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

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.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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:


(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.



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