updated 06:37 am EDT, Fri August 9, 2013
Nvidia Tegra 4 set to make an appearance in Surface RT 2
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has revealed that the company is again collaborating with Microsoft, this time on the sequel to the Surface RT. Nvidia worked with Microsoft on the original Surface RT, which has recently had $150 slashed off its price due to poor sales. Microsoft was also forced to take a $900 million write-down on the cost of the cuts in its last quarterly financial statement. However, the next Surface RT will run Outlook, which Huang believes is a key factor in why user's have been bypassing the ARM-based version of Windows.
"It is the killer app for Windows," Huang told CNET. "Now we're going to bring it with the second-generation Surface. We're working really hard on it, and we hope that it's going to be a big success," he enthused. When we reviewed the original Tegra 3-powered Surface RT we also expressed our concerns regarding the omission of Outlook. The inability to share links directly from the desktop, among other files is one of the most frustrating aspects of the device. Users are either left relying on a cloud-based email service, or a USB stick. However, Microsoft has confirmed that it will be included in the Windows 8.1 update for Surface RT users.
The next Surface RT will likely be powered by Nvidia's much more powerful Tegra 4 chip, which should also help to address concerns about the performance of the current Surface RT tablet. Nvidia has not has had as much success with the Tegra 4 SoC as it had with the Tegra 3, with most OEMs opting for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 or 800 chipsets. This has largely been due to the fact that the Tegra 4 was delayed. Nvidia has, however used it in its own Shield gaming handheld, while it is also developing its own 7-inch Tegra 4-powered tablet to help raise user and OEM interest in the chipset. Its appearance in the next Surface RT, should also help rekindle interest in Nvidia's mobile technology.