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Looks like Microsoft will persevere with Surface tablets & Windows RT for a few years yet

by Doug Drinkwater

September 20 2013

Microsoft execs were speaking at an analyst event in Washington on Thursday (Image: Microsoft via CNET)
Microsoft execs were speaking at an analyst event in Washington on Thursday (Image: Microsoft via CNET)

Microsoft isn’t paying too much attention to claims that Windows RT is in decline. The firm has said that it plans to continue work on the ARM-based version of Windows 8, and that includes its own Surface tablet.

A number of senior execs talked up the firm’s tablets and Windows RT at Microsoft’s analyst meeting in Bellevue, Washington on Thursday evening, even though Julie Larson-Green admitted that the company had learned things over the last year.

“We’ve learned a lot,” said Larson-Green, the newly-appointed head of the Devices and Studios group, when speaking on the first-generation Surface RT tablet.

And although she likened the reception of the Surface RT to that of the first Xbox games console (it wasn’t well received back in 2000), she wasn’t entirely downbeat on Windows RT’s chances.

Larson-Green championed the ARM-based Windows RT for its battery life compared to Intel processors and said that the inclusion of Outlook with Windows RT.1 could make it more popular among business professionals.

Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive VP of Operating Systems, also banged the drum for Windows RT and insisted that there will be “many more” tablets based on the OS.

“There are two very important chipset families in all our devices and that’s [Intel] x86 and ARM,” said Myerson.

"The ARM devices, particularly in phones, have incredible [market] share due to the battery life and connectivity options," he added. The latter is probably a reference to expected 3G/4G options in future Windows RT tablets.

"As phones extend into tablets, I expect us to see many more Windows ARM tablets in the future."

Microsoft will reportedly take the wraps off its second-generation Surface tablets at an event in New York next week (Monday 23 September). Stay tuned to TabTimes for news and analysis from the conference.

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