updated 08:05 am EDT, Fri August 17, 2012
Lenovo expects price point of Win RT to attract consumers
Lenovo expects that Windows RT ARM-based tablets will be up to $300 cheaperthan x86 (Intel/AMD) tablets running Windows 8, reports Bloomberg. With the typical Win 8 tablet expected to run in at around $600 to $700, this would put Windows RT starting as low as $300 typically. Consequently, Lenovo predicts that consumers will drive Win RT sales, and that enterprise users will drive Windows 8 tablet sales because of its backwards compatibility with legacy Windows software.
"RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points," said David Schmoock, head of Lenovo's North America operations. "It will do well but it's going to be more of a consumer price point play to begin with," he said in an interview with Bloomberg. "[Windows RT tablets will] be a very good box."
Windows RT adopts the look of Windows 8, but is coded for a completely different architecture so it is compatible with the same ARM-based chips that power Apple's iOS range including the iPhone and the iPad, as well as most Android devices. Consequently, it will not support any legacy applications that will run on Windows 8 previous iterations of Windows. Instead, it will only run new apps designed specially for the new OS, of which there are very few compared to tens of thousands optimized for the iPad.
However, as it looks outwardly the same to consumers, it is likely to cause considerable confusion for the average consumer. With Windows 8 tablets or notebooks and desktop PCs running on x86 likely appearing on store shelves along side them, shop floor assistants are likely to have their work cut out for them explaining the differences between the two.
Further complicating matters, Microsoft is also entering the hardware space with its own Surface Win RT and Win 8 tablets. With rumors circulating that Microsoft may even take a loss and sell its Win RT version at just $200 and undercutting its own Win RT and Win 8 customers, the debut of both platforms in October is shaping up to be one of the more intriguing product launches in recent times.