Microsoft: Dell, Lenovo and Samsung Windows RT machines are coming

Microsoft: Dell, Lenovo and Samsung Windows RT machines are coming

Summary: Windows RT, Microsoft's coming Windows release for ARM-based systems, has RTM'd and will be available on new machines from a handful of vendors.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Tablets, ARM, Windows
54

Microsoft isn't the only OEM that will be delivering a Windows on ARM tablet/PC. Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung all have Windows RT systems coming to market, too, Microsoft officials said in an August 13 blog post on the "Building Windows 8" blog.

When I asked Microsoft officials back in late June for a list of vendors making Windows RT tablets and PCs, they declined to provide one. But as I noted at that time, Asus, Toshiba and Acer had all announced plans to provide Windows RT devices. Dell was rumored to be making a Windows RT machine, as well. Last week, ABCNews reported that Lenovo would be making two versions of its IdeaPad Yoga convertible machine: One running Windows 8 and one running Windows RT.

"You will need to stay tuned for more details; PC manufacturers will be unveiling their products as we approach the Windows 8 and Windows RT launch," said Mike Angiulo, the vice president of our Ecosystem and Planning team, and author of today's blog post. (We know Microsoft is planning to have its Surface RT system available on October 26, but we do not know exact dates for the other OEMs.)

Microsoft officials also wouldn't comment on whether Windows RT had released to manufacturing (RTM'd) when Windows 8 did on August 1. But Microsoft officially is acknowledging Windows RT also has RTM'd, thanks to a mention in today's blog post.

In today's post, Microsoft also shared some rough guidelines about battery life expectations for Windows RT machines. When a Windows RT PC is not in use (on connected standby), it will not require a battery charge for days, Angiulo said. He also mentioned Windows RT machines' ability to deliver "all day battery life" on "thin and light" machines. More specifically, he said Microsoft has seen 8 hours to 13 hours of HD video playback time on Windows RT PCXs, and 320 hours to 409 hours (more than 13 to 17 days) battery life when in connected-standby mode.

Anguilo said Microsoft and partners built "thousands of reference design hardware systems" and seeded more than 1,500 Windows RT reference machines to software and hardware vendor partners to prepare for launch. He also said Microsoft has found more than 90 percent of the RTM applications in the Windows Store support Windows RT, and that there will be printers, webcams and mobile broadband modules certified for Windows RT.

Here's a photo provided by Microsoft of a prototype Windows RT system next to an actual, ready-to-ship model:

winrtpcprototypeandreal


(Update: ZDNet's James Kendrick says this is definitely an Asus Transformer Prime in this picture, for what it's worth. But maybe he's wrong: Reader @ersontech says it is the already announced Asus Tablet 600, which actually makes more sense, as Asus already announced plans for this Windows RT device.)

Microsoft's new blog post also repeated some facts about the upcoming Windows RT operating system that Microsoft previously divulged, but which are worth repeating. Windows RT includes a "siginificant amount" of shared code with Windows 8, but is not identical to it. There is one Windows RT binary that supports Windows RT SoC platforms from NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Windows RT software will not be sold or distributed independent of a new Windows RT PC; it will be preloaded only.

Windows RT machines will run Metro/modern/Windows 8 style apps only. The only Desktop/legacy/Win32 apps that will run on these kinds of systems are the four Office 2013 apps from Microsoft (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote), Internet Explorer 10, File Explorer and possibly some other Microsoft-developed Windows components.

Update No. 2: A couple more things worth mentioning from today's blog post. Some Windows RT systems available at launch will support NFC (Near Field Communications) technology. And the updated weight range for Windows RT machines puts at least some of them right in the iPad ballpark.


 

 

Topics: Tablets, ARM, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

54 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • You meant desktop software right?

    " Windows RT software will not be sold or distributed independent of a new Windows RT PC; it will be preloaded only."

    I hope its a typo?
    the_tyrant
    • why

      We knew this already.
      abiddine
    • The statement is correct.

      Windows RT software is only on the Windows Store or already on the device. You can't buy Windows RT software anywhere else.
      kjb434
      • Probably not MS store either

        I might of missed something but it isn't going to be at the MS store either.

        It isn't that MS is trying to limit anything, just that you couldn't really do anything with it. I'm sure that eventually someone will hack it on to a Pi or a touchpad, but short of that what would you even use it for?
        tanders043
      • Windows RT is only available on devices

        Software that runs on Windows RT is only available in the Windows Store.
        grayknight
      • Software that runs on Windows RT is only available in the Windows Store

        Well if they brand their own tablets, they can get away with this. If the lock down OEM-branded tablets, then we'll see them in court.
        CaviarBlack
        • You can go to hell and back if you want

          But it won't make a bit of a difference. Apple does this same thing, and Apple is the trend setter--just ask any fan boy???? Plus if you just want a Windows tablet to play around with, there will be the Windows Tablet Pro that gives you what you are looking for. No matter your name flavor of the week, the reasoning is still "Dannyboy."
          eargasm
          • Been there, done that

            Got a nice tan while I was down in hell.

            ;)

            So what if Apple does it. Who do you think Micro$oft is trying to copy with this concept, anyway?

            DOH
            CaviarBlack
          • not even close

            Why do people try to justify Microsoft by twisting what Apple did. Apple made their own tablets and locked them down, like many other manufacturers do. Microsoft is strong-arming the whole industry to lock customers out of choice on tablets all other manufacturers make, locking them to windows only, even after Microsoft has abandoned its customers repeatedly and sabotaged it's business partners in the mobile arena by cutting products and support so quickly. They are trying to redefine the PC from being a personal computer to a locked down Microsoft-approved device.
            That is so far from what Apple did that would be like trying to justify murder because somebody else stole something. I'll say it again, Microsoft locking down their own tablets like Apple did is one thing, strong-arming the whole industry into locking out consumer choice is another.
            ossoup
          • And that's why they're going to go to court

            "Microsoft is strong-arming the whole industry to lock customers out of choice on tablets all other manufacturers make, locking them to windows only, even after Microsoft has abandoned its customers repeatedly and sabotaged it's business partners in the mobile arena by cutting products and support so quickly. They are trying to redefine the PC from being a personal computer to a locked down Microsoft-approved device."

            They're using other people's brands to lock down their own OS.

            The only way they'll get away with it is to make sure Micro$oft's own brand is on it and not Dell's or Samsung's or Lenovo's.
            CaviarBlack
    • I believe

      I believe this quote is referring to the Windows RT OS itself, not apps
      theoilman
  • The imminent battle is Windows 8 vs Android

    Apple & the iPad are safe (for now) in my opinion. Apple has its devoted followers & an amazing marketing machine that no one else can really touch (for the time being). The imminent battle is between Windows 8 tablets & Android tablets.

    Can Windows 8 do to Android in tablets, what Windows XP/7 did to Linux on netbooks--eat the entire market within a year? We'll see.

    There's no doubt that Android is a much more powerful brand than Linux. And Windows (though still strong) doesn't have quite the stranglehold on computers that it had a decade ago. It's going to be a "battle royale" between Microsoft & Google... and it may ultimately have implications in the smart phone market as well.

    Things are about to get very interesting...
    newyorkcitymale
    • @newyorkcitymale

      Android is a powerful brand on smartphones but hasn't done all that hot on tablets with the exception of the Nexus 7 and maybe the Kindle Fire. Windows 8, from a tablet perspective, has quality written all over it. I don't see why it wouldn't be able to hold its own against Android tablets with ease.
      Shameer Mulji
      • You're mostly right.

        Overall Android Tablet's haven't done that well, but both the Transformer and the Transformer Prime by Asus sold out of manufacturing twice.

        Granted this is one company providing a product in an Apple world, but that's not a bad response. Personally, I'm really stoked to replace my ICS Transformer with a Windows 8 Transformer Book.
        d20dad
        • Agreed

          The transformer stands above all other android tablets and IMHO is a better device than an iPad. It really is the most complete device of any tablet on the market.

          I'm not terribly interested in WindowsRT, but I can't wait to see the specs on the Asus Transformer Book with Windows8 pro.
          Emacho
      • ...has quality written all over it.

        From when MS products are quality products? Do I miss something?
        Rabbid fanboys like you remind me of all the ultra positive talk when Vista was launched... what happened after?
        I have a cue for you: don't judge the quality of a product before it launches...
        theo_durcan
        • Vista's problem...

          Was that it was a resource hog. Anything less than a 64bit machine running it was rubbish. MS acknowledged this with 7, and they have acknowledged it with 8. Comparing 8 to Vista is a moot point, because it won't suffer the same problem.

          That said, 8 could suffer some other problems that we haven't considered, but the release preview was a promising experience for me.
          d20dad
        • Take your own advice

          per evidence of your past troll posts that Surface will be a failure.
          milo ducillo
          • And why should he do that, milo?

            And let you and your Redmond pals off the hook?

            No way.
            CaviarBlack
          • eh mili morcillo

            my favorite fanboy, I have a tip for you" try to diversify your repertoire, you are quite predictable...
            theo_durcan