When Microsoft launched its Surface tablets, a lot of observers were skeptical about its move, saying that it was a “mistake” to compete with its traditional hardware partners. While perceived as an awkward stance, the Microsoft position is actually not about competing with hardware sales in my opinion. Instead, I think that Microsoft wants to set the bar and make sure that its partners can match or even surpass its own tablet. What Microsoft wants is to make sure that Windows 8 for ARM architecture provides a great experience, and as one would say: if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
In any case, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung are jumping on the train, and they obviously think that there is room for innovation in that space. Take the Asus Tablet 600 that runs on Windows RT. It is basically a Transformer Prime which runs on Windows 8 RT.
As for the user experience, Microsoft clams battery life of 8 to 13hrs for video playback, and stand by times of 320 to 409 hours. This is consistent with the battery capacity which is 1.5X higher than the iPad 2’s. Also, all the Windows 8 RT tablets that I have seen have a standard resolution, so none of them will be a power hog like Apple’s retina display is (even if it is beautiful!). Yet, I expect to continue seeing cutting-edge hardware from Samsung on the Android platform – for now.
Pretty much anyone can test Windows 8 today by downloading the pre-release version. However, users are very anxious to see how the battery life and overall system performance will be on ARM chips. At the moment, the user interface seems absolutely fluid and all, but still – this is something that can only be tested in the real-world.
How do you think Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Samsung should innovate on Windows 8 RT? Read our first impressions of the ARM-based Microsoft Surface