Posts with tag windows rt
Apple doesn't appear interested
I’m going to let you in on a little secret – The iTunes ecosystem is the most massive and influential media ecosystem in the world. Whether a person has an iPod, an iPhone, a Mac, an AppleTV, and these days even just your run of the mill Windows PC – they’re very likely connected in some way to Apple and iTunes. For this reason, it shouldn’t be at all a surprise that, according to Windows CFO Tami Reller, Microsoft has been actively trying to convince Apple to release a version of iTunes native to Windows 8′s new “Metro” (or Modern or whatever you want to call it) environment. In an interview with CNN Money, Reller says that “iTunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It’s not for lack of trying.”
However, it appears that Apple is reluctant to embrace Microsoft’s new Metro filled future, apparently denying Microsoft’s requests for a Windows 8 native version. Apple may not be yet convinced that allocating resources to a product makes sense – Windows RT tablets have been under performing badly, and the traditional iTunes for Windows app works fine on Windows 8 on the classic “Desktop” interface.
Windows RT hasn’t exactly been flying off the shelves as of yet, as evidenced by the Surface RT struggling to stand on two feet whilst the Surface Pro makes some seemingly decent sales. When asked about Acer’s plan for any potential Windows RT tablets, Acer president Jim Wong was cautious in his answer, saying “To be honest, there’s no value doing the current version of RT.”
However, Jong did say that plans for an RT tablet are “ongoing”, lending credit to the thought that Acer could be waiting for the eagerly anticipated Windows Blue update to Windows 8. Windows Blue (also known as Windows 8.1) will bring several enhancements and much requested new features to Windows 8, including support for smaller, ~7″ devices, improved WinRT APIs, a more fleshed out Start Screen environment, and – potentially – the return of the Start Button.
Seems way too soon
Here’s an interesting one – we’ve long expected a 7″ Microsoft Surface running Windows 8.1 to be making its way sometime this summer, but now DigiTimes, who has had a decent track record in the past, is claiming that Microsoft will be announcing both a 7″ Surface and second-generation Surface (both RT and Pro) tablets as soon as this June. The report indicates that Microsoft is planning on making this one of the major announcements at the company’s annual BUILD developer conference, which would make sense.
The Surface Pro will reportedly be getting a spec bump with Intel’s latest and greatest chips, Haswell, which has already been shown to perform very admirably when compared with the current generation Intel chips shoved inside today’s Surface Pro. The second generation Surface RT and upcoming 7″ Surface could easily use an updated mobile ARM SoC, as the Tegra 3 that the current Surface RT uses is quite old at this point; the most straightforward and expected update would probably be NVidia’s new Tegra 4.
Plenty of Surfaces to go around
Microsoft has today announced via their Microsoft Surface blog that both the Microsoft Surface Pro and the Surface RT will soon be shipping to four new countries – namely, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, and Thailand. Malaysia will be the first to have their Surface orders shipped on April 25th, while the other three will have to wait just a bit longer until the end of May to early June.
The Surface Pro will also be shipping to an additional nineteen (yes, nineteen) countries by the end of May. These are all countries that have been up to their knees in Surface RT goodness but have yet until now been able to receive the Surface Pro. Microsoft has also confirmed that they’re working to keep the Surface Pro, clearly the more popular of the two brothers, “constantly in stock” as demand continues to ebb and flow.
Windows Blue's flagship product?
A new report by the Wall Street Journal today pens Microsoft as working on a 7-inch Surface tablet to better compete against the likes of Google and Asus’s Nexus 7, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and Apple’s iPad mini. Although there are understandably no time tables or prices mentioned in the article, it is safe to assume that Microsoft is looking to manufacture this as one of Windows Blue’s flagship products. One of the major new features of Windows Blue is said to be low resolution “Metro” support suitable for tablet computers with smaller screens.
It’s not yet known as to whether or not the 7″ tablet that the WSJ is talking about here is the same 7″ tablet product that The Verge uncovered a few months ago. That tablet, for those who don’t know, was said to be a part of Microsoft’s XBox line of products and act as a sort of gaming tablet / companion device. A 7-inch Surface tablet could be a more straightforward product with similar functionality to the current line of Surface tablets.
It’s equally unclear if this new tablet will come with an ARM chip or an Intel chip – Windows RT hasn’t seen the sort of adaption that Microsoft had obviously hoped for, so Microsoft could be seeing an inexpensive 7″ Surface tablet as a perfect way to get Windows RT into the hands of more people.
The lynchpin of Microsoft's future enterprise plans for RT
When Microsoft announced that Windows RT would be launching with a complete package of Microsoft Office 2013 included totally free of charge there was much rejoicing in the streets. That excitement quickly turned tepid when news broke that Windows RT’s Office package would be anything but complete – lacking valuable features such as macro support, a bundled license for business use, and – most notably – Outlook 2013, Office 2013 for Windows RT would only tell half of the tale that Office 2013 for Windows x86 would.
If you were among the disappointed, get ready – today’s rumor indicates that Microsoft, in an effort to make Windows RT more appealing to the enterprise crowd that desperately needs to be won over, is planning on launching Outlook 2013 for Windows RT sometime this year.
Sources inside Microsoft has apparently told ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that the entirety of the Office 2013 suite has been compiled for Windows RT‘s ARM based architecture; the applications are apparently just waiting for Microsoft to pull the trigger. It’s not clear whether or not Microsoft is planning on offering these applications in a free update to Windows RT, though it would make sense considering Microsoft’s promise to bundle Office 2013 with Windows RT – and Outlook is most certainly a crucial part of Office. That said, WinSuperSite’s Paul Thurrott has apparently heard that Microsoft is considering releasing the apps as part of a paid subscription to Office, a la Office 365.
Microsoft could be waiting for the release of Windows 8.1, previously called Windows “Blue”, to release their updated office suite for Windows RT. Windows 8.1 will presumably arrive on the RT platform concurrently with the x86 release later this year.
Sounds like Windows Phone
It’s not much, but we have a rumour that Windows Blue, when made final, will be named Windows 8.1. It sounds very similar to Windows Phone’s naming scheme, right? A screenshot of what claims to be Build 9375.fbl_partner_out14 shows the name Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro. Mary Jo Foley also claims this is true, according to her sources and also informs us that Blue for Windows RT will be called Windows RT 8.1.
Improves lackluster Metro applications
The Verge has reportedly heard from Windows user experience manager Kip Knox that Microsoft is planning on releasing a major Windows 8 update tomorrow that will bring much requested (and required) improvements to the operating system’s built in Metro applications. The applications to see significant updates are reportedly Mail (yes, finally), Calendar, and People. All three applications were seen as significant weak spots in both Windows 8 and thus the overall package of the Microsoft Surface in reviews.
Mail in particular will, justifiably, be seeing the biggest update. According to The Verge, bringing Mail up to snuff has been a significant focus of the Windows team’s since the release of Windows 8 – the new update will bring some much needed functionality and improvements such as Folder creation, Folder deletion, Folder renaming, an “unread messages” filter, faster and more reliable syncing, new Spam management functionality, search improvements (including one of my own most requested features, server-side searching), draft support, and user interface improvements.
Calendar and People’s updates will be a little less major, but still fairly significant – Calendar will no longer support Google Calendar, which removes the only source of native Google Calendar support in the entirety of the operating system. Colors have also been improved to enhance the user interface, while the app now handles recurring events in a significantly improved way. The People hub now allows users to filter through the multitude of social feeds the application currently sources, while Facebook support has also been improved to allow users to post on their friends wall. Microsoft has also added Active Directory Global Address List (GAL) support to the application.
All of this should be available via the Windows Store at some point tomorrow. This is one of the first major update to Windows 8 since its release this summer, and it certainly won’t be the last – a more significant update that we have been keeping an eagle eye on, known as Windows Blue, will be released later this year.
Update 03/25/13 @ 8:45 PM EST: Somewhat surprisingly, Microsoft’s major Windows 8 update is now available for download on the Windows Store for all Windows 8 and Windows RT users.
Source: The Verge
Does he speak truth?
Windows RT is disappointing to us, because we expected to have sold more than we did, I think everyone expected to have sold more than they did.
These comments came shortly after Samsung’s newly appointed CEO, JK Shin, said much the same thing about all Windows 8/RT PCs and Windows Phones. However, not everything is bad news for Windows RT; Huang goes on to explain that if Microsoft continues to develop Windows RT they will eventually get it right because “they always seem to ultimately get it right” and that “it’s too important for them not to get it right.”
Huang also says that the one thing keeping him off of Windows RT is the lack of Microsoft Office Outlook:
I’m one Outlook away from computing nirvana, and I just hope Steve is listening to me right now, I just know that there’s someone up there who’s going to unleash the dragons of Outlook on the millions of consumers who are looking for a thin PC with long battery life that’s Outlook compatible.
Of course, anyone who has used the free Windows Mail app has known just how poor it is and that anything would be a welcome replacement.
So, what are your thoughts? Can Microsoft make Windows RT right? And can they do so before it’s too late for them?
Source: The Verge
A good deal, or is desperation setting in?
In a somewhat unusual move, Microsoft is now offering up to $2000 to all developers who develop and submit applications to Microsoft’s Windows Store for Windows 8. The move is clearly a way Microsoft hopes to jumpstart the floundering Windows 8 and Windows RT ecosystem as the Store remains, for the most part, a mere shell of its competitors’.
The deal offers $100 for every application submitted and accepted into the Windows Store, and applies to up to 20 applications for a total of $2000. The money will sent via the form of a $100 digital Visa gift card, and applications will be accepted into the promotion for the first 10,000 qualified entries or until June 30th – whichever comes first.
400,000 Surface Pros mixed in
We’ve long seen indications that Microsoft’s Surface line of tablets wasn’t exactly selling well, but now we’ve got some solid numbers to judge – Bloomberg has reported that Microsoft has sold roughly 1.5 million Surface tablets since they went on sale on October 26th. 400,000 of those have reportedly been Surface Pro’s running Windows 8.
Bloomberg indicates that these numbers are decently well below Microsoft’s internal expectations, however Microsoft will continue to put significant energy (and cash) into making sure the Surface brand picks up steam going forward – we’re far from seeing any sort of “Microsoft Kin” meltdown here.
Interestingly, since the Microsoft Surface Pro has already seen 400,000 tablets sold and has only just been released on February 9th, the Surface Pro must therefor be considerably outselling the Surface RT – perhaps there is a market for a powerful computer in a tablet form factor. I dare to imagine how many Microsoft could sell if they could release a lower priced model.
No love for Windows
It’s nothing new to note at this point, but Samsung’s CEO JK Shin is driving the point home in an interview with the Wall Street Journal – Windows-based products, especially on phones and tablets, just aren’t selling. Shin didn’t sugar coat things for Microsof in the interview, especially complaining about Microsoft’s performance in Europe, saying:
Smartphones and tablets based on Microsoft’s Windows operating system aren’t selling very well. There is a preference in the market for Android. In Europe, we’re also seeing lackluster demand for Windows-based products.