Seven things to consider for a Windows tablet
Windows RT will be different in some ways from Windows 8
IDG News Service - Come Oct. 26, when Microsoft is set to stage a release party in New York City, consumers may have to choose between a tablet with Windows 8 or Windows RT. The operating systems look and feel the same, but devices will differ on performance, price, battery life, usage and application support.
Windows RT is Microsoft's first OS for ARM processors, which are found in Apple's iPad and most Android tablets. Analysts say RT is targeted at consumers and will attract a new generation of users with little ties to PCs, much like the iPad. The OS will come preinstalled on tablets and differ in some ways from Windows 8, which is considered a successor to previous Windows operating systems.
"People should play with them in the store to see if the device is right for them," said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research. "We have a new device class, a new architecture, and people need to figure out how it fits with their device usage model."
Here are some things to consider when looking at RT tablets:
Windows RT or 8?
Microsoft has engineered Windows RT for touch, Internet connectivity and long battery life, and some tablets highlight those features. Windows RT is viewed as more of a tablet OS in the mold of Apple's iOS, while Windows 8 tablets may appeal to PC users looking for backward application compatibility. The cheapest RT tablet is Microsoft's Surface, which starts at $499, while Asus' Vivo Tab RT starts at $599.99. Windows 8 tablets are competitive on price, with Acer's new W510 tablet priced at $499 with an Intel Atom chip code-named Clover Trail.
With a few exceptions, existing Windows applications will not work on RT. That is partly because ARM processors have not supported major desktop Windows client OSes in the past. But existing applications will work on Windows 8, as previous Windows OSes over the past few decades were written primarily for Intel or Advanced Micro Devices processors. Microsoft is adopting a new application model with Windows RT and 8, and users will be able to download applications through Microsoft's application store, which will show up as a tile in the user interface. "I think that Windows' new app store is ... a move from Microsoft to catch up with the changing distribution channels for software," said Nathalie Lussier, a technology consultant in Brooklyn, New York, who is looking into Windows hardware.
Peripherals and accessory compatibility with Windows RT
A lack of drivers may prevent some older peripherals such as printers or cameras from working with RT. Some device drivers may not have been written to work with RT -- an issue that's similar to existing Windows applications not working with RT. It may be worth checking with device makers to see whether they have drivers for RT. Dell and Hewlett-Packard have published lists of printers that will and won't work with RT.
- Microsoft again writes off Surface inventory, renews profitability doubts
- Surface survives Microsoft cuts, but tablet strategy remains muddled
- Surface Pro 3 not a notebook replacement to DIYers who want inside
- Microsoft wants MacBook Air owners to trade up to a Surface Pro by trading in
- Surface Pro 3 'notebook' reaches retail today
- Whoops! Microsoft goof confirms Surface Mini
- Surface Pro 3 deep-dive review: Has Microsoft finally got it right?
- Perspective: The Surface Pro is Microsoft's latest premature introduction problem
- Surface Pro 3's 'tweener' screen is too small for a laptop, too big for a tablet
- Buy a Surface Pro 3, get it at summer's end
- Enterprise Mobility Management Checklist Read this checklist for tips and considerations when creating your own Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) strategy.
- Mission Critical: Managing Mobile Applications & Content Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become embedded in enterprise processes, thanks to the consumerization of IT and a new generation of...
- Securing Mobility, From Device to Network At one time, the process of managing and securing mobile devices and applications was fairly straightforward. Most organizations worried about one application (email)...
- Planning for Mobile Success Many organizations are seeing clear and quantifiable benefits from the deployment of mobile technologies that provide access to data and applications any time,...
- Client Management: Simplifying Life for System Admins Watch this brief webinar to hear how implementing a client management strategy not only overcomes common Apple-ization challenges related to data protection &...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily... All Tablets White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!