Lenovo implies better Intel chips eliminate the need for Windows RT


Lenovo's Yoga 11 is the company's only Windows RT device.

Neowin has discussed the pros and cons of Windows RT in the recent past (and previously noted the operating system's strength on tablets), but now it appears that one of the early supporters of the ARM-based OS doesn't feel there's much of a need for it anymore, and the reason is due to Intel's new fourth-generation Core processors.

Lenovo jumped in with a few more PC makers in the Windows RT pool in October 2012 when it launched the IdeaPad Yoga 11, its notebook-tablet hybrid product. This week, as part of its IFA press conference when it announced a number of new Windows 8 PCs, executives from Lenovo answered questions from the press and one of them asked about future Windows RT support.

According to Engadget, Lenovo's Australian marketing chief Nick Reynolds said at the press conference that the new Haswell processors offer both good performance along with long battery life. As a result, there's no longer a need for an OS like Windows RT that's designed to run on low powered ARM processors.

While this was not a 100 percent denial that Lenovo is abandoning Windows RT, it does sound like that we won't see any such PCs from that company for the foreseeable future. Neowin contacted Lenovo for comment on this issue a few weeks ago when Asus confirmed it would no longer make Windows RT products, though no response was received.

Source: Engadget | Image via Lenovo

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MS is too open, people complain about having the most targeted platform for viruses and rootkits.
MS releases closed platform to battle this, people complain MS about being too rigid......

Not eveybody want to hack his/her phone to do other stuff with it. For me I want one that just works. Guess what, my Lumia just does that. ;-)

Microsoft should open RT up... allow it to run on even lower end hardware and allow running desktop applications. They should make it easier for hackers to run Windows RT on other devices... then suddenly a lot of people will be interested in (developing software for) it.

Windows Mobile hacking was never discouraged. Windows Phone / RT is closed and it's not at all popular. Microsoft is not apple, they cannot get away with a closed platform.

Bamsebjørn said,
Microsoft should open RT up... allow it to run on even lower end hardware and allow running desktop applications. They should make it easier for hackers to run Windows RT on other devices... then suddenly a lot of people will be interested in (developing software for) it.

Windows Mobile hacking was never discouraged. Windows Phone / RT is closed and it's not at all popular. Microsoft is not apple, they cannot get away with a closed platform.

What "other devices" would that be considering Windows RT ONLY runs on ARM hardware!!!!

neo158 said,

What "other devices" would that be considering Windows RT ONLY runs on ARM hardware!!!!

Hmm, I dunno... like other ARM hardware! Chromebooks... Raspberry Pi... shucks hardware makers might actually build ARM based motherboards you could buy and build a PC out of... who knows. There are tons of ARM-based devices out there...

But I agree with +Bamsebjørn, the biggest problem with Windows RT is that it isn't Windows 8 for ARM. I don't want a closed off iOS-like operating system. The ONLY reason I bought an RT was due to the "jailbreak" allowing non-Microsoft desktop apps to run.

Honestly, I don't think it hurts MS if RT is phased out. Its all Windows to them and the bottom line. MS went with RT at a time when Intel could not compete in the price/battery life segment that ARM is good at. Maybe it was just to get them buy until Intel caught up, or as a wake up call to Intel.

An ARM-based Widnows tablet can have a future, even as Intel improves its Atom cpus. Its place comes down to price. Of course the app library needs to improve, but beyond that, its price. As others have suggested, the Arm tablets need to compete with the flagship Android tablets in the $300 price range. Then maybe Atom based tablets float in the $400-$500 range. That leaves i3 or i5 based tablets to hit the $550+ range.

There is room in the market for it, but OEMs have to get serious about pricing arm tablets correctly. They also need to avoid making crappy devices (I'm looking at you, Acer) I really hope MS leads the way with Surface 2. If they hit $300-$350 with a premium arm tablet, I think they are in a good spot. They might stretch it to $400 if they bundle it with a keyboard/cover.

Then there is the 8" Surface Mini coming as well. I would say that pricing it in the $250-$299 would work as long as its a premium level device.

I just dont think RT will get much more of a following than it has right now, a lot of ARM windows 8 devices are having a hard enough time just gettin windows 8,1 to work right....

Xerino said,
I just dont think RT will get much more of a following than it has right now, a lot of ARM windows 8 devices are having a hard enough time just gettin windows 8,1 to work right....

Actually the preview didn't work correctly on Intel based devices due to driver issues, ARM devices were unaffected!!!!

Haswell isn't designed to be an ARM competitor, the clovertrail and baytrail chips are the arm competitors and with those I agree the current RT situation is obsolete unless the price of RT devices can come down further, possibly with 8" devices might be where they go.

I think there is a place for RT... I don't want toolbars and malware on my mom's tablet... I don't want to install codecs on it. A tablet should be what it is today - a sandboxed consumption device, with great battery life and ZERO viruses and BSOD. It's an appliance, not a laptop. x86 tablet would be nice for geeks, but not so cool for 'normal' people, when they'll install something malicious in it (and they will...)

They should put more apps for RT, that's true.

elangab said,
I think there is a place for RT... I don't want toolbars and malware on my mom's tablet... I don't want to install codecs on it. A tablet should be what it is today - a sandboxed consumption device, with great battery life and ZERO viruses and BSOD. It's an appliance, not a laptop. x86 tablet would be nice for geeks, but not so cool for 'normal' people, when they'll install something malicious in it (and they will...)

They should put more apps for RT, that's true.

I think they should open up the WinRT API and allow people to reuse existing code more easily. It shouldn't take so long for VLC player to be ported over if the OS has better compatibility...

Please - you can re-use RT code in ModernUI (and Windows Phone) today; that's not even close to being the issue. And it doesn't even take new development tools - Visual Studio 2012 is enough. The bigger issue is getting past the deliberate (especially by Apple and Google) stovepiping of development strategies. Android runs largely parallel to Chrome OS/Chromium OS development - how much crossover is there? Same applies to iOS and OS X - there actually used to be more reusable code between the two then there is now. While that USED to be the Microsoft strategy, it hasn't been that way since the death of Windows Mobile - and even with WinMo, there was, in fact, some reusable code. While all allow for the use of managed code, oddly enough, only with the Windows side is there a great deal of common and reusable code among all Windows platforms; that certainly isn't the case with Android/Chrome OS/Chromium, or iOS/OS X. The only way the price of RT devices can drop is if they lower the hardware requirements to those of Android - how would that benefit either users OR developers? RT was not designed to compete with Android, but with iOS. Android COULD raise their hardware target to BayTrail/Clover Trail - however, that would put Android up against iOS, which Google is trying very hard to avoid. (Why else has the Android port to x86, let alone x86-64, been practically stillborn since Android's code-remerge with 4.0?)

PGHammer said,
Please - you can re-use RT code in ModernUI (and Windows Phone) today; that's not even close to being the issue. And it doesn't even take new development tools - Visual Studio 2012 is enough. The bigger issue is getting past the deliberate (especially by Apple and Google) stovepiping of development strategies. Android runs largely parallel to Chrome OS/Chromium OS development - how much crossover is there? Same applies to iOS and OS X - there actually used to be more reusable code between the two then there is now. While that USED to be the Microsoft strategy, it hasn't been that way since the death of Windows Mobile - and even with WinMo, there was, in fact, some reusable code. While all allow for the use of managed code, oddly enough, only with the Windows side is there a great deal of common and reusable code among all Windows platforms; that certainly isn't the case with Android/Chrome OS/Chromium, or iOS/OS X. The only way the price of RT devices can drop is if they lower the hardware requirements to those of Android - how would that benefit either users OR developers? RT was not designed to compete with Android, but with iOS. Android COULD raise their hardware target to BayTrail/Clover Trail - however, that would put Android up against iOS, which Google is trying very hard to avoid. (Why else has the Android port to x86, let alone x86-64, been practically stillborn since Android's code-remerge with 4.0?)
Sorry for not being clear. I mean reuse existing C++ code, which most x86 software is using. If people can't use existing libraries, how can Microsoft expect people to make quality apps for RT? Few people are going to reinvent the wheels just to cater for RT, which has negligible market share in the tablet market.

Just look at how painful it is to make a VLC player that can pass the windows store certification requirement, even with a team of experienced developers, and you know why there aren't many apps available in the store.

That is because most C++ code is, like it or not, CPU-skewed. It's not unique to Windows (every Linux or BSD distribution under the Sun OR moon has the same problem), which is why whole APIs aren't portable. If you are referring to developers, the REAL reason they won't cater to RT (even though it also lets them tackle Windows Phone, ModernUI, and even Win32 with few code changes) is entirely due to it being a numbers game. If you write a small Android app, there are more than enough devices even if you target just smartphones you can become a success with next to no effort; what's more, you don't have to change how you write code. Development is changing everywhere else - even for consoles. Google TRIED to change development for Android with the mergence of the previously separate tablet and phone branches with 4.0 - however, their own development community would have none of it. (That's why you have this weird section of the TOS that, while it bars targeting apps by device type to appear in the Google Play Store, Google does not dare enforce it because they would lose over half their apps, and most of their developers.) In its own way, Android has moved into becoming nearly as closed as iOS - and more so than RT.

I liked some other suggestions I saw where MS makes RT free essentially to drive the price down. That drive device prices down. That makes more people buy them. That leads to people using apps more and that's good for developers and the OS altogether (so long as devs make their apps both for RT and 8). It could work... maybe.

laserfloyd said,
I liked some other suggestions I saw where MS makes RT free essentially to drive the price down. That drive device prices down. That makes more people buy them. That leads to people using apps more and that's good for developers and the OS altogether (so long as devs make their apps both for RT and 8). It could work... maybe.

This would work to a limited extent. But I think it's too late to change the strategy.

Microsoft are going to start alienating their most enduring fans if they carry on like this.
they rebooted windows mobile to windows phone 7 then rebooted windows phone again with windows phone 8 leaving many early adopters in the dark in terms of upgrades.

windows 7 is what windows vista should have been, windows 8.1 is what windows 8 should have been, the list goes on

this is not the 90's Microsoft cant afford to 'leave it till the next release' and leave key features on the cutting room floor, they've got billions of dollars to spare and have the technological resources to write great software, but their management is mediocre at best.

if they kill of rt they'll just hurt their fans, because lets face it we where all hoping windows 8..1 would fix the serious performance issues rt has.

im a Microsoft fan I just wish they'd get off their arses and get stuff done, Microsoft should be more like their own Xbox team, not afraid to fix s*** BEFORE release.

As someone with a Surface RT, it's not the power that kills it, it's 1) apps, 2) apps, and 3) apps. The apps that exist are immature and not very good - this includes Microsoft's own apps. I use my Surface to watch HBO Go on, and it has plenty of power to run Flash like a champ. But it stutters when I open xbox music to play an mp3 off the SSD.

I mean, maybe the mp3 file is more resource intensive than watching late night comedy videos using flash, maybe

But the apps are pretty bad - even on Intel it's not that great. I haven't tried 8.1 yet, but I really hope they've updated the runtime so apps aren't so slow.

And that's the real issue, isn't it? That is the type of attitude that fits the LONG FORM term for the fan (of anything) - fanatic. You are so into one way of doing things that you see anything that isn't that way of doing things as a threat, even when it's neither designed to be, or even meant to be, any such thing. ModernUI is designed to complement - not replace - traditional applications, games, etc. However, the fanatics swallowed the Google and Apple spiel that they should always be *separate*. While it benefits Google and Apple, how does the "must be separate" design benefit users? You wind up with an extra device - does that benefit you? You wind up spending additional money - does THAT benefit you? And, on top of both those two minuses, you wind up having to learn another UI - how does THAT benefit you? With ModernUI, only the last applies (learning another UI); however it's not compounded by the other two (an additional device AND spending additional money) unless you purchase an RT device (which is probably the whole push to compare RT to Android - you are looking to justify purchasing Android hardware). Darn right Windows 8 (and 8.1) are threats to Android and iOS, but more so iOS than Android. Android is the cheapskate's choice - pretty much period. However, while RT and Android have the same general specs, RT does require higher-spec hardware than Android does, and there is the cost aspect (hence why I said that Android - for OEMs - is all about margin). If you gripe and moan about RT hardware being awful, what does that say about Android hardware? (Except for specs, it's the same hardware pretty much.)

How does the current TDP of the most efficient Haswell processors compare with the best of the ARM SOC's? I'd be interested to see the actual numbers. I would also wager that even at the low end of the scale the Intel processors are probably more pricey

Lord Method Man said,
Time to kill off the failed Windows RT platform.

Microsoft want the windows store to be the only way for people to download/install apps,
this debate seems moot to me. It's a long term business plan, and obviously they'll persist. Not surprising that surface RT got more advertising, than the surface Pro.

bigmehdi said,

Microsoft want the windows store to be the only way for people to download/install apps,
this debate seems moot to me. It's a long term business plan, and obviously they'll persist. Not surprising that surface RT got more advertising, than the surface Pro.


Honestly, for the average consumer, I think there's a lot of benefits to it.I mean, wow, going to a new machine and getting all your Marketplace apps is even easier than with Steam!

Plus, really, this is the closest we'll see to MS doing an OSX-style restart. I remember the crying quite well from OS9 to OSX 10.0-10.2. You don't hear that anymore... Here its Win32 to WinRT for APIs, and the cloud services being built-in/integrated to the OS.

I loved Windows 7, but I've already moved over to 8, and look forward to getting a RT tablet from Nokia. If they stay the course and keep improving, then in a few years the new Windows will be quite nice, both on x86 and ARM. And, really, only professionals and enthusiasts really need what Win32 has to offer... I think the success of the iPad and Android really proves that its a full computer OS and hardwsre is overkill for the average consumer for personal use. Even some professional jobs do fine with a tablet instead of a computer - Lotta places here are using them for POS terminals and to process credit card payments.

Chikairo said,

And, really, only professionals and enthusiasts really need what Win32 has to offer...

Let's cry...

What about developers, that are just no interested to sell apps through that closed market.
Currently Microsoft take 30% for each app sold (and 20% until sales reach $25,000),
but I imagine that in the future it could be worse. Also Microsoft can censor any app they want even for the wrong reason ( for instance Firefox that compete with internet explorer).

I guess this would be an efficient way to fight piracy too, and I'm not sure it's what the "average user" want. Perhaps not just for apps, with more surveillance of what the user can do. Is there any p2p app on the windows store ?

bigmehdi said,
Is there any p2p app on the windows store ?
You mean something like BitTorrent clients? I can find two on the windows store and they got pretty good reviews.

They're copying Apple for the Store. Nobody is complaining there. And the desktop is still there if you're running on a x86 cpu......

For the 'average user' the Store is a godsend. Just search, select, install. Don't want it anymore? Select, swipe, uninstall. Can't be more complicated than that.

Stop 'fighting' progress, not everybody is as desktop/computer savvy as you......

Dutchie64 said,
They're copying Apple for the Store. Nobody is complaining there. And the desktop is still there if you're running on a x86 cpu......

I'm sure that one reason people would prefer android tablets to ipads, is because of being tied down to the apple store. I hate itune too, and the only ipod I got was a gift.

Lord Method Man said,
Agreed. Time to kill off the failed Windows RT platform.

Until Intel have a viable low power processor then I don't see Windows RT going anywhere!!!

Lord Method Man said,
Sales-wise, neither do I.

Yet Surface RT has sold more than Surface Pro, personally MS should just kill the Surface Pro as sales of it seem dire!!!!!

neo158 said,

Yet Surface RT has sold more than Surface Pro, personally MS should just kill the Surface Pro as sales of it seem dire!!!!!

I guess that the whole point of the discussion is that if Microsoft manage to make a good tablet with windows 8 (i.e lightweight + good battery life); then people would be happy to forget windows RT. Obviously surface pro is not considered enough good as a portable tablet.

Unfortunately, this is far from being the case yet.

A Snapdragon 800 would run circles around any x86/x64 processors with a similar wattage (TDP) at the moment.

The debate is far more whether or not Microsoft should detach the "touch-first" experience from the desktop experience. The answer is a resonating YES and it should have been done upon Windows 8 release.

Fortunately, Windows 8.1 is far closer to this goal with its super versatile "Modern" control panel. It is now thinkable to "live" entirely in the "Modern" world and put an end to the confusion this improper separation created in the consumer's mind. Now, if they could just properly market it.

For Lenovo, they could just shut up and build affordable computers.

The question is: can Intel provide these chips at competitive prices? ARM is light, cheap and has great battery life. Windows tablets have a hard enough time competing with Android in the cheaper segment. And the cheaper segment is where the marketshare is at. And you need marketshare to attract developers.

I agree with you about low end tablet market. Microsoft (and it's partners) have not made any progress in the low end tablet market. IMHO, I think this is what Microsoft needs:

1. 7-8" tablet - priced between $150-$250 - Running Windows "Lite" or Windows Phone OS (I thought I heard that the roadmap was that the WP OS will converge or use the case code base as Windows OS.)

2. 8-10" tablet - Priced between $300-$500 - Running Windows 8.1 on perhaps ARM or Bay Trail

3. 10"+ tablet - Priced between $700-$900 - Like the Surface Pro

I have the Surface Pro and it's great. However, there are many times where I wanted a smaller (aka Surface Mini) to just 'consume' content and type out a few emails. A 7" tablet running Windows "lite" would be perfect for such a use. I don't need a desktop experience. While in bed or on a plane.

This is just my point of view.

It isn't just your point of view. Based on sales figures most people prefer a small (7-8'') tablet. Which is understandable. For many a tablet doesn't fully replace their PC (yet). It's for browsing the web, reading emails, playing lite games, etc.

These aren't the kind of things people are prepared to spend more then 250 dollars on. After all they can do these things on their cheap smartphones as well (if they have to). Not to mention that most people aren't willing to pay over 500 dollar for a full PC. For them it is entirely illogical to pay more for a much smaller device that can do less.

So I don't understand Microsoft's strategy. Clearly Windows 8 isn't ready to compete in the cheaper segment. And this is where Windows has always been competitive. Microsoft needs Windows RT for this. Or at least whatever ARM successor they have for WP8/RT. And current RT devices would be upgradable to this successor.

On a side note, Microsoft needs to make the ARM version of Windows much cheaper. To stay competitive they need to compete with Android. So the OS needs to be (almost) free. It's no wonder OEMs don't want RT. If they want to produce cheap ARM tablets they can go for Android. Microsoft doesn't have this option, they need Windows on ARM to succeed. Their old strategy won't work now that Android is a real competitor to Windows OS.

I've got a laptop from 2008 and looking to upgrade, this sounds like the all-in-one solution I've been looking for. A very powerful tablet which I can also use as an powerful Windows desktop when attached to a monitor and keyboard.

Are there Haswell Atoms? I don't care if they can run x86, they're still pretty meh and expensive. Microsoft should ban Atom from being used... ARM on the low end, and start x86 with the i3.

no haswell are core I series chips, and atom runs rings around arm and you get to install x64 apps haswell as all day battery and intel have promised to his the $300 price range with 8-10 inch atom tablets

so windows rt is becoming obsolete, especially if next gen atom processors are even more efficient and more powerful which is extremely likely also next gen atom processors will be able to address higher than 2gb RAM I believe.

The new baytrail coming out this quarter has performance like core 2 duos in top end systems like macbooks in 2010, but these will give 10+ hours in surfacert form factor and size,even 8 inch as well.

HawkMan said,
And what's the price on these compared with arm.

You can't directly compare it with ARM because it's a different marked. A Haswell-based tablet can be both your tablet and your laptop, so while it may cost $100 more, you will save $500+ on the laptop you no longer have to buy : )

That's the main advantage ARM has or is 'supposed' to have. I say this b/c so far all the RT tablets have been garbage in terms of pricing. This is the number one reason RT has failed. Surface RT should have been $300-400 at launch. All other RT tabs have been in the 500-600 range at Win 8 Launch, which is ludicrous considering they should have been $300-400.

OEMs are abandoning the platform now (and blaming it on Window RT itself), when in fact they are to blame as well w/ their garbage pricing. It will be interesting to see if any new ARM/RT tablets come out over the next year or so, how low those price points will be.

greensabath said,

OEMs are abandoning the platform now (and blaming it on Window RT itself), when in fact they are to blame as well w/ their garbage pricing. It will be interesting to see if any new ARM/RT tablets come out over the next year or so, how low those price points will be.

I completely agree. They got greedy, pure and simple. Whether they like it or not, they were sabotaging themselves at those prices! The first generation tablets are finally at reasonable prices, but given that many of them started with Tegra 3's? I don't think anyone cares anymore. If they launched at current prices, I would've gotten one, but now? Forget it - its better to wait for the next generation.

I agree on the OEM bit. Charging as much or more than Surface for an inferior product was ridiculous. MS set the high end and the OEMs completely failed to address the low and middle tiers.

Which is MS's fault to a degree too. Instead of creating a solid, mid level device as their benchmark ($400), they had to play the fashion card on Apple.

Edited by Dashel, Sep 6 2013, 10:12pm :

Graimer said,
You can't directly compare it with ARM because it's a different marked. A Haswell-based tablet can be both your tablet and your laptop, so while it may cost $100 more, you will save $500+ on the laptop you no longer have to buy : )

Depends on who you are because the ARM based Surface already does pretty much what the vast majority of people need it to do - the biggest let down was the procrastination by Microsoft when getting it shipping globally resulting in consumers being swept up by competition when Microsoft could have stood a chance.

Seems to me that RT was the threat needed to get Intel to get off their collective asses and address the low-power market segment, just like the Athlon 64 was with Netburst.

Athernar said,
Seems to me that RT was the threat needed to get Intel to get off their collective asses and address the low-power market segment, just like the Athlon 64 was with Netburst.

plus its a direct competition against android and ios tablets.

Athernar said,
Seems to me that RT was the threat needed to get Intel to get off their collective asses and address the low-power market segment, just like the Athlon 64 was with Netburst.

I would agree if RT had been around for 3 or 4 years, but since Intel has a better option on the table less than a year later I can't agree. Intel has been developing low power chips for a long time and the problem has been that x86 was never designed to be power efficient. It has been a tough chestnut to crack.

ARM has been enough of a thorn in Intel's side irrespective of RT. Intel would love access to the smartphone market.

RT was more of a hedging of bets for Microsoft in case Intel couldn't get a better low power option but by time of release, Intel was already there to make the trade offs of RT worthless.

Though It's still possible for ARM to come out with something that significantly increases battery life to where RT can have value or increases performance enough to allow virtualization of x86 to occur. Until those two things happen, I don't see anything changing with RT's value.

Athernar said,
Seems to me that RT was the threat needed to get Intel to get off their collective asses and address the low-power market segment, just like the Athlon 64 was with Netburst.

The technology was always there but the price still remains a problem when compared to where ARM can get the costing down to - able to hit the sub $500 category when it comes to tablets but without any quality compromise when it comes to build quality.

CygnusOrion said,
Nope, Intel was already developing lowered powered x86 chips when RT came out. RT is simply a commercial failure, full stop.

Those "low power" chips by Intel were and still are beaten by ARM processors for power saving, why do you think there is only one mobile phone using an Intel processor?

Say what you want about RT but when I get 8-10 hours out of an Intel based tablet then you can tell me that RT is rubbish!!!!