Some vendors wary of Windows RT

Not all is copacetic in Windows RT land.

Hewlett-Packard announced a lot of Intel-based Windows 8 laptops and convertibles this week, like the touch-screen capable Spectre XT ultrabook.  No RT devices though.
Hewlett-Packard announced a lot of Intel-based Windows 8 laptops and convertibles this week, like the touch-screen capable Spectre XT ultrabook. No RT devices though. CNET

Windows RT is not bowling over PC makers. What's not clear is whether this is just the usual startup snafus of a new platform or something more serious.

RT is new. It's the first mainstream Windows operating system to run on chips from companies like Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. So, it's more vulnerable to glitches and gotchas and vendor skepticism.

That said, Hewlett-Packard does not appear to be showing any enthusiasm for the platform (yet), based on what I'm hearing from sources as well as empirical evidence (no HP Windows RT devices).

And Asian sources -- which tend to vent "supply chain" grievances -- seem to back this up.

Toshiba has also been conspicuously absent: no commercial RT devices yet.

And even the vendors that are rolling out RT devices like Lenovo and Asus are more circumspect about the platform than the announcements may imply. Again, based on what I'm hearing and Asia-based reports.

Does this have anything to do with Microsoft's highly-anticipated Windows RT Surface tablet, which has permanently stolen thunder from hardware partners? Yeah, that's part of the problem.

But it's not all bad news. There was a crush of Intel-based Windows 8 laptops and hybrids announced at IFA this week. So, overall the Windows 8 ecosystem seems happy (relatively) and healthy.

We'll see what happens in the coming months with RT. It's entirely possible that PC makers like HP and Toshiba are simply biding their time.

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About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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