In retrospect: Was RT a mistake?

Discussion in 'Windows Tablet General Discussion' started by kristalsoldier, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    A family member has a Surface 2, which I was looking at recently. I remember it well as it was my former machine. But she has been using it for the last two years as her only computing device aside from her phone. She mainly uses it for Mail, browsing and videos (mainly YT). And she swears by it!

    Well, I was looking at that device again with keen interest. And, at first it seemed rather limited - kind of obvious since I was comparing to my use of the S3, SP3 and now SP4. Again I noticed that the move from the tablet side of things to the desktop was indeed jarring. I don't feel this on W10 and I do switch between modes.

    Regardless, the S2 felt light - though I am not a fan of that AR. But as a media streaming device, it seems just fine. But I have to be honest here - if I compare it to the iPad Air, which was then contemporary to it (if I am not mistaken), then it does fall short and moving into the desktop side to access "full" Office was just not enough. At the least, I think, the S2 should have been released with no access to the desktop and with Office Mobile (full featured, if necessary) on the tablet side. I also think, the S2 and its predecessor (which btw, I think, looked much better with the dark colour) should have been marketed and sold as pure tablets and not as hybrids. The hybrid argument hold true now with the S3 and the SP3/4. But this was not so with the RT devices.

    So, was the entire RT project - including the OS, the hardware, the positioning etc. - a completely misguided effort? Was it totally wrong and a sheer waste of energy and resources? Or, could RT have worked as a base or a platform where MS could have explored alternative futures (especially one in which their mobile business could be seen thriving)?

    Edit: Suppose a case had to be made to the MS Board to invest time and money into the RT project I which I am sure must have had actually happened regardless of how much of a set-up it may have been in reality) - not now but at the time the device was designed and released - how would that case be made?
     
  2. Plantje

    Plantje Member

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    I have owned an Asus Vivotab RT. I loved the device. It is a pity they killed Windows RT, but it is dead, so I moved on as well.
     
  3. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    RT was a near miss as in a bombing mission, it was off target and bombed. It was good in many respects, forget that it only ran Windows 8/8.1 it didn't have a choice about that. It could be running W10 today if only ...

    At the time of inception it was necessary to make a foray into the ARM ecosystem....( There was a time leading up to the Surface 3 release when it appeared Intel was going to succeed with Atom however that was premature )... today after Intel has folded their mobile efforts it looks like it was absolutely the correct choice, shouldn't have been abandoned, and must be brought back. Intel still hasn't mastered low power implementation as evidenced by the numerous and persistent sleep and driver bugs. MS is sorely hurt by Intel's failings but needlessly so as Windows will run fine on ARM.

    They may have made some mistakes with the RT execution but it was and is now more than ever a viable and essential platform to build on.

    The desktop is an essential bridge from the x86 world and the biggest mistake MS made was in preventing developers from using it and trying to force them into Metro/UWP. Trying to force a developer to do something is impossible, it's equivalent to trying to break or rewrite the laws of physics. Allowing developers to compile their Desktop programs for ARM would provide the bridge to get developers onboard.

    Back in the day ARM was not nearly as powerful as it is today and it's rapidly gaining on intel's "core". It will still be a long time before ARM scales up nearly as far as Core i but it's already on par with Core m. Apple was premature in declaring ARM as "desktop class" but it's only a couple years away for the majority of use cases. Microsoft should leverage ARM to the fullest and stop being Intel's lackey. Intel is already distancing themselves from "Desktop". Times change and this is one of those times.

    TL;DR RT was not a mistake, although it was poorly executed. Like a football play, you can run the same play & get different results depending on how you execute the play. RT was the right play, poorly executed. Run it again and execute better.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  4. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    RT was like many things do, about 3 years too early in the Windows Dev Cycle (i.e. the Office Team was delayed on creating true mobile versions of the Office Suite).

    If RT was using Windows 10 Mobile with Mobile Office I think it would have been a better overall experience. I think we will see a return of the concept, especially as the ATOM SoC is dead...
     
  5. Plantje

    Plantje Member

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    I see that differently. I expect all Windows machines to run at an m3 cpu. Look at how thin and small Samsung has made their Galaxy Tab S Pro...there is no need for an Atom line
     
  6. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Currently due to the thermals about 10.8 is as small as you can go with core m below that you need something lower wattage. All the 10.1 and below devices will be searching for a solution since they wont be able to use Atom after this round. It's possible 10nm cannon lake core m will be able to go down to 10.1 but that still leaves a lot of devices to power. List of Tablets - Tablet Comparison Chart 2016 - Updated Tablet Prices look at the list of 7", 8", and 10.1" Windows Tablets.
     
  7. Plantje

    Plantje Member

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    Hmmm, ok... And for me at least 10.1" is fine, but I can understand other people may have different needs. Next to that my X7 Atom in the S3 does the trick just fine for now...
     
  8. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's also possible cannon lake wont go down to 10.1. In that case ARM is the only option and it's still the only option below 10.1 Some way somehow the ARM solution needs to rise to the occasion. IMO this is completely within the realm of possibilities and is the best insurance against more Intel disappointments.
     
  9. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Keep in mind that Cannon Lake is not scheduled to come out for anther 14 months if it's on time. I'm hearing the A10X is going to be 10nm as well as the Snapdragon 830. Intel beat to market by everyone on process by a full 12 months is unheard of. This is yhuge!

    Even if Intel's 10nm is better than the others it wont be that much better, they have lost their advantage. Intel has been underperforming for several years, the CPU speed increases are paltry, granted they have been devoting efforts to graphics and power reductions but it's not enough. ARM is bounding up the ladder on every front. This is the global climate change of the computer industry and it's happening now!

    In two years ARM will be in position to power everything below high end gaming/workstations and the library of software is all fresh and modern. I could be wrong about this, they might be competing for the high end too. It sucks to be legacy. There's not a moment to lose in making Windows RT Reloaded/Windows 10 on ARM a premier first class platform, not the crippled redheaded step child it has been. Unfortunately they also have to deal with that "legacy" software too.
     
  10. jrioux

    jrioux Active Member

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    Except cost!
     
  11. Plantje

    Plantje Member

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    True, that would definitely be a reason still to opt for Atom. But the Surface 3 has never been that cheap really. If you compare the prices of a Surface 3 4GB/128GB with a Surface Pro 3 4GB/128GB it was not that different that it would verify an entire new Atom line.

    To be honest: I wouldn't be confident buying a Windows ARM device, other than a phone, again. I was lucky to jump the ship before my Vivotab RT lost all its value, but I can imagine people felt left behind when Windows RT was killed.
    I don't agree with all the complaints there where when Microsoft was still pushing Windows RT. Even in the store I heard people tell customers:"Windows 8 is only useful for touch screen devices", "Windows RT and Windows 8 are the same" and "Windows RT is only useful if you don't have too many demands." Windows RT was great and I would really hope Microsoft gets Windows 10 running on ARM like my Surface 3 is running Windows 10 on a x86 CPU. But it will take quite a while for me to board that ship again! For example: I use VMWare Horizon to work while on the train. VMWare has created an app to do that in Windows (even Windows RT), but the last time I checked that doesn't run as well as the full x86 application. And since it is Windows it is not expected that the app will be developed much further. I can't even install it anymore on my Surface 3
     
  12. jrioux

    jrioux Active Member

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    I don't know what planet or reality you inhabit, but in my world a 50% increase is significant. In the US, the S3 listed for $599 and the SP3 was $899. That's a big difference.
     

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