Microsoft Surface killing Windows 8 RT prospects

The launch of Microsoft's own tablet has deterred other manufacturers from making slates running Windows 8 RT.

Windows 8 hasn't arrived yet, and it's already hitting problems. The launch of Microsoft's own Microsoft Surface seems to be killing the prospects of other tablets running  Windows 8 RT .

Other manufacturers have to fork over licence fees to Microsoft to use Windows 8 -- fees Microsoft doesn't have to pay itself, of course. That means it can charge the same or less than rival tablets, which will have tighter profit margins. Faced with that choice -- and potential bugs with the new software -- other manufacturers are turning their noses up at Windows RT.

Windows 8 RT is the version of Microsoft's next-generation software designed for tablets. It's a lighter version of Windows 8, which can be run on low-power ARM processors from Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, commonly found in mobile devices.

The alternative to Windows 8 RT is the full version, running on tablets that use more powerful Intel chips. One major difference between the two is that the Intel-based system has more backward compatibility. Without a wide base of manufacturer support, software developers may shun RT in favour of its big brother. Click here for our guide to the different versions of Windows 8 in the pipeline.

HP, for one, is reported to have scrapped its Windows 8 RT tablet. Bloomberg reports HP will instead focus on full-blown Intel x86-powered Windows 8 slates.

Our buddies at CNET in the US also report that manufacturers are concerned there'll be technical problems with Windows 8 RT devices. Nvidia makes the chips in the Surface and has plenty of experience with Windows, but other chip-makers may face early bugs. Whether that's related to the chips, the software or the hardware is unclear. 

Does Windows 8 RT have a future? Will you buy a Surface or any Windows 8 tablet? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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Tablets
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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