Nvidia CEO: Windows RT will result in a wonderful PC

There are many naysayers when it comes to Microsoft's Windows RT but it seems Nvidia's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, is definitely not among them.

According to ZDnet, Huang had some very nice words to say about Microsoft's efforts in this space. Even though the lesser version of Windows 8 has yet to take off in any major way, nVidia's CEO is looking towards the future and according to him, Microsoft's efforts in this space will result in "a wonderful PC". Now you may point out that Huang is clearly biased as the Surface RT tablet is powered by a Tegra device, however, he also talked about Android and only mentioned Microsoft as an important player, not necessarily the winner in this competition.

His full comments, following Nvidia's Q4 earnings report:

I believe in tablets wholeheartedly. And it's an area, it's a segment of the marketplace that we are going to continue to invest in and be quite successful in. Win RT -- I believe it is essential, strategically essential for Microsoft to be on all of the major processors in the world, surely the highest volume processor in the world, as a software company, and an operating system company. It's a market they can't afford to ignore. And so, Win RT is surely going to be an important area for them.

Now, whether people see Win RT as a consumer tablet or as a PC is yet to be determined. But at the very minimum, if you extrapolate it forward by a few years, it's hard to imagine how Win RT can't possibly, won't possibly be a wonderful PC. We know exactly what it feels like on top of a Tegra 4, and it rocks. It's fantastic. And so, Win RT I think will be successful as well. Microsoft will have no choice but to continue to invest in it, and it's a great company. They will do something great with it.

It's definitely interesting to see so much optimism for Microsoft's products but then again how could he have said anything differently?

Source: Zdnet | Image via Tablets Planet

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34 Comments

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Arceles said,
The day win32 falls and desktop disappears... by then we all will probably be on linux anyway.

Right now, Linux is close to be the king of the mobile device and it is the big cheese of the server market. So Linux is not so far to conquest the entire market.

Right because Linux APIs and frameworks are well known to be of excellent quality! Windows Server is also moving up the server OS market share with over half that of Linux based installations. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...f_operating_systems#Servers

The only place the NT kernel hasn't yet penetrated is the mobile market (phones and tablets) but give them a few years and lots of things can change - Microsoft is a long term company not a "burst" style company like Apple.

Linux has already hit most of its walls and is not prepared to go to the next level of computing. Stay tuned over the next 10 years because things are going to get interesting.

ingramator said,
Right because Linux APIs and frameworks are well known to be of excellent quality!

Right, 'cause Microsoft's Win32 is a stroke of genius...

Windows RT is Windows but on cheaper and lighter hardware. It's a Windows that can compete with Android in the low-end segment. Microsoft needs to invest in it because at some point regular Windows cant remain competitive with the less demanding OS.

But for what its worth it is stil Windows. Of course it doesnt run regular desktop apps which kills it for companies with legacy applications but consumers easily switch to newer apps. So Windows RT can certainly be a replacement for Windows 7 in a few years.

By that time it will have a lot of apps and more importantly it is stil WIndows. Which means it comes with decades of development. Think about all the OS features such as advanced network options and the driver support. It's not a blank slate, to me its the best of both worlds.

It would be wonderful on Tegra 4, or, a Snapdragon S4 Pro/Prime. Tegra 3's performance on the Surface RT was really lacking, it was quite sad.

I beg to differ... i'm amazed everyday how snappy the performance has been with my Surface.. from apps to web browsing. I was expecting much worse after using other Tegra3 devices. pleasantly surprised and still happy. that doesn't mean I don't look forward to Tegra4 though either

well he's right, the fact remains the desktop is just a transition environment for most people and RT embraces that fact. as windows 8 steams past everybody else, winRT will enjoy the windfall profits of the juggernaut big brother. Then in due time RT will be no different from any other mobile OS where desktop isn't the main focus, but portability.

I don't see the desktop going away anytime soon. There's still so much that you cannot do in the Metro environment with the WinRT API.

neonspark said,
snip

I really like the idea of getting a Surface 2 RT but if they changed the desktop or removed it I would loose interest in getting one instantly.

Spoiler alert: Be prepared to lose interest very fast then. Windows RT with the Desktop just makes it seem like a gimped Windows 8, not a product of its own. If you purchase an RT tablet for the Desktop functionality you're doing it wrong. Literally everything you can do on the Desktop in Windows RT is better in Windows 8, and as soon as the next round of devices is delivered Windows 8 tablets will be rivalling RT tablets for thinness and battery life.

Bleedorang3 said,
snip

There's the issue of cost to consider. Intel likes a nice 50-100% markup on its CPUs, ARM chips are much much cheaper. But then there's the cost of Windows RT to license which is uncompetitive high. But yeh cheaper x86 chips (and for me and a few others) the removal of the desktop will kill Windows RT

The problem with Windows 8 based tablets is the temptation to treat them like PCs. It's far easier to just tell people "you can't run those apps, period" than to say "Visual Studio will run on an Atom, but it will SUCK".

thealexweb said,

then there's the cost of Windows RT to license which is uncompetitive high. But yeh cheaper x86 chips (and for me and a few others) the removal of the desktop will kill Windows RT

Well it will always be uncompetitive when you have to compete against android which is free if you don't look at external costs of development. That is a reality that MS has to deal with though. I'm unsure what the licensing fees are but they definitely need to be less than a full win8 license for OEMs if they expect to compete with android which is really who MS has to worry about with RT devices,

Bleedorang3 said,
Spoiler alert: Be prepared to lose interest very fast then. Windows RT with the Desktop just makes it seem like a gimped Windows 8, not a product of its own.
Why? Limiting it to the Metro experience would be making it a gimped Windows 8--literally half of the experience. Having complete control over the Surface RT is what got me to buy it in the first place; I don't want a bunch of sandboxed applications that cannot interact without actively passing URLs back and forth.

Expanding executable access for the ARM-based desktop is the only thing stopping it from being equivalent to a longer battery, lower performance, but otherwise full Windows 8 machine. I strongly hope that they allow other signed desktop apps in the future, and I think it will go the opposite direction from what you propose.

dagamer34 said,
The problem with Windows 8 based tablets is the temptation to treat them like PCs. It's far easier to just tell people "you can't run those apps, period" than to say "Visual Studio will run on an Atom, but it will SUCK".

Shhhhh, Intel will hear you!

dagamer34 said,
The problem with Windows 8 based tablets is the temptation to treat them like PCs. It's far easier to just tell people "you can't run those apps, period" than to say "Visual Studio will run on an Atom, but it will SUCK".

And what consumer is running Visual Studio?

dagamer34 said,
The problem with Windows 8 based tablets is the temptation to treat them like PCs. It's far easier to just tell people "you can't run those apps, period" than to say "Visual Studio will run on an Atom, but it will SUCK".

I'd rather have a crappy VS performance (like on my netbook) than being cut off from it...

Never had a problem with the surface and how it looks. If I didnt just buy a new laptop, I would be getting the Pro. But for now, just waiting to see if an 7in systems come out. I have a 10in tablet now but it is Android 10in and would like a smaller 7in Win tab. Hopefully soon.

My only wish is that the door had been left open for RT's desktop so the jailbreaking thing wouldn't be necessary and the recompiled x86 apps would just work.

deadonthefloor said,

You and every other hacker and cracker and malware writer.

Well Windows RT would be immune to all the existing malware, as for new / compiled stuff Windows Defender is included out of the box. Also they could use Android's implementation of having a tick box in the settings to allow outside apps. That way only trusted sources get to install apps.

Dear God no. The point of RT is get rid of legacy cruft as fast as possible. The only reason the Desktop exists on RT today is to serve up Office. It will be gone as soon as Office Touch gets delivered, and rightfully so. Microsoft needs a real consumption oriented OS for tablets, not a gimped Windows 8.

I'd like to disagree with you. Windows RT still needs the desktop for basic tasks, such as the Task Manager or File Explorer. Microsoft would have to re-write a lot of stuff to remove the desktop.

Bleedorang3 said,
Dear God no. The point of RT is get rid of legacy cruft as fast as possible. The only reason the Desktop exists on RT today is to serve up Office. It will be gone as soon as Office Touch gets delivered, and rightfully so. Microsoft needs a real consumption oriented OS for tablets, not a gimped Windows 8.

No. It should't be called Windows if it does not have some sort of File/Desktop manager. Whole point of Windows was to provide multi tasking with multiple windows not one flat interface.

x86 applications will never "just work" on ARM processors. At the very least, they must be recompiled before they can run on Windows RT.

I do agree that Microsoft should allow other developers--even if it's just the big ones to start with--access to writing/recompiling into signed executable's that are capable of running on the RT desktop.

At the same time, I suspect that the Tegra 3's performance has led them to wanting app development over lazy reuse of existing desktop applications, which would underperform and make everyone involved look bad (MS included). I wouldn't be surprised if they did open up access around the time of the next Surface RT's release as they will have many more apps, and the next Surface RT will run something analogous to the Tegra 4, or better, which hopefully runs as fast as nVidia claims.

thealexweb said,
My only wish is that the door had been left open for RT's desktop so the jailbreaking thing wouldn't be necessary and the recompiled x86 apps would just work.

You double click an icon and press volume down or put it in task scheduler to do that automatically. For those that want to do that then they can, Microsoft don't want the focus to be recompiled Win32 apps they want it to be WinRT apps.

ingramator said,

You double click an icon and press volume down or put it in task scheduler to do that automatically. For those that want to do that then they can, Microsoft don't want the focus to be recompiled Win32 apps they want it to be WinRT apps.

Microsoft's thoughts on this: "think of the app store revenues!"

You do realise that a lot of power saving options come from the WinRT environment, savings that would be completely lost by just allowing classic desktop applications as have been done in the past.

A lot of work went into WinRT to optimise for speed and power on lower powered devices. These apps have sacrifices in them (Such as only allowing a few running at a time, suspending apps when they're not visible, etc.) which while it has some downsides, has some upsides too. The OS can manage apps much more efficiently, which not only ensures the running app(s) get most of the processing power of the device (Instead of sharing it with all sorts of rubbish that's not visible, as is the case with classic Windows applications), which means lower spec'ed devices operate much better than they otherwise would.

It also allowed for more efficient power management. By not having apps running that the user isn't using, it's not wasting processing cycles and power keeping them running for no reason. When the app is running, it is focused, given maximum power and processing ability, and all other apps are suspended until they're brought into the foreground. It's a neat trick that allows the device to seem quicker than it is, and last a lot longer than it otherwise would. In other words, maximise the performance of the device for the foreground task (Which is what most people want anyway).

To the average consumer, this is all they really need and the benefits outweigh the trade-off of the inability to run willy-nilly desktop applications. The "power" users (And I'm beginning to use this term loosely, because every moron who can plug a network cable between a router and a computer thinks of themselves as a "power" user these days) who would most enjoy it (And whinge most about the inability to do it now), would also be the ones whinging the most when they suddenly find their devices are slower than they should be, and don't last as long on battery life as they should, and would whinge and whine to high heaven about it, as though it was the device manufacturer's/Microsoft's/someone else's fault.