Posts Tagged ‘ Windows RT ’


Windows 8 Update: 50k apps now in Windows Store

Written by admin
March 27th, 2013

Also: Windows RT gets dissed, iPads beware Windows 8

There are now more than 50,000 Windows 8-only applications available in the Windows Store, a big jump from when Windows 8 launched, but a far cry from what the company projected just before the launch.

According to the website MetroStore Scanner, the store has 50,341 apps on the shelves, finally reaching that number over the weekend after more or less growing steadily at 10% per month since last October. There was a spike in December perhaps as part of the Christmas rush.

ANALYSIS: What if Windows 8 flops?
But back in October Microsoft predicted it would have an inventory of more than 100,000 by the end of January, and now nearly two months later has just half that has materialized.

It’s bad news for Windows 8 and Microsoft because by the company’s own admission applications designed for the touch-friendly operating system are essential for attracting customers to it. Compelling apps mean more converts.

Getting apps has proven a challenge, with the latest enticement being an offer of $100 to developers for every Windows 8 app they get placed in the Windows Store up to 10. They can reap the bounty for an additional 10 Windows Phone 8 apps in the Windows Phone Store. “Offer good only to the first 10,000 qualified applications published in the Windows Store and/or Windows Phone Store, or until the end of the promotional period, whichever comes first,” Microsoft says.

That’s $1 million Microsoft is ponying up to stimulate apps development in this promotion alone. That doesn’t include the cost of developer trainings and a generous royalty agreement for the most popular applications.

While 50,000 apps is a benchmark, it’s coming too late for it to be considered a positive benchmark.

Jettison Windows RT?
Meanwhile, Microsoft is using the same Windows Store stats to defend Windows RT, the hardware/software platform based on ARM chips that runs a light version of Windows 8 and can handle only Windows Store Modern applications.

Windows RT came under fire recently from IDC, which suggested Microsoft dump the package. It is intended to compete with iPads, but hasn’t made strong inroads so far. Nevertheless, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows planning told CNET that “as the number of apps grow in the store, that value promise only gets stronger.”

That value promise was based on a narrow set of circumstances. “Let’s say you drop that PC in a pool. Well, you get a new one and then you just redownload [the apps],” he told CNET. “That’s the kind of model people are used to with a phone or tablet today. I can maintain all the apps in the [Microsoft] store and reset with a single switch. So, on Windows RT, the user experience stays consistent over time.”

iPads beware
Despite the attack on Windows RT, the full Windows 8 software that supports any app that runs on Windows 7 is getting praised as an operating system for tablets.

Moor Insights and Strategy says in a whitepaper that Windows 8 tablets offer more than one advantage over Apple’s tablet. “Enterprise IT can and are deploying iPads but are doing so at an increased cost, time and complexity than PCs,” the paper says.

These tablets are PCs only without the keyboard, and so have a the manageability of a laptop with the touch centricity of Windows 8. The Intel Clover Trail processor gives the devices performance per watt that is comparable to that of the iPad, the paper says. “Through the combination of Intel Clover Trail and Windows 8, HP, Dell and Lenovo have created tablets that take the best the consumer elements of the iPad and adds to it enterprise features IT wants in their next generation tablets,” it says. “Enterprises should immediately evaluate the latest enterprise tablet offerings from HP, Dell and Lenovo and make their decisions on future deployments incorporating those additional options.”

Acer likes Windows 8
Acer President Jim Wong had some nice things to say about Windows 8 tablets recently during a financials conference call.

According to StreetInsider.com, Wong expects sales of tablets in general to pick up over the course of 2013.

According to the website, “More importantly, Wong said that momentum in Microsoft Windows 8 devices has been improving. Acer Chairman J.T. Wang echoed the sentiment during the company’s conference call, saying that Microsoft “has done some good things finally” to revitalize the Windows ecosystem.”


 

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Windows RT users happy with the device, so far

Written by admin
December 22nd, 2012

Despite an unending stream of FUD being hurled at the Surface tablet, people who have bought it seem pretty enamored with their purchase, according to reviews piling up on BestBuy.com and Staples.

Microsoft launched the Surface tablet in its retail stores, all 65 of them, before expanding to Best Buy (1,900 stores total) and Staples (1,400 stores) earlier this month.

So far, sentiments for the device are fairly positive. On Best Buy’s website, the Windows RT tablet sports a 4.7 out of 5 rating, based on 28 customer reviews. Only one customer was unhappy with the device and rated it one out of five stars.

“No Outlook so not full MS Office, all other tablets have version of word, excel, and powerpoint, so very disappointing,” wrote customer gates77. He liked screen customization, but also noted “Battery life wasn’t to [sic] good and typecover isn’t as good as some logitech keyboards. Can’t load any of my windows 7 programs.”

The most popular feature about Surface RT seems to be Windows 8. “Windows 8 runs like a charm, the Windows Apps Store is growing by the day and I am able to use all my favorite apps such as iHeartRadio, NY Times, USA Today, Kayak, Netflix, Endgadget, eBay, ESPN…” wrote Cricketer from New York on Staples.com.

“The live tiles are a great innovation,” wrote Philipm785 of Atlanta. “They provide genuinely useful information without having to launch the apps and the multiple sizes and custom groupings that can be easily scrolled and zoomed are way easier to get around than the multiple screens of tiny uniform icons you get on iOS.”

The hardware is also receiving kudos. “It’s a perfect laptop replacement for those who don’t need lot of processing power. Don’t wait for the surface pro. The battery life is all day,” wrote desiboy of New York on BestBuy.com.

“I gave away my Android tablet after using this for a while,” wrote MZach of NC. “The keyboard and touchpad are unobtrusive but there when you need them and the keyboard has cursor keys!”

Even people giving 5-star reviews have complaints, include volume output, the “primitive” email app, lack of apps and x86 support, Flash support in IE10, and the price itself.

It’s encouraging to see, but I’m actually not totally surprised. Early adopters tend to be enthusiasts. As it moves beyond the early adopter stage and away from Microsoft enthusiasts into the mass market, that score will drop as more cons pile up. We’ll see what people say when the much more expensive x86 models arrive next year.

 


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Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote on ARM-based tablets could draw buyers

Computerworld – Windows 8 on ARM, now dubbed Windows RT by Microsoft, will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote applications, according to a chart included in a blog by Microsoft posted yesterday.

Inclusion of those Office applications with Windows RT is the latest indication that those applications will be free and included in the software price of a Windows RT tablet, said analyst Al Hilwa of IDC. Hilwa had said as much in February when Windows RT was first announced, even though many doubted that was the case and questioned whether the suite would be truly free or fully functional.
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“Well, I stand by my position,” Hilwa said in an email Tuesday. “It is clear as daylight [that the Office suite is included in Windows RT].”

Many analysts and corporate IT managers have argued in recent weeks that Microsoft wouldn’t give away the valuable Office suite used on desktops — and worth $100 to $200 or more — with new tablets running ARM.

However, Hilwa said the move is Microsoft’s way of attracting customers to Windows RT tablets, since the software maker hasn’t offered a clear competitor to emerging touchscreen tablets running ARM, including the iPad or various Android rivals.

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said even though the Office suite is pre-installed on Windows RT it’s not clear what level of functionality the suite will offer. “I suspect there will be an ARM version of Office [that] is basically an update and renaming of Works, which was free and had similar functionality [as Word and Excel],” Gold said.

“I can’t see Microsoft offering a complete feature-for-feature equivalent Office product for free on a low-cost ARM tablet and then charging $300 for an Office version for Intel devices,” Gold added. “I still believe Office on Windows RT will be a scaled-back version, rather than full Office…. There are still lots of questions about the capabilities of the device and the names Microsoft is throwing out there.”

Gold said he was also confused that the Microsoft chart doesn’t mention Outlook for any of the new Windows 8 machines, while claiming support for Exchange/Active Sync. Windows Media Player isn’t listed in the chart either, which Gold called a “huge hole…. What will users do for media playback?”

Supporters of Windows RT with Office have been numerous. In February, BoxTone Vice President Brian Reed said many business users “could quickly become tablet users to get to Office apps,” a sentiment underscored by CIOs who have built internal applications dependent on the Windows platform.

Windows RT for tablets has opened up doors for some ARM chip makers like Nvidia. “Windows on ARM [now Windows RT] will be hugely successful and is a huge opportunity for ARM,” said Lance Howarth, executive vice president of ARM, a UK firm that provides and licenses the design for ARM chips to manufacturers.

Monday’s blog by Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc also disclosed that there will be three Windows 8 editions for Intel and AMD PCs: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise.

The blog did not offer any pricing or release dates for the various Windows 8 editions. Analysts widely believe tablets running Windows RT will emerge late in 2012, and should be priced somewhere between the starting iPad price of $499 and the Amazon Kindle Fire price of$199.

Some comments on the Windows blog questioned Microsoft’s use of the Windows RT name, preferring something such as “Windows 8 for Tablets.” Still, Microsoft said in February that Windows RT could appear on a variety of form factors beyond tablets, including touchscreen desktops and laptops.

Microsoft didn’t immediately respond Tuesday to questions about Windows RT.

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