Windows ARM tablet rumors heat up: Surface 2, Nokia 'Sirius' on deck

Windows ARM tablet rumors heat up: Surface 2, Nokia 'Sirius' on deck

Summary: There are at least two new Windows ARM tablets in the pipeline: The Microsoft Surface 2 and Nokia 'Sirius,' according to evolving rumors.


Many Microsoft watchers, customers and partners continue to believe there is no future for Windows RT tablets -- in spite of Microsoft remaining commmitted to the ARM-based port of Windows.


Despite Microsoft's $900 million Surface RT write-down, make no mistake: There are still at least two (and possibly more) Windows RT-based tablets in the pipeline.

The first, about which rumors have been swirling for the past couple of weeks, is Nokia's coming Windows RT tablet. The latest codename for this device is "Sirius," according to The Verge. A couple of weeks ago, the codename for this device was supposedly "Vanquish," reported The Verge's Tom Warren.)

As various blogs reported in mid-August, this device, which Nokia is expected to launch in New York at the end of September. (September 26 is the most often rumored date.) Reports claimed at that time these Nokia tablets will be 10.1-inch, devices running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 32 GB of built-in storage; 2 GB of RAM; a micro USB port; detachable keyboard and LTE support. There've been reports indicating that AT&T, Verizon or maybe both could be the LTE partners for these devices.

On the Windows SuperSite, Paul Thurrott corroborated the Sirius codename and specs, addung that the pricing will start at $499 for these devices.

(Note: all of this information is from sources; Nokia and Microsoft are not commenting.)

The Nokia Sirius isn't the only ARM tablet arriving this fall. Microsoft also is readying the successor to the Surface RT, which Thurrott says is going to be known as the Surface 2, running Windows 8.1 RT. (The OS will still include the "RT" moniker, even though the hardware won't, according to Thurrott.)

These Surface 2 devices are already starting to show up in the latest AdDuplex stats, as are their Intel-based complements, the Surface 2 Pro, blogged Thurrott.

Microsoft officials said in July to expect Microsoft to deliver "updates" to the company's Surface RT and Surface Pro lines, along with new peripherals for those lines some time during the company's fiscal 2014 (which ends on June 30, 2014).

Topics: Windows 8, Microsoft, Nokia, Tablets, ARM, PCs


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).

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  • The people in the Surface group have lost their minds

    Hey! Let's build devices most people don't want, and forgo building (Atom) devices most people want! We need a name for this business strategy ..... I know, let's call it stupid!
    P. Douglas
    • Dont forget..

      Windows RT isn't just going to be targeted towards Windows Tablets but it's the "Windows Everywhere" platform foundation that will run on all Windows devices, at least that's what Microsoft's vision is. Windows Phone and Xbox will eventually be running on Windows RT where they will all be running on a shared kernel.

      So, even though Windows RT isn't doing well in the market right now, Microsoft will still be working on the long term goal for Windows RT as "the" foundation for all Microsoft devices.
      • The problem is Price

        Windows RT devices are too expensive and don't have the Applications that people want for that price point. I doubt they ever will at this point. It has a desktop that is only good for MS Office, at least until the Modern UI version of Office launches, and even then I wonder how good a touch enabled office will really be. Microsoft is not known for getting things right the first time around.

        Just because it's Microsoft does not make it good enough. They need to find some kind of hook that makes Microsoft as a Tablet something people want. They can't sell it as a unified experience since no one really wants a Windows Phone, and the Console gamers could care less about a unified experience as long as they can play their games.

        This whole unified experience thing was idiotic from the get go. Sounds nice, but there has to be a compelling reason for people to drop their android or apple devices, and so far nothing Microsoft is offering has that reason.
        • That Shows How Much You Know.Enough said!

          Enough said!
          • Windows RT (ARM) is the future for the masses.

            For the masses, RT (ARM) is much better then Intel based tablets.

            + Thinner then intel based
            + Cheaper then intel based
            + Works without a cooler
            + Better battery life
            + Office is included
            + Safer for users. They do not install any crap on those machines which will make them slow after a year!!!

            - Cannot run Windows desktop apps (first ask yourself, if you need them on a tablet machine)

            So, if you are thinking about a tablet and you just use it for browsing, checking e-mails, working with office - RT device is perfect for you.
            Don't let yourself listning salesman crap, that you NEED full Windows 8 tablet!
          • Re: Windows RT (ARM) is the future for the masses.

            Unfortunately, the masses are buying Android instead.
          • Funny thing the "masses"...they are fickle

            and change their mind at the drop of a hat. While Android is popular, people will switch and can switch. Time will tell, now back to the Fry station - you need to get ready for the lunch may get overtime today.
          • I have been converted...

            I was an Android tablet fan until I got the Surface RT and it blew me away. I still use Android for my phone OS but It's really starting to show that both Android and iOS are phone OS's forced to be tablet OSs. IDK, maybe if RT was forced to be a phone OS it would be the same.
            Rann Xeroxx
          • Um, no!

            You are aware that Atom Clover Trail chips don't have fans, no?

            As Bay Trail releases, the line between x86 and ARM for Intel will begin disappear. What does this mean? Bay Trail is the real deal. All Intel has to do is recognize that they must price Atom chips at only reasonable premium to ARM. They, Intel, appear to realize that Atom, espcially the lower value skus have to be right there with ARM. MS is doing their part by significantly discounting Windows for small screen devices.

            A high quality Bay Trail device in the 7" range is easily doable for $200.

            Finally, my guess is that MS will stop including Office with its Surface devices in order to continue to push the price lower and lower. They should have done this from the start, given that their move of Office to subscription was in place at the time Surface RT launched. It was the most obvious reason why the device was priced so high.
          • No, it was just greed

            Even if you add in the Office full price to the cost to make it, you'd have about 350$. Only if you have the Windows license be 150$ for the Surface RT does it make sense for it to be 500$ to start out.

            They just wanted a huge margin.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Surface RT costs $300 to make.

            $300 + $130 for Office Home+Student 2013.
          • Your point is dependant on Intel

            Intel could make their chipsets cheaper and then that would take away part of the argument for ARMs chips. But there is zero indication that Intel has any intention of reducing their prices. Reducing prices and then making the capital investment in production capacity to make up profit in mass production is a risk that Intel simply is not prepared to make.
            Rann Xeroxx
      • You are talking about WinRT

        The fact that WinRT is to be at the heart of all versions of Windows hardly justifies pursuing Windows RT - particularly when the company is still having trouble selling Windows 8 PCs. (Remember WinRT runs on both Intel and ARM, e.g. on the upcoming Xbox One.)

        What exactly is gained by pursuing Windows RT devices? Less dependence on the Intel architecture? Is that it? So MS and the Windows ecosystem is going to suffer through MS' pursuit of Windows RT for the sake of some chip architecture independence? So why is chip architecture independence important now, when the PC ecosystem boomed in the past on Intel for several decades? There is little price advantage in pursuing Windows RT over Windows 8 with Atom. When Bay Trail is released within a few months, the performance (including graphics) and battery life advantages between the Intel and ARM will be all but gone. So again, what is the substantial advantage in pursuing Windows RT Surface PCs over Windows 8 Atom Surface PCs? If there is none, then why does the Surface group elect to have the Windows ecosystem suffer through the confusion, frustration of customers, slow sales, hit in reputation, erosion of sales opportunities by iOS and Android, etc. It makes absolutely no sense to me.
        P. Douglas
        • Higher margins

          As some have suggested, MS probably likes RT because it believes it can obtain higher margins.
          P. Douglas
        • Becoming less dependent on intel would be a good idea

          The Atom processor is still not ready for prime time where the ARM is a mature market. You can't run those bloated Windows desktop applications on a tiny slate anyway so why do they need to run on the same processor?
          • Spin a story enough and it will come true?

            They found that doesn't happen in the real world, so why try?
            William Farrel
          • Spoken like someone who doesn't own one

            The Dual core Atom runs everything fine. I even rendered HD video on it and it was pretty fast. Heck it even runs Android games just fine.
        • WinRT != Windows RT

          @P. Douglas, thanks for making this point.

          The naming of WinRT and Windows RT is just a nightmare, MS needs to change this, it is causing a lot of confusion in the market, even for tech-savy folks.
      • ARMs x64

        Don't forget the ARMs x64 chips coming out soon and targeted for servers. These could be used for both servers and consumer Windows devices and would increase the available memory to up to 100+ GB (the limit of x64 memory usage is actually very large in the TBs).
        Rann Xeroxx
    • Intel hardware still not ready

      Intel hardware still not ready,
      icore is very power consuming and cannot be put in a slim and 10-hr working tablet,
      while atom is more power-friendly, but still it lacks a lot of iCore capability, for example Hyper-v, also it cannot run games and heavy graphics software,
      So for most people, for now an atom tablet is lost of money, better to have an ARM tablet and a laptop.
      Once intel can make the suitable hardware, there will be no need for ARM or windows RT or Android or IOS, they will die in two years at most in tablets, tablets and laptops will be one thing.