Tuesday 10 July 2012

Samsung may launch a Windows RT tablet by October

With Windows RT announced, there are a range of OEMs that are building tablets based on this Microsoft operating system. According to a report by Bloomberg it appears that Samsung too is preparing a tablet based on the Windows RT operating system.

The report states, “Samsung Electronics Co., the largest phone maker, will release a tablet that features Microsoft’s Windows RT software when the operating system debuts, people with knowledge of the matter said.” The report goes on to state, “Samsung has made a handheld computer built on Windows RT, the first version of Windows that works on ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) technology, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven’t been made public. Windows RT devices will be released in October, one person said.”

Though details are slim as to what features the Samsung Windows RT tablet will possess, sources have informed Bloomberg that the tablet will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) recently stated that they would not launch a Windows RT device immediately. They decided to scrap plans of launching an ARM tablet running Windows RT at least in the initial phases and this might have something to do with Microsoft’s move of introducing their Surface line of tablets. HP, however, will continue to make tablets based on x86 hardware running Windows 8 as expected.

Microsoft has a bunch of partners who are developing hardware for use with Windows RT, just as they are making Windows 8-based Ultrabooks and Windows 8 tablets. These partners were hoping to launch their new Windows RT tablets into the market, but Microsoft spoiled the party by launching their own tablets alongside them. Microsoft enjoys a good brand presence and customers are likely to end up purchasing Microsoft’s own Windows 8 tablets, instead of a separate vendor.

HP has been a close partner to Microsoft and the move to not to go ahead with Windows RT for now, shows their weakened relation. Marlene Somsak, a spokesperson for HP said that the first tablets would be directed towards business customers. She said that the x86 hardware and software was robust and it provided the best customer experience as of now, and for the near future.

Microsoft is said to charge vendors some $85 - $90 for a copy of Windows RT on the tablet, that’s somewhere around the Rs. 4,800 mark. Considering vendors are paying a large chunk of their budget, per tablet to Microsoft, it’s bound to have raised some level of irritation among them.

Microsoft’s Windows 8 made its first appearance with its redesigned Metro user interface and it was instantly approved to be apt for tablets, rather than for desktops by many experts. The company also puts forth its tablet strategy by introducing the Windows RT (Windows 8 for ARM). Those who thought that with this strategy Microsoft would also change its pricing model for OEMs, will be disappointed, as Microsoft doesn’t plan to do so.

With Samsung also reportedly developing Windows RT tablets now, the competition will get a lot hotter for Apple and Android.

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