.

Source: PCWorld.com | Image via Lenovo

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I really don't understand this RT as a cut-down version proposition. RT is what it is, the metro side of windows, and there's only a desktop to access Office, which MS had no time to port to metro by the win8 release date. Metrofied Office is coming in the 2nd half of the year, we know this, I'd expect the desktop to disappear from RT then.

In any case, I work at a University and people like me only need 3 things for work: MS office, Internet and battery life. RT devices provide all three. I've been using an RT device for months and I'm ecstatically happy with it, it's all academics like me need in a super light/transformable form factor. I fail to see what's wrong with that.

I kind of like having the desktop handy. You don't have to use it if you don't like it. Plus I really doubt Microsoft can cram all of Office's features into Metro. Also using a windowed file explorer among other desktop tasks are still handy.

I don't think Windows RT isn't aimed at businesses.

But people are saying that businesses want iPads. Which makes even less sense than Windows RT imo.

Business' IT departments do not want iPads, their users want them. And when their VIPs want them, even if they are an extreme minority, they get them. The speed, consistency, and reliability have a lot to do with it.

Users only care that it does what they want it do. They're don't care as much as IT staff about what it can't do. And user care that it does it quickly and consistently.

The way I see it, there are at least two main problems with Windows RT right now... very limited VPN functionality (if the built-in VPN client doesn't work you're out of luck), and an artificially limited desktop. If Microsoft was insistent on these two things for consumers, they should have offered a version of Windows 8 Pro compiled for ARM and sold it to anyone that wanted to upgrade from Windows RT. That way third parties could have quickly and easily ported their VPN clients to ARM, and businesses could have quickly recompiled in-house software for it. Plus, many .NET 4.x apps can already run regardless of the CPU architecture, once the signing requirement is removed. Domain Join ability might be nice too.

I hope they are reconsidering their position on Windows RT. I for one really hope Microsoft opens up Windows RT in the future. Walled garden OS's are not good for business use, nor for people that want to do more than just consume entertainment.

I agreed with everything until your last sentence, unless I misunderstood it.

There should be nothing stopping Windows RT from being able to join a domain or have a fully featured vpn client. I don't like dropping into desktop on my Surface, OneNote is a great example of how the office apps can be.

If the next version of Office includes the likes of Outlook and Visio as MX style applications, I think that RT would be a much more viable platform for businesses.

Sorry if I wasn't clear. And I guess everyone has a different perspective, but that was what I was trying to point out. The problem with RT is that it is not nearly as flexible an OS compared to Windows 8, 7, and most others before it. You can only run ModernUI apps, and that's about it. I happen to really like using the desktop on my Surface RT, and feel it compliments the ModernUI nicely. Apparently you feel differently, and that's fine. A business should have the flexibility to recompile and install their desktop apps if they want. They should be able to join it to AD. Yes I know they can sideload ModernUI apps, but I doubt that is in high demand right now. Third parties should have the ability to offer desktop apps for ARM if they desire (like VPN clients!). Maybe ModernUI is the future, maybe it isn't. But we aren't in the future, we are in the present. Things like Surface RT are great from a battery life perspective, but due to all the artificial limitations MS has but on Windows RT it is much less useful for a business. Which is exactly why I think Windows 8 Pro for ARM should be offered.

Edited by domboy, May 1 2013, 3:26pm :

I would say the Surface Pro tablets are more suitable for the business environment. The Windows RT devices are more so entertainment devices then professional work tools.

There's a reason Tablets didn't catch on in the 80's. They're a pain in the ass. The only difference is now, is that they're "cool" but that will end IMO. Keyboard and Mouse FTW. So much faster, and easier. Personally, In business you're there to make money, and time is money. Name something productive on a tablet that's done faster than on a notebook ?

Sorry I disagree. Home I only use tablet. For work only laptop.

I have seen some businesses use the tablet well. Dentist I went to uses it for people to sign in and a message is sent to the people telling X is here for appointment. There is also a questionnaire there about insurance, and other info you can update and it will go to the database automatically. This saves the receptionist time.

Doctors in hospitals also are using tablets to keep info on clients and connect it to the database in the hospital. Pretty snazzy setup. This is faster and lighter than a netbook. It is only a bit of typing and much easier to carry.

Depends on the business - MOST current businesses don't want it.

The surface/other RT device is perfect for our (small) family business. We run with network shares and a VPN. We don't use an exchange server and only need word. If we can give our employees laptop+word+email access for $500...then that's a win for us!

I currently work for a large multinational oil and gas company and the ONLY programs I use are outlook, word, excel, and adobe. I admit, the lack of AD is a deal-breaker...no two ways about it. Generally tho, I think it is the lack of freedom that RT has that big companies don't like....and to be honest, I wouldn't like either because im a power user (macros save my life among other things)

Edit: WinRT should be thought of as iPad++ which it really, REALLY is. Not as a laptop/desktop replacement.

UseLess said,
Edit: WinRT should be thought of as iPad++ which it really, REALLY is. Not as a laptop/desktop replacement.

THIS!

UseLess said,
If we can give our employees laptop+word+email access for $500...then that's a win for us!

Edit: WinRT should be thought of as iPad++ which it really, REALLY is. Not as a laptop/desktop replacement.

An Intel Atom can do all this, for the same price, while providing full x86 compatibility.

My HP Envy X2 cost $525, while Asus Atom tablets can be had for even cheaper. It comes with a keyboard dock, gets 14 hours of battery, is just as fast and responsive as my friend's Surface RT, and runs any x86 app I want it to.

kinpin said,
One disadvantage was the fact that it cannot run Outlook

And that the version of Office included isn't licensed for business use.

But I thought businesses loved spending money on computers that don't run any of their software, can't run Outlook and can't login to their Active Directory domain.

virtorio said,
But I thought businesses loved spending money on computers that don't run any of their software, can't run Outlook and can't login to their Active Directory domain.

Must be why they invested in iPads.

Obviously businesses wouldn't want Windows RT - that's clearly aimed at consumers. If businesses have to spend a lot of money on a tablet, they would see it being far more cost-effective to purchase a Windows 8 tablet as that will run all their standard software.

Part of it's problem is it is not clearly aimed at anyone. It is also too slow for enterprises. At least IMO. I don't think the problem is the Tegra 3 based on the performance of Android tablets on it. If it was faster would be a prime RDP client.

testman said,
Obviously businesses wouldn't want Windows RT - that's clearly aimed at consumers. If businesses have to spend a lot of money on a tablet, they would see it being far more cost-effective to purchase a Windows 8 tablet as that will run all their standard software.

But isn't it perfectly clear that it IS aimed at the future? Of course RT isn't ready for everything yet, but was Windows 3.0? This year business isn't embracing RT, and maybe they shouldn't, but as its capabilities increase, and hardware capabilities increase, it probably will.

The problem is, way back during Windows 3.0's time which is not relevant or analogous to today, there was not competition. People don't have to wait today, they have alternatives. Unlike the desktop where even today, there is no real alternative for enterprise computing.

MorganX said,
Part of it's problem is it is not clearly aimed at anyone. It is also too slow for enterprises. At least IMO. I don't think the problem is the Tegra 3 based on the performance of Android tablets on it. If it was faster would be a prime RDP client.

I run a SurfaceRT... it's perfectly fine. More and more applications show up for the windows store. As far as business... they want to run non-windows store applications.

Actually business users find iOS email client much, much more usable, and it is. That's not even close. Web browsing is faster and more intuitive, I'm not sure landscape is where people want to be. Surface RT would have definitely been more targeted without the desktop. I have one and don't use it much, just faster, and more applets that "I" use on the iPad. Microsoft just "missed" the consumer market so far. They really don't actually have a product there, not comparable to iOS or Android devices in the consumer space. Pro is a PC, and Surface RT just doesn't have enough. But it does, work. Lack of cellular doesn't help either.

Lync, Email, Web Browsing, all superior on iPad TBH. Lync on iPad is a think of beauty. Lync for Modern UI, is OK. It works, kind of clumsy to use. I found it more than acceptable until I got a hold of the iOS version.