Microsoft: Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung on board for Windows RT

Reacts to criticism about weak OEM support, complaints over its move into hardware, says analyst

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"Very rarely have any of these [Building Windows 8] posts been unplanned," Moorhead argued. "This is their way of encapsulating the devices that partners have discussed, and to show that there is still interest in Windows RT, even after [it announced] Surface."

More specifically, Moorhead saw the blog as a reaction to the belief by many that few partners would support Windows RT, especially after Acer executives hammered Microsoft for horning in on the hardware game.

It also follows the announcement from Lenovo, the world's second-largest OEM, of a thin, lightweight tablet powered by an Intel processor that runs the more inclusive Windows 8.

"I think this was driven by the Lenovo tablet," said Moorhead, referring to the ThinkPad Tablet 2 introduced last week. "I have a tablet that's less than 10mm thick and claims around 9 hours of battery life, but it's running an Intel processor and Windows 8. So what's the value of Windows RT again, when I can have my cake and eat it too?" Moorhead asked.

Moorhead also said his between-the-lines reading of Angiulo's blog showed Microsoft wants to convince customers that they'll get a more consistent experience with Windows RT hardware than with Windows 8.

"There will be a limited range of display sizes for Windows RT," Moorhead observed, talking about the 10.1-in to 11.6-in. screens Microsoft said it and its OEMs would use.

Angiulo reinforced that by contrasting the limitations of Windows RT with the kitchen sink approach for Windows 8's form factors.

"You can expect to see everything from ultra-thin sleek designs with stunning high-resolution displays, to beautifully designed all-in-one PCs with large immersive displays complete with touch, to high-power towers rocking multiple graphics cards and high-performance storage arrays," Angiulo said of the new OS that runs both tile-style apps and traditional desktop software.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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