Microsoft is doing the hard sell on Windows 8 features and in particular they have made a valiant effort to push past some of the bad press (and consumer grumbling) about Metro UI and the way many of the apps are locked down. We have talked a little about this and even touched on it during some of our gaming coverage. Although you can launch “desktop” applications from the Start Screen (The Metro UI interface) you are not actually running them there. The only apps that will run in Metro UI Mode are ones that are downloaded from the Microsoft Store. This limits the functionality of the OS in many ways. Sure you can get some applications to interact with each other, but even then there are limitations.
Microsoft’s Windows 8 (both Windows RT and Windows 8 for x86-64) is due to hit the market around November of this year and it has already caused a ton of controversy. But there is one that did not get a ton of press when it was announced that highlights a few issues with Windows that many are not anticipating. Around the first of July it was announced that HP would not be making an ARM based tablet for the next OS and we also know that Acer will probably not as well.
With all of the news around Windows 8 and Microsoft’s Surface tablet many might have missed out on a small report that went around. In this report it was revealed that manufacturers like Qualcomm Texas Instrument, Samsung and more were having issues getting drivers working for Windows RT. We covered it and found that in more than a few cases the information was pretty spot on. We know that Acer decided to focus on x86 based products instead of opting for ARM due to technical difficulties. The issue which has slowed some OEM’s Windows RT progress was also used in the many reports that Microsoft was showing OEMs how it’s done.
The consumer electronic market is an interesting one. It is probably one of the only markets (with the exception of possibly the auto industry) to have the massive number of incorrect segmenting of products. One of the biggest areas of segmentation (incorrect segmentation) is in the “PC” market. Here the competition for products is insane. Back in the early days (the days when we had IBM Compatibles) things were relatively simple; at least they were on the surface. When you walked into a store and looked for a computer (if you were at all interested in having one back in the mid-90s) you saw IBM’s and their clones. One of the first computers I was exposed to was the Osborne One which actually predates the original IBM PC and the consolidation of the market in the early to mid-80s. In fact it was the introduction of the IBM PC combined with the Kaypro II portable that ended up killing Osborne and their chance in the market.
The Consumer Electronics world is a very interesting one (it is also very entertaining). There is a ton of money and effort put into conveying a message for this or that product and service by people that, often, do not even know the technology they are talking about. On top of that there is a media presence that is made up of everything from the entry level user to the ubergeeks. You have blogs, news sites, review sites, company review sites, Amazon reviews, New Egg Blogs and customer reviews and more. It is almost impossible to get any real information out of what is broadcast on the internet these days. This is even more true when you have all of these sites rushing to get their article out first. This environment has created a situation where information is partially researched, based solely on synthetic tests or (even worse) is more opinion than fact.
Rumors are fun things, but in the end a good deal of them can be counted out with little more than common sense (and a little research). An interesting rumor that popped up in the past weeks is one that is trying to claim that AMD is a prime target for acquisition. Right now the potential buyers are listed as Samsung and Qualcomm, but does any of that make sense? Is AMD really a prime target for acquisition and are they ready to be bought out by someone else? Let’s take a look at these rumors and see if they hold any water.a
The other day Microsoft decided to make an official announcement of the OEM partners that will be supporting Windows RT for the October 26th launch party. The list is pretty much what we described before and shows Lenovo, Asus, Dell and Samsung. Acer, HP, Toshiba, Motorola, HTC and more will be passing on this (Motorola and HTC not by choice …). Of that list HP, Acer, and Toshiba will still work to release Intel based tablets running Windows 8 by the official launch date. The list has been dwindling since Steve Ballmer first made his proclamation that there would be 20+ tablets running Windows RT for the launch.
Well the world is abuzz with the news that *gasp* the Microsoft Surface tablet only comes with WiFi. For some reason this appears to be a big deal to many news sites that also have articles that list reasons why you should wait for the iPhone 5 and a few others. What I find interesting is that very few appear to remember that both Windows 8 and Windows RT will have the ability to utilize peripherals attached Via the included USB port.
There used to be a thing called truth in journalism. It meant that when you published an article you should at the very least check your facts if you are presenting it as “news” in the world of editorial articles things are different as an editorial is nearly always an opinion based article with some facts thrown in for furn. What has happened though is that with the introduction of Blogs, Fan Sites and other venues for information some of the fact checking has gone out the window in the effort to be the first to report on a juicy bit of news. When an article hits one of the big sites it often gets spread around the net and becomes the “truth” simply by means of repetition. We have watched this many times (and it is something that Apple’s PR and marketing thrive on).
Google (and ARM as a whole) is finding out the hard way that building an OS is not that easy and without proper and full support you are going to have problems across your entire platform. Today and Google I/O 12 Google announced and showed off Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Now this sounds great but there are still a ton of devices that are waiting for ICS (Android 4.0) that was announced last year.