Manufacturers having problems getting Windows RT to work with tablets?

Manufacturers having problems getting Windows RT to work with tablets?

Summary: Hardware makers looking to build tablets that use the new Microsoft Windows RT are supposedly running into difficulties getting the new OS to work with ARM chips.

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PC manufacturers are already taking it on the chin with Microsoft's announcement of its own Surface tablets -- which will put the company in the awkward position of competing against the same hardware partners that stick Windows in their computers -- but now they may be facing an additional problem with their slates.

According to our sister site CNET, hardware makers looking to build tablets that use the new Microsoft Windows RT are running into difficulties getting the new OS to work with ARM chips. As this is the first time a flavor of Windows is equipped to work with the ARM platform instead of just x86-based chips, this wouldn't come as a total surprise, but it comes on top of HP's decision last week to scrap its Windows RT tablets.

CNET's report would seem to conflict with my colleague John Morris' report last week from Qualcomm's Uplinq developer conference. At that event, Qualcomm's CEO Paul Jacobs declared that the ARM-based Snapdragon processor will indeed be powering Windows RT devices at launch later this year, which would seem to belie the rumors that Qualcomm, along with Texas Instruments, will be delayed in their rollouts. Even if the chip makers can deliver on time, they have been limited by Microsoft to just a couple of device designs apiece, which could include a laptop or hybrid tablet/laptop system.

The biggest winner in all of the Windows 8-related tablet skirmishes may be Nvidia, which will be supplying its Tegra 3 processor to the Surface RT slate, and could be ahead of its competitors in getting its chip to play nicely with Windows RT thanks to its long-time experience with Windows driver design, according to Patrick Moorhead, president of Moor Insights & Strategy. Somehow the graphics chip giant has managed to successfully pivot into being the mobile chip provider that Intel probably wishes it were.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Tablets

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28 comments
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  • Manufacturers having problems getting Windows RT to work with tablets?

    That's odd considering Microsoft has Windows RT working on Surface with no problems. Might just be incompetent coders or that CNET was fed some lies in this 'supposedly' story. I find it hard to believe considering the extensive amount of documentation Microsoft releases.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Since no one was actually allowed

      to USE a Surface, you have no clue as to whether Microsoft was actually able to get it to work. The tablet locking up during the demo lends credence to the author's story.
      baggins_z
    • Incompetent coders?

      Loverock admitting Microsoft's coders are incompetent?

      Now this is news!
      danbi
      • Yes, that is news

        But then, consider the moronic source.
        CaviarBlack
      • You missed the part where I said Microsoft had it working

        But the OEMs did not. Shows who's competent.
        Loverock Davidson-
        • You apparently miss the fine detail

          That it is Microsoft who codes Windows RT, not the OEMs. OEMs just assemble hardware, load the Microsoft coded Windows RT and try hard to sell the result..

          So, if someone didn't code something properly with regards to Windows RT, that Microsoft and Microsoft alone.
          danbi
          • You missed the part where OEMs write the drivers

            The OEMs write the drivers for the hardware. If they can't get Windows RT to work then they need better coders for their hardware.
            Loverock Davidson-
          • Aren't there specific hardware requirements set by Microsoft?

            So, if Microsoft says "in order to run Windows RT you must have this and that software" then one can assume it is Microsoft who writes drivers for that hardware.
            Come on. This embedded hardware is not that different from one another. It is way simpler environment than the IBM PC.

            If the OEM decided to add unique GPS chip (very unlikely, as those are usually bundled with other radios today), then it may be they will need to write driver for only that particular piece of unique hardware. If their driver is not perfect, perhaps their navigation app will not work, but.. Windows RT should not be affected.

            But, let's pretend everyone else except Microsoft has no clue what they do and wait for the great Surface tablets.. to surface. Some day.
            What, if Windows RT doesn't work properly on them?

            In any case, since Microsoft wants their Windows RT running on those tablets, they are supposed to help the OEMs with "properly coding" any necessary drivers.
            They are partners, no?
            danbi
          • Why do you even post on blog, as you are a self-professed non-MS user?

            Oh, that's right, you're a TROLL!!
            Patanjali
          • Define troll

            One feature of trolls I know they think better when cooled to freezing temperatures, because of their silicone mind. As his doesn't apply to me, I must be something other.

            You don't like the facts about Microsoft?
            It wasn't me, but your colleague Loverock who claimed someone's programmers were incompetent. I just applies some simple logic who that might be.
            danbi
          • @danbi, never mind @Patanjali

            It got lost in the translation.

            ;)
            CaviarBlack
        • Dumb dum.

          You missed the part where the tablet Sinofsky was holding locked up.
          MSFTWorshipper
          • Not an issue

            Beta software on a prototype device ... not a big deal that it doesn't work perfectly.
            roteague
  • it will take around 4 years before MS get it almost right

    Never MS get things right first time, it take them a few years and tries before getting a half functional product. I expect around Windows 11 MS tablets will be somehow competitive.
    theo_durcan
  • Check your sources

    The original article says "I heard about these issues in May when [b]a little birdie told me[/b] about problems with RT and Qualcomm and Texas Instruments at PC makers".

    Really! You mean when Microsoft refused the press hands-on with ARM tablets because they were keeping specs under wraps? This is the kind of fake reporting that has been happeing over at Cnet for awhile now. There is absolutely no proof of this, and it's all heresay and conjecture that bloggers parrot over and over again. Microsoft wants to keep specs of Windows 8 stuff under wraps - [b]and they did so even with the Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 Pro[/b]. Even when they had a hands-on with the Win 8 Pro Surface, they wouldn't let anyone see the System Properties screen, or Device Manager. Anybody that tried got the device snatched out of their hands.
    Joe_Raby
  • Sure would like to know..

    What the problems are, unless the ARM chips and boards the OEM are using don't match the requirements of the HAL for Win8 RT I can't imagine what the issue is. Of course in custom hardware they will have to build out thier own drivers as well. The Driver model for Win8 is a bit different than embedded OS' such as CE, so maybe that is the issue.

    Can the author find out what the issues are? I think it would be very interesting.
    TGGR
  • So what?

    An unreleased operating system has difficulties running on prototype hardware. So? This isn't news, this is how new stuff gets developed: build one, kill the bugs, build another one, kill the bugs in that one, rinse, repeat until ready for market.
    Robert Hahn
    • Well if it's any indicator on the past tablet junk they've been building

      Then they'll never get it right. It'll be half-assed as usual.
      CaviarBlack
      • What a non-statement

        First what tablet has MS ever marketed? Oh, that's right none. Other tablet devices running Windows were niche devices for salespeople or techs.
        stano360
  • NVidias gpu drivers for windows have been horrible and taken months/years

    to get right for each windows release so Im not sure Id give them credit for any windows device driver experience. This whole article smells like FUD. I dont think any oem is having problems with get arm systems up. MS would be all over helping any of them to the maximum extent. MS wants as many arm WinRT tablets out there as possible, in as many price points as possible, regardless of surface.
    Johnny Vegas