Reports: Windows 8 set to move to mid-tier tablets

Reports: Windows 8 set to move to mid-tier tablets

08 MAY 2013

Amazon outed a smaller screen tablet powered by Windows 8, sparking speculation that the platform is set to move into the mid-range – which could also effectively mean the death of Windows RT.

According to PCWorld, the online retailer briefly listed a Windows 8 tablet device with 8-inch screen from vendor Acer, priced at $379.99. So far the platform has only been used in larger devices (10-inch plus screens) with premium price tags, rivalling Apple’s iPad line.

This publication also noted that Microsoft’s hardware certification requirements for the platform have recently been tweaked to support lower resolution displays, such as the 1024×768 pixels mooted for the Acer device.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reports that Asus is also looking to offer Windows 8 powered devices with smaller screens, with prices likely to fall below $300.

If Windows 8 does become vendors’ platform of choice for smaller devices, with the advantage of offering support for the existing Windows application catalogue, it could mean the end for Microsoft’s fledgling Windows RT.

Launched late last year, Windows RT is designed for use with ARM processors, which should enable it to offer a better power performance in portable devices.

However, Windows RT is not compatible with existing Windows applications, and so far it is believed that take-up of devices powered by the OS (primarily Microsoft’s own Surface) has been lukewarm – limiting the incentive for developers to support another tablet OS.

In addition, vendor support has also been lacking. Samsung, one of the few vendors to offer a Windows RT device, opted not to launch it in territories including the US or key European markets.

It was argued that with the platform being the same but different to Windows 8, with the critical feature being the lack of apps, there was “a lot of heavy lifting” to be done to make the proposition a success.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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