Hardware, Software Programs

Microsoft and Nvidia Continue the RT Push

Seems like Nvidia?s stance on Windows RT hasn?t changed a lot in the past three months, despite the bad news coming from Redmond and many other manufacturers. You might already know this, but it is worth reading it once again ? Microsoft practically lost almost one billion USD due to the Surface RT ?inventory adjustments?. In other and very simple words, the company overproduced a tablet that underperformed on the market. Without going into particular reasoning behind how that happened, apparently both companies are still working together to push out a new Surface RT-based device(s) soon.

Even amidst all of the news that Windows RT devices powered by the Tegra 3 SoC were practically begging to be sold some months ago, Nvidia still believed that it was just a start of the story. Unfortunately, an unsuccessful one thus far, but that may change at some point. Nvidia?s vice president of computing products Rene Haas said that it was still too early in what he called a ?significant transition for the PC platform?, and that they are ?very, very excited going forward?. He certainly knew that the Surface RT sales are low, and it is not difficult to believe that he already knew what was coming from the pipeline for both them and Microsoft. Redmond still hasn?t officially announced that the Surface line is getting a refresh nor did they comment on this recent wave of rumors and news, though that is to be expected. On the other hand, Nvidia?s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told CNET that they are indeed ?working hard? on the second generation of the Surface tablet, whilst hoping it will perform much better than its predecessor. For some bizarre reason, he also believes the included Outlook to be the ?killer app for Windows RT?, though the ecosystem remains in a very poor state.

We hope that the next Windows RT tablet from Redmond properly utilizes everything Tegra 4 SoC has to offer ? especially the DirectStylus technology we wrote about some time ago. This would break the mindset of having only the more expensive Pro model with that fairly useful accessory ? stylus. Such move would certainly attract some groups of users – for instance, students who prefer to take notes that way, those who somehow still like to spend more time in the Desktop environment for Office work, etc.

According to some rumors, Microsoft is actually preparing a smaller 8-inch variant of the Surface tablet as well (both current variants are 10.6?). Could there be enough place for two new RT models and one x86 Haswell based Pro unit? It is possible ? but unlikely. Then again, Nvidia was very excited for what is coming, we might be in for a surprise. As could Microsoft. Again.

Despite some advices from analysts (namely, ones from the IDC) and other companies that Microsoft should not rip the Windows 8 apart in this ?incompatible RT? way, but to try and combine the RT and Windows Phone in order to build something else, Microsoft is apparently confident enough to push the RT onward. Somehow, their perspective seems to be ? how long until the effort pays off?, and not ? will it pay off at all? For now, there?s only a billion dollar loss recorded ? as Android devours through the tablet market and some OEMs completely simply giving up on Windows RT platform. Nvidia could certainly use a boost too.