Surface Windows RT Tablet

Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, indicated in a shareholder’s meeting that innovation can be made easier if it is implemented on both hardware and software at the same time, according to a recent neowin.net report. This innovation is represented in the Surface RT tablet that was released into the market over one month ago.

The Microsoft Surface tablet offers distinctive hardware features as well as a Modern UI that is unlike the interface of the Android and iOS.

However, some industry watchers are puzzled at the strategy used by Microsoft for in entering the tablet market. The main advantage of Windows 8 over Windows RT is its ability to run software used in older models of the OS. Although this is critical for laptops and desktops, it may not hold true when it comes to tablets.

A number of Microsoft enthusiasts are looking forward to the release of the Microsoft Surface Pro into the market even though a number of tablets that used the x86 versions of the OS have not attained much success in the past. The failure of these devices can be attributed to the fact that these older Windows versions were not quite compatible with tablets and a number of consumers have different expectations on the features of tablets compared to computers.

These previous issues can be dealt with by the Windows RT although some slight enhancements may allow it to perform better. Legacy applications may not be designed to work well in tablets in the same way that tablets may not be quite compatible with legacy applications.

Although the lack of legacy applications on the Surface RT tablet turned off some potential buyers, it may not be practical to install software that will not be easy to use on a tablet. It will not be easy for anyone to use Photoshop on a tablet unless the interface of the application is modified to allow it to support touch screen capabilities.

The touch screen interface of the Office RT is awkward to use even though Microsoft used bigger buttons to facilitate touch input. On the other hand, the Modern UI of the OneNote app is specifically designed for use on touch screen devices. Although a number of features that are used on the desktop version can be found on the OneNote application, it enhanced them and took away unnecessary options to support its main function, which is to make notes. Some of the specific options of OneNote are accessible to the user, who will have to specifically select them.

Even as OneNote is less demanding compared to the Office app, it was designed specifically for tablets and not for the traditional interface of Windows.

A number of other applications also show an enhanced experience for users when the Modern UI is utilized. One such application is the ScoreCenter app of ESPN, which offers an incomparable experience for users of the app. The app offers dedicated areas for the teams that show relevant data about the team.

Although Modern UI is accessible to both the Windows RT and Windows 8, the latter may be unnecessary for tablet devices since tablet devices can do without desktop applications. Although some users may require the use of such desktop applications, it does not hold true for majority of the users.

An earlier report has hinted at the possibility that Microsoft decided to produce its own tablet as result from these issues. A report from New York Times indicated that the lack of software from Microsoft designed for use on touch screens may have contributed to the failure of the HP Slate 500. On the other hand, Microsoft was not happy with the use of an Intel processor by HP, which resulted to a thicker and hotter device compared to the iOS and Android devices that used an ARM processor. It appears that the same issues may continue with the Surface Pro tablet even though it will use a newer version of the Intel processor compared to the one used by HP.

Another issue facing Windows 8-powered tablets is the poor battery life compared to the Windows RT-powered tablets. Some people may still surprised at the fact that the Microsoft Surface tablet using Windows RT has a better battery life compared to the model using Windows 8. The advantage is based on the built-in advantage of the ARM architecture over the x86 architecture when it comes to power consumption.

Some people may not mind this issue, but a shorter battery life basically takes away the advantage of a tablet over a laptop. Many consumers have a certain expectation from tablet devices.

Although a number of users will continue point out the advantage of a Microsoft Surface tablet using Windows 8 over the Surface RT tablet, some industry watchers do not agree on the benefits of running legacy applications on the tablet. They find little use in tethering hardware and software that are not supposed to be used on tablets.

Some people may find these applications necessary while others may bear with the shorter battery life along with software that may require the use of a keyboard and a mouse. But most users will find a Microsoft Surface tablet using Windows RT adequate enough for their purposes.

Image via PCWorld.com

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Surface with Windows RT
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