Discounted Dell tablet likely due to low Windows RT hardware sales
Dell has lowered the price of its Windows RT tablet from $449 to $299. The drop in price of the XPS 10 slate, possibly due to the underwhelming sales of Windows RT-based tablets across the industry, is accompanied by discounted additions to the tablet, including the keyboard dock and doubling the internal storage.
Windows 8.1 public preview set for June 26th release
Microsoft has revealed more details for its upcoming Windows Blue update for Windows 8. Given the official title of Windows 8.1, the software pack will be made available as a free update to users of Windows 8 via the Windows Store, with a public preview of Windows 8.1 for Windows 8 and Windows RT also due next month.
Windows 8 passes 100 million licenses, Windows Blue due by holidays
Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller has revealed that Windows 8 licenses sold has now passed the 100 million mark, six months after its launch. This is said to include installations on new PCs and tablets, as well as upgrades to Windows 8. Reller didn’t reveal the breakdown of Windows 8 licenses, which includes Windows RT sales, but did say that there are now 2,400 devices certified to run its controversial new operating system.
Also lays out timetable for Mac, Windows, Windows RT Office releases
Promised iOS and Android versions of Office won't launch until the fall of 2014, according to a leaked roadmap obtained by CNet. The document describes a project called "Gemini," said to be Microsoft's plan to incorporate the Metro user interface into Office. The first "wave" in Gemini is expected to be an October 2013 update of the core apps -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote -- that will run on mobile versions of Windows 8 and Windows RT. The software will allegedly supplement the desktop Windows suite, instead of replacing it.
Windows Phone service in Windows 8 requires Nokia Music+ subscription
Nokia has released its first Windows 8 and Windows RT app, one that originally launched on the manufacturer's Windows Phone line of devices. Nokia Music brings the same streaming radio subscription service as its phone-based counterpart, but in an app scaled up to work on a full-sized desktop computer screen, or Windows RT tablet.
Microsoft Outlook for Windows RT in development, may not see release
Microsoft is testing a native Outlook email client for Windows RT, reports CNET. Currently, Windows RT devices like Microsoft’s own Surface RT ship with a free version of Office that includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. However, Microsoft opted to launch the Surface RT without a functional email client in the desktop UI, reserving it for the Start screen UI only.
Does the Surface RT warrant your consideration
The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT has been on sale for around three months. Although it landed with considerable fanfare, recent estimates suggest that Microsoft may have only sold around 1 million since the device went on sale. When we reviewed the Surface RT we felt it has some quirks, but overall felt that it was effectively a new class of device with potential and awarded it four stars. Many potential buyers could be holding off for the imminent arrival the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, but the Surface RT still has the same strengths going for it.
NVIDIA TegraZone gives Windows RT a gaming boost
NVIDIA TegraZone has finally made its way to Windows RT, adding a gaming boost to Tegra 3 devices running Windows RT. The most prominent Tegra 3 powered Windows RT device to hit the market is the Microsoft Surface, with both NVIDIA and Microsoft hoping its arrival on the platform makes a splash. Games available through the TegraZone portal have been optimized to take full advantage of the Tegra 3’s graphics performance.
HTC working on 7-inch and 12-inch Win RT devices
HTC is prepping two new Windows RT tablets, reports Bloomberg. One is said to be a 7-inch tablet that may also be able to make phone calls, while the other will be a larger 12-inch model. The two ARM-based devices are expected to debut sometime in 2013, with an unveiling of prototypes a possibility for CES 2013.
Project delayed by Microsoft Surface release
Another rumor relating to previous potential Nokia device reports has surfaced, claiming the troubled phone maker will be unveiling a 10-inch tablet in early 2013. It is also suggested that Nokia stayed away from unveiling their own Windows RT-based tablet this year because of Microsoft's own efforts with its Surface.
Windows seen as too important not to use in RT name
A Dell executive urged Microsoft to not use Windows branding for its ARM-based operating system, according to reports. Jeffrey Clarke of Dell apparently told Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that it should have been called something else other than Windows RT, but Ballmer deemed the Windows brand to be too important to not be used in the new devices.
Microsoft reported to have cut Surface RT orders in half
Upstream supply chain sources have revealed that Microsoft has reduced its orders for the Surface with Windows RT by half. If true, it dovetails with comments made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who revealed that the Surface RT had achieved ‘modest’ sales’ on launch. Although there were signs of sell-outs on launch, it is possible that users are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, particularly as the launch of the Surface with Windows Pro is looming.
MS makes good on promise to deliver Office 2013 RT free of charge
Microsoft has issued a 348MB update for its Surface with Windows RT. The update (KB2748583) takes Office for Home and Student 2013 RT Preview to the final release version. One of the key advantages of the Surface RT is that it ships with a version of Office preloaded on the device; the new update makes good on Microsoft’s promise to take users to the final release version at no cost.
Microsoft Surface RT gets performance boosting patch
Microsoft has issued the first system firmware update for the Surface with Windows RT. Although unspecified, the firmware update brings with it performance improvements that have been reported to speed up the launching of applications. The update also brings with it several security patches and other minor fixes.
Scratching beneath the Surface
The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT arrives a full two years after Apple reinvented the tablet market. Microsoft and its partners had struggled along valiantly with convertible notebooks that could work in a tablet mode, but they were just too heavy and impractical. Within the first several months of the iPad launching, it quickly outsold the sum total of all Windows tablet PCs ever sold, even though they had been on the market for years. So the question is, has Microsoft managed to bring something new to the table? Read our full review of the Surface RT to find out.
On-demand streams of keynotes, sessions available
Microsoft has now put all of the session videos online from Build 2012. The conference, which took place at the Microsoft campus, was attended by Windows developers that were looking to build apps for the recently-released Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 operating systems.
Acer previously put off by Surface announcement
Acer has announced a delay in the launch of tablets running Microsoft's Windows RT operating system, giving the Taiwanese space to assess the impact of Microsoft's Surface RT tablet. Acer has previously expressed dissatisfaction with Microsoft's entering the hardware sector, and now the company will delay its Windows RT devices until at least the second quarter of 2013 to see how the new Microsoft tablet fares. Acer executives specifically cited Surface as a reason for the company's delay of what had been a "very aggressive plan" to roll out Windows RT devices.
Apple exec labels Surface tablet a ''confusing product''
During a conference call following Apple's fiscal Q4 financial disclosures, CEO Tim Cook did not hold back his thoughts regarding Microsoft's Surface tablet and PCs in general. Answering a question about the potential threat from competing products, the executive labeled the Surface tablet a "compromised, confusing product" and likened it to a car that might be able to fly and float, but would not be able to "do all of those things very well."
Tablet-based control for Windows 8, RT from 26th, iOS to come
Microsoft has confirmed that its Xbox SmartGlass app will launch at the same time as Windows 8. Built within the Games part of Windows 8 and Windows RT, the app will allow users to navigate through the console, as well as act like a second support screen for certain games and applications.
Microsoft puts the Surface tablet with Windows RT up for pre-order
Microsoft’s eagerly anticipated Surface tablet is now up for pre-order in eight countries. The first version up for the taking runs Windows RT on an ARM-based Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. Prices start at $499 for a 32GB model without the vaunted Touch Cover, with a shipping date of October 26.
Cross-platform music service starts on Xbox 360
Microsoft is launching its Xbox Music service far earlier than anticipated. The cross-platform music service will roll out onto Xbox 360 consoles from tomorrow, with Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 receiving it on the 26th. Despite the multi-platform nature of the service, it will not appear on Windows 7 or handsets running earlier versions of Windows Phone.
Device gives first look at Windows RT pricing
Asus' Vivo Tab RT has shown up as available for preorder at a number of online retailers. The Windows RT tablet is now available at Staples, Newegg, TigerDirect, and FutureShop, and gives consumers an early idea of what they might expect from Windows RT devices in terms of pricing. The Vivo Tab RT is listed at those retailers for $600 -- about the price of a comparably-equipped 2012 iPad -- though some show it with a list price of $630.
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.
Blames delayed components, may re-enter later
Toshiba has decided not to release a Windows RT-based tablet at the operating system's launch, citing delays in the component supply chain. In a statement to CNET, Toshiba said it "will focus on bringing Windows 8 products to market" instead, and may release an RT-based tablet in the future after "monitoring market conditions."
Power Nap-like functionality, up to 13 hours HD playback
Windows RT PCs will have a feature similar to the Power Nap feature seen in some Apple notebooks, giving them up to 17 days of connected standby. This according to a post on the Building Windows 8 blog. The post details a number of performance, reliability, and battery features consumers can expect in the new line of devices due out from Microsoft and its manufacturing partners.
Lenovo set to offer convertible ARM-based Win RT tablet
Lenovo is rumored to be partnering with NVIDIA (sub.req.) for the first time on an ARM-based Windows RT tablet, according to the Wall Street Journal. The news follows the unveiling this week of its full Windows 8 ThinkPad tablet that will run on an Intel Atom processor. The Chinese PC maker, now the second largest in the world, is set to join Asus in using an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor to power and Windows RT tablet.
Office 2013 shipping as Preview, short on some features
Customers buying ARM-powered Windows 8 tablets will find that their devices come not with the full version of Office 2013, but with a Preview version that will be missing some features. Office 2013 for Windows RT will get an update some time after launch to a final copy with more features, but the initial version will be missing functions such as macros, third-party add-ins, and VBA support. Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans tell The Verge that the fuller version of Office will be available in early 2013.
Acer CEO JT Wang tells Microsoft to rethink its approach with Surface
Acer CEO JT Wang has highlighted the anger felt by its Windows partners towards its unexpected hardware debut with its Surface tablets for Windows 8 and Windows RT. Speaking to the Financial Times, Wang said that he had spoken with Microsoft and told them to rethink releasing its Surface tablet range. "We have said think it over. Think twice," Wang said.
MS to open RT to other OEMs in January
Microsoft is limiting the number of tablet manufacturers that can put Windows RT devices on sale. According to China Times, each Windows RT ARM chipset vendor can choose two OEM partners for the launch, with other potential tablet manufacturers having to wait until January for permission from Microsoft.
Samsung undeterred by Surface
Samsung may be preparing to release a tablet running Microsoft's Windows RT. Sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters that the device will debut this October alongside the new operating system. The decision to release an ARM-powered device runs counter to indications that Microsoft's manufacturing partners were shying away from RT in the wake of Microsoft announcing its own Surface tablets.
HP puts Windows RT tablet plans on hold
HP has shelved plans for Windows RT tablets that would be based on ARM mobile processors, the company has confirmed with PCMag. Instead, the company has chosen to focus only on releasing tablets and PCs running Windows 8 on Intel’s x86 architecture. According to HP, its customers have said that they prefer to have access to their legacy x86 apps, rather than be forced to buy new apps to run on the Windows RT platform.
Two models have slight, but significant differences
Today's unveiling of the new Microsoft Surface tablets focused heavily on the aesthetics and functionality of the devices. Microsoft noted in its presentation, though, that a good deal of work went into the hardware design underlying the Surface family. Following the Surface reveal, the software giant provided a look at the technologies powering its new tablets.
Microsoft-made device said to run Windows RT
The "major announcement" Microsoft has planned for next week may well be focused on its own branded tablet. Sources knowledgeable of the company's operations have told entertainment news site The Wrap that the event, scheduled for Monday afternoon somewhere in Los Angeles, will be the coming out party for a Windows RT tablet.
Productivity suite update gets a "Metro" look
Earlier this week at Microsoft TechEd 2012, a Microsoft on-screen demonstration let slip a few screens from the forthcoming version of Office 2013 meant for Windows RT devices. The screens, picked up by Within Windows, show the company's newest version of its Excel spreadsheet program, which appears to have undergone a user interface makeover bringing it more in line with the "Metro" UI that forms the basis of Windows 8.