Eye on Microsoft

About this Blog: This is Shane O'Neill's blog about Microsoft's corporate strategy and its various software and services — the good, the bad and the ugly.

Eye on Microsoft

Microsoft Says Windows RT Is the Future, But Can it Survive the Present?

A Microsoft exec defends Windows RT as a disruptive technology that will get stronger in time. But RT may run out of time if the Windows Store can't compete with Android and iOS.

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The reasons why Windows RT is not succeeding are well-documented at this point. But I'll repeat them anyway.

-There aren't enough quality apps in the Windows Store to justify the device being "Metro apps only."

-There is only a small number of RT devices available as OEMs such as Samsung have held back from releasing devices running Windows RT. In addition, Microsoft has only sold 1.1 million Surface RT devices, according to reports.

Windows RT

-It has a "desktop mode" but does not run any desktop applications. A limited, touch-friendly version of Office (Includes Word, OneNote, PowerPoint and Excel, but no Outlook) comes with RT devices but it lacks robust desktop features.

-At $499 for the 32GB model and $699 for the 64GB model, there's absolutely no discount here. In fact, it's overpriced given the competition for smaller, $200-$250 Android tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire.

In an interview with CNET, Mike Angiulo, corporate vice president, Windows Planning, Hardware & PC Ecosystem, ardently defends Windows RT, the growing Windows Store and the ARM chip architecture on which Windows RT runs. Anguilo said that Windows RT is a strategy that will "just get stronger over time."

But when you've entered the tablet and App store race as late as Microsoft has, "time" is in short supply. Until the Windows Store is at least in the same league as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, Surface RT and other Windows RT devices will be at a disadvantage. If Windows RT is about Microsoft's future, it may have too much trouble enduring the challenges of the present.

Microsoft is aware of these challenges and created a program called "Keep the Cash" that will pay developers $100 per app published in the Windows Store, with a $2,000 cap. The program will run until June 30.

Here's the CNET interview with Anguilo, plus a few other stories covering the struggles of Windows RT.

Microsoft Defends Windows RT as Necessary Disruption
Microsoft defends Windows RT in an interview with CNET. It's a disruptive technology that will only get better with time, according to Michael Angiulo, corporate vice president. (CNET)

Microsoft Comes Out in Defense of Windows RT
But it's really an admission from the company that the platform is about the future, not today. (Supersite for Windows)

Microsoft Defends Windows RT, Fails to Answer Criticisms
"People are talking about legacy desktop software not running, but they don't think about the customer benefit of only running modern [Windows 8-style] apps," says Microsoft's Mike Angiulo. However, the lack of high quality Windows 8-style apps, and the limited features in the popular ones, refute Angiulo's point. (The Verge)

How Microsoft Can Save Windows RT, Surface RT
Microsoft's Windows RT confused potential buyers right off the bat, and the confusion turned to indifference over time. CIO.com blogger James A. Martin shares details on some of his experiences with the Surface RT tablet and offers advice on how Microsoft can plug the hole in the Windows RT ship. (CIO.com Blogs)


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