Microsoft is not giving up on Windows RT, despite what the rumors may be saying

Microsoft has not released any official sales number for either Surface device, but it is fair to assume they're selling moderately well. Bloomberg reported that 400,000 Surface Pros had sold, along with 1.1 million Surface RTs, a drop in the ocean compared to Apple's 7+ million iPad sales in the same period. Despite favourable reviews from technology websites, including Neowin, Microsoft may still be disappointed with the sales figures. 

But they will not give up, according to CNET. Sources who are familiar with Microsoft's plans for the Surface RT insist that it is part of a longer strategy for Microsoft. With Windows Blue, some were predicting that Microsoft may kill off the RT in favour of the Pro, which is the more useful of the two tablets as it supports the millions and millions of Windows-based apps that require an Intel CPU. DigiTimes had previously reported that Microsoft were set to "merge" their Windows Blue technology with the RT; CNET says that's currently the case with Windows 8 (Note: DigiTimes have a very poor track record with rumours). 

CNET's source told them that the two code bases - one for RT and one for Windows 8 on the Pro - are identical anyway. There is one Windows Store for both ARM processors (found in the Surface RT) and Intel x86 processors (found in the Pro and most laptops). 

The source reiterated what Michael Angiulo, Microsoft's corporate VP for Planning and PC ecosystems, said in an interview with CNET on their long-term goals for the RT. In the interview, Angiulo said: 

It was a ton of work for us, and we didn't do the work and endure the disruption for any reason other than the fact that there's a strategy there that just gets stronger over time.

In the interview, Angiulo made it clear that ARM processors are superior to Intel chips when the device is connected to a 3G/4G connection, i.e. in a tablet or smartphone. 

DigiTimes reported that the RT's lack of compatibility with legacy Windows apps - both from Microsoft and third-party sources - had "seriously damaged demand" which may still be true. Samsung announced that their ARM-based Windows 8 tablet will not be available in the U.S, hinting at a serious problem for Microsoft. 

Source: CNET

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maxslaterrobins said,
...

I just took a look at your profile, where it says

I cover Apple here, which is a difficult thing to cover (not many like Apple) so I try and fight the corner as much as I can.

The thing is, we don't have a problem with Apple. What we do have a problem with are people who will say anything to fight for Apple's corner. You have deliberately lied to make Apple look good. And when you are caught in it, you complain that it is everyone's fault but your own, that it is the product of the haters who don't like Apple. It is people like you who have created this whiny "woe is us for being persecuted by the haters" bit so you think you can get away with saying anything you wish to, and when there is disagreement, claim that it is hate driving the disagreement. And yes, it is hate - hate of the whining, hate of the twisting of the truth, and hate of the just plain lying to make sure Apple wins at all costs. And now we have someone working on the inside of Neowin to make sure that you get your agenda out, even if it means tearing down Neowin while it is done.

SoylentG said,

Why prioritise [sic] 400 million iOS users over more than 1 billion Windows users?

Too bad that the [sic] 1 billion Windows users aren't running Win8, whereas the 400 million iOS users do run the same OS...

MFH said,

Too bad that the [sic] 1 billion Windows users aren't running Win8, whereas the 400 million iOS users do run the same OS...

The 400 million number is the total number of devices sold. I had an iPhone, and an iPad. I am still using the iPad but not the iPhone, my iPhone is calculated in that number. How many people upgraded their iPhone and threw theirs in the drawer, but they are still counted as 2 users, so that part of your argument is false. But let's suppose that every one of those devices are in use. Yes, all of them run ios, but many of them are the older versions, since, like my iPhone, the original, could not be upgraded and cannot run any of the recent software. But still, let's pretend they could be upgraded. Your argument still doesn't hold because you are comparing one specific version of Windows to all iOS devices sold. To make everything equal, you would need to compare all copies of Windows sold, which is well over a billion because there was 700 million sold of Win7, and Win7 did not pass XP use until a few months ago, so let's say tree were 600 million copies of XP sold, there were 300 million copies of Vista sold, and, as of a couple months ago, 60 million copies of Win8. Then add in the number of Win1, Win2, Win3, Win3.1, Win95, Win98, WinME, WinNT, and Win2000. That is a lot of "win" compared to the iOS devices sold - all if you want to compare to all the iOS devices sold.

SoylentG said,

To make everything equal, you would need to compare all copies of Windows sold

This is about apps!
WinRT apps don't run on anything prior to Windows 8, therefor: NO you can't sum up all possible Windows numbers. (Not to mention that you forget to cut out old versions of windows that are no longer in use: 600 million XP + 700 million 7 licenses != 1.3 billion Windows devices active.)

So if you as a developer are targeting the app market you have:
400 million iOS devices
480 million Android devices (number from 2012)
60 million Win8 licenses

Even if you consider half to all iOS and Android devices outdated it's still a no-brainer...

Plus just because somebody uses Windows 8 that does not automatically imply he's using the apps & the store. Whereas if you're running iOS/Android you'll surely use the app stores as they are the only source for apps... (the apps are more or less the reason to buy these devices afterall)

MFH said,

This is about apps!
WinRT apps don't run on anything prior to Windows 8, therefor: NO you can't sum up all possible Windows numbers. (Not to mention that you forget to cut out old versions of windows that are no longer in use: 600 million XP + 700 million 7 licenses != 1.3 billion Windows devices active.)

So if you as a developer are targeting the app market you have:
400 million iOS devices
480 million Android devices (number from 2012)
60 million Win8 licenses

Even if you consider half to all iOS and Android devices outdated it's still a no-brainer...

Plus just because somebody uses Windows 8 that does not automatically imply he's using the apps & the store. Whereas if you're running iOS/Android you'll surely use the app stores as they are the only source for apps... (the apps are more or less the reason to buy these devices afterall)

So you first compare all versions of an OS first released 5+ that runs on phones, MP3 players and on tablets (I can see that last comparison) to one specific version of an OS for desktops, laptops, and tablets. Then you complain when I make the argument equal by including all versions of the OS you used as the comparison. Then you turn it into an argument about apps which you will lose at again because I can run millions of apps on my Surface Pro. Then you complain that I need to exclude OS versions that are no longer supported or use, but you include copies of the OS that is no longer supported or used (iPhone OS 1 and those devices are no longer supported or used). Then you say that not everybody uses the apps on one specific store, but still count devices in that 400 million number that do not support current apps, or even apps at all; iPhone OS 1 did not have an app store - Steve Jobs himself said it was not necessary to support apps, the web browser was all you needed.

Change the story to make sure that Apple looks better, right?

SoylentG said,

So you first compare all versions of an OS first released 5+ that runs on phones, MP3 players and on tablets (I can see that last comparison) to one specific version of an OS for desktops, laptops, and tablets.

I didn't compare anything. I commented on your claim, that there were more potential customers on Windows than on other platforms. Something I highly doubt regarding mobile apps.

SoylentG said,

Then you complain when I make the argument equal by including all versions of the OS you used as the comparison.

The comparison would ONLY be valid if all versions of Windows could run WinRT apps...

SoylentG said,

Then you turn it into an argument about apps which you will lose at again because I can run millions of apps on my Surface Pro.

Apps or applications? Users of iOS and so on don't care for productivity applications, they care for mobile apps...

SoylentG said,

Then you complain that I need to exclude OS versions that are no longer supported or use, but you include copies of the OS that is no longer supported or used (iPhone OS 1 and those devices are no longer supported or used).

You wanted to include Windows versions of the LAST DECADE in a comparison of the market for mobile apps! What are you mad? Yet again, no OS prior to Windows 8 runs, WinRT! Therefor you can't include them in a comparison of mobile app market audience.

SoylentG said,

Then you say that not everybody uses the apps on one specific store,

No, I'm saying that running Windows 8 does not imply using the AppStore, as you can use Windows 8 without ever touching Apps. The same is not true for mobile OSes as they are limited to Appstores.
Therefor you can't equate Windows 8 licenses sold to potentials App customers. Whereas on platforms that are limited to appstores as their only source for apps you can make that equation - unless somebody is mad enough to spend a few hundred dollars for a tablet-form web browser...

SoylentG said,
Change the story to make sure that Apple looks better, right?
I don't give a crap about Apple! In fact I hate them... (something I've been pretty vocal around here...) And with Microsoft pulling an Apple I'm starting to hate them too...

MFH said,

Too bad that the [sic] 1 billion Windows users aren't running Win8, whereas the 400 million iOS users do run the same OS...

Windows isn't 1 OS? I'm quite sure it has been since ME's support completely died off.
They are again splitting off from eachother, but under the hood. WinRT is still Windows. Even more Windows then the 360's OS is Windows.
400million iOS. I'm quite sure quite a large proportion of that is from the iPhone's 1 to 3(GS) and I'm even more sure that not all those 400million are running the latest iOS available.

Shadowzz said,

Windows isn't 1 OS? I'm quite sure it has been since ME's support completely died off.

No, Windows is a series of OSes, where only Windows 8 can be targeted as mobile OS for apps. Therefor the amount of licenses for any Windows version predating Windows 8 are totally irrelevant if we are talking about the mobile app market.

And yeah, even the 3GS runs iOS 6... [wiki]

Of course they aren't giving up on Windows RT. They know that regular Windows can't compete with cheaper and lighter operating systems such as Android. These cheaper operating systems are the future for most devices. Phones, tablets, TV, frigerators, scanners, ATM, you name it. Every device in our Household and beyond will have a 'smart' alternative. They know a heavy OS like Windows and OSX can't compete with that.

Windows RT is a perfectly fine OS. Its newness is an issue because it doesnt have as much apps as iOS. But at the same time its building up a library of apps rather fast. Much faster then Windows Phone and even faster then iOS and Android in their early days. On top of that it stil has decades of development under the hood. It might not run exe programs but it stil has the advanced networking abilities, hardware support, etc of regular Windows.

I also think 1,5 million is an impressive number if Apple 'only' sold 7+ million iPads in the same period. Apple has people's attention and Android is its cheap alternative. Windows as a tablet OS stil has to make a name for itself. But it has an innovative UI with fun and easy to use gestures. Microsoft just has to keep at it. If OEMs are afraid to try something new then they should just go for it themselves. It will catch on, especially if it runs on cheaper hardware after the blue update.

I stil plan to get a Surface RT when I need one for university. But I'm also hoping to see what Nokia has to offer. And as I care more about battery life then running exe programs I'm actually hoping Nokia will come out with a cheap RT tablet. If not then its Surface RT for me.

The first time ever i have made this argument: ITS THE NAME!!!!!

Go ask any consumer (I did this with my mom) what type of functionality, or describe what they expect from "Windows 8 RT". They will have no clue! My mom starts describing a fully functional PC. Now go ask the same person what they would expect from "Windows Tablet", or "Windows 8 Tablet Edition". Both my aunt my mom started describing iPad! And thats the image that should be portrayed, and then the extras WinRT provides are just bonuses they may or may not use.

Given it's not "Windows 8 RT", that's part of the problem - I don't know if it's lack of branding (could be) or misunderstanding on the part of consumers or people selling the devices (again, could be), but Windows RT is called just that - it's not labeled or sold as Windows 8 (even though it looks like it). I'd expect in a few years with maybe another rev or two under the belt that it won't matter much anymore either, but it does now. However, asking someone what they expect from "Windows 8 RT" is interesting because there's no such product - there's "Windows 8" and "Windows RT"....

When the windows store is mature with a huge number of apps I don't think anyone will question RT. Its easy to bash it today. Remember,the apps are not special to RT. Microsoft is leveraging the power of windows and its user base to make RT successful.

I don't think they get the strategy and the amazing feat Microsoft pulled off by moving windows from x86 to ARM. Windows is no longer tied to the SPOF x86 ISA. Whatever new architecture comes next after ARM Microsoft is in good position to move their bread and butter. They've secured their future with the RT. Only a non technical person would value throwing that away.

Once metro matures as a UI and API and we see better apps (metro versions of office for starters), then RT fits well into the growing mobile market that desktop windows can't fit into regardless of how some would like it to. Can you imagine trying to use a desktop app on a smaller 7" screen?

Blue looks like a good next step and I'd love to play with a more finished preview build in June.

Bloomberg reported that 400,000 Surface Pros had sold, along with 1.1 million Surface RTs, a drop in the ocean compared to Apple's 7+ million iPad sales in the same period.

Do you have any idea what the phrase "a drop in the ocean" means? The saying certainly does not apply to a figure as large as 1/7. 1 million compared to 7 million is a sizable portion, especially considering the limited distriubtion of the Surface, and that it's in its first generation.

Sorry, but you won't be able to make many more smug statements like this. Windows RT is in a growth stage, while Apple is facing competition from all fronts and has nowhere to go but down.

These kinds of words can be used because he is talking about Windows. If I were to call all OSX sales a drop in the bucket compared to Win8 sales, there would be 50 Apple fans here screaming that I am a hater.

Yes, this is only 1/7 the sales of iPad (of course, they are comparing a full screen device to two different devices - iPad Mini and iPad full), but also think of it as these are sales that Apple missed out on. 1 million people who could have bought iPads, but didn't. 1 million times at least $499, or half a billion more dollars that would be in Apple's bank account. You can't tell me that Apple is pi&&#@ that they do not have that $500 million more in the bank that they can flaunt, $500 million that they could use for reason to bring their stock price back up. So while Max, the other Apple fans, and Apple themselves like to play it nonchalant, this is $500 million short from Apple's world domination and total control of the market.

Well, Apple sold 22 million iPads in three months. Say the Surface sells 1.5 million per month, that's 4.5 million in the same period. “Drop in the ocean” is appropriate.

maxslaterrobins said,
Well, Apple sold 22 million iPads in three months. Say the Surface sells 1.5 million per month, that's 4.5 million in the same period. “Drop in the ocean” is appropriate.

We have an Apple devotee who is able to write articles with explicitly misleading information, and then enter articles and write (I will be generous and call it) fiction that he does not have to answer to and will not correct. Next thing we know, he will start deleting posts that he does not like (I have already had a few mysteriously disappear simply for questioning him).


The inmates are running the asylum.

maxslaterrobins said,
Well, Apple sold 22 million iPads in three months. Say the Surface sells 1.5 million per month, that's 4.5 million in the same period. “Drop in the ocean” is appropriate.

Can you go back to elementary school, please?

maxslaterrobins said,
Well, Apple sold 22 million iPads in three months. Say the Surface sells 1.5 million per month, that's 4.5 million in the same period. “Drop in the ocean” is appropriate.

Seriously? First you say the Surface Pro is incapable of editing movies and mp3s and now this? "A drop in the ocean" is a figure of speech used to mean the a figure is so insignificant it doesn't matter. 4.5/22=20%. If you got a 20% pay cut, would you shrug it off and say "meh, just a drop in the ocean"? Honestly I don't know what you're getting paid to write here but a 20% pay cut may be in order for the way you're embarrassing yourself and neowin in this thread.

I think the problem still comes down to marketing and the desktop
1) The name: Consumers don't know what RT means, almost looks like a relic of old microsoft naming.
2) The use of the desktop. The surface RT to me should be a direct competitor to the ipad, meaning, no desktop. Its a lower end device, meant for mobile usage. Nothing more frustrating and yes I saw people testing it out at the Microsoft store, than clicking a app on the start screen, desktop launches with an error about the app can't run.
Market the Surface pro as a competitor to the Macbook Air

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