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Nvidia Sees Great Future with Windows RT

By - Source: Computerworld | B 31 comments

Nvidia fully supports Windows RT.

Rene Haas, vice president of computing products at Nvidia, told Computerworld in an interview that the company is committed to Windows RT for the long term. That's good news given that supporters for the ARM-based version of Windows 8 seem to be dwindling by the week. Most device makers have either completely ignored Windows RT and focused all of their attention to the x86-based Windows 8, or placed their Windows RT plans on hold. Nvidia, it seems, has Microsoft's back.

"Surface RT is the very beginning of a long process and it's the first shot in a changing landscape," Haas said. "Microsoft is moving the entire Windows platform to something really mobile."

And Haas has a point. Windows RT is a new breed of Windows, living outside the x86 realm. It hasn't even been an entire year since the platform was launched, meaning there's lots of room for improvement, and to grow its own ecosystem. Unfortunately, its plagued with the inability to run x86-based software that consumers are accustomed to using on their desktop, thus likely leading to poor sales of Surface RT and Windows RT-based tablets.

To get around this roadblock, Microsoft will need to accelerate its goal in creating a unified platform on Windows Store. Reducing the price of Surface RT will also help, and recently Microsoft and a number of retailers began doing just that: selling Surface RT at a discounted price. This was seen as a move to clear inventory for the next-generation Surface RT sporting Windows RT 8.1 later this fall. Whether this new price point will inspire new sales remains to be seen, but Haas remains hopeful that it will. Nvidia's own Tegra 3 quad-core SoC resides in Surface RT, and now it's selling for $349 (32 GB) and $449 (64 GB).

Haas said in the interview that Nvidia employees are already using Surface RT tablets sporting the 8.1 update which sports Microsoft Outlook and VPN improvements. "Outlook in 8.1 is a big, big deal for us, and it's not a baby version of Outlook or somehow stripped down. We can use it to book meetings and other ways and it's completely productive and a big item for us," he said, adding that other organizations will find Windows RT 8.1 valuable.

He also briefly touched the subject of Microsoft's reorganization, calling it encouraging, as Surface development is now under the helm of long-time Microsoft exec Julie Larson-Green. "Think about Microsoft essentially owning hardware as well as Amazon and Google," he said. "Over time, that's exciting."

Nvidia previously stated that its new Tegra 4 SoC will be used in multiple Windows RT tablets. Haas wouldn't elaborate on when, or what types of future RT products will appear. However Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said he doesn't believe any tablet maker will produce a Windows RT tablet in the future. Even more, Nvidia is reportedly "blowing smoke" about the future of Windows RT and Surface RT because marketing people don't want to spook the market with negativity.

"RT is dying overnight. RT is going to die a slow death," he told Computerworld.

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  • -9 Hide
    delaro , July 19, 2013 8:08 AM
    Maybe when all Tablets come with 64gb+ of ram, at the moment it takes up to much space and uses to much power. I can do everything in Android and it's far less ugly to look at.
  • 7 Hide
    vmem , July 19, 2013 8:15 AM
    of course they do, OEMs are dropping Tegra 4 left and right...
  • 0 Hide
    Blinken , July 19, 2013 8:21 AM
    Hah, now MS is pressuring Nvidia to help sell there 6 mil of unsold Surface RT's? LOL
  • 8 Hide
    rad666 , July 19, 2013 8:26 AM
    Nvidia sees a great future with Windows RT?

    They're the only ones...
  • 5 Hide
    captaincharisma , July 19, 2013 8:33 AM
    the only way RT will survive will be if MS comes up with a way for it to run any program the x86 version can. if not then it will end up having a shorter life than the arm version of windows NT
  • 0 Hide
    DRosencraft , July 19, 2013 8:42 AM
    After losing nearly $1 Billion on RT, I guess it's time to try about anything. Nvidia isn't completely wrong, but I don't know RT ever had a strong path forward.Having RT and Pro, it's like trying to split your own user base.

    Anyone see the numbers on the Surface Pro? I know it supposedly has done better than the RT, but I don't really see much mention of it.
  • 0 Hide
    Blinken , July 19, 2013 8:46 AM
    Hah, now MS is pressuring Nvidia to help sell there 6 mil of unsold Surface RT's? LOL
  • 0 Hide
    anononon , July 19, 2013 8:50 AM
    Well if this is the case, Nvidia is seeing something that most do not...

    I cant see this going well, the RT windows was a flop from the start.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , July 19, 2013 8:54 AM
    Quote:
    Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said he doesn't believe any tablet maker will produce a Windows RT tablet in the future. Even more, Nvidia is reportedly "blowing smoke" about the future of Windows RT and Surface RT because marketing people don't want to spook the market with negativity.

    "RT is dying overnight. RT is going to die a slow death," he told Computerworld.


    This, to me, is the best part of the article as it seems to be the obvious truth.
  • 2 Hide
    darkavenger123 , July 19, 2013 8:59 AM
    Wow. Nvidia is excited about a DOA platform. Must be desperate for Tegra sales.
  • 0 Hide
    BringMeAnother , July 19, 2013 10:14 AM
    I don't get what Microsoft's plan was. If they really wanted to break into the ARM market, they should commit a large investment in those surfaces, make them cheap so that more people would take a risk on it. With more users, there will be more developers to make apps for RT. Instead, we get this half hearted attempt. I mean did they really think they'd sell the Surface RT when there are already two well established ecosystems when they don't even have the price advantage?
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , July 19, 2013 10:23 AM
    I wonder if Microsoft had properly marketed Windows RT that they would have done better? RT is no better or worse than Android or iPad IMHO. It lacks in the app ecosystem, but I don't think that's where it failed. MS tried very hard to skin RT and 8 PRO touch versions of their OS to look virtually identical; as such, consumers expected RT tablets to run full OS versions of software (whether improperly assuming or not). It was a bad choice IMHO. That coupled with the fact that Surface RT tablets were not priced competitively. Oh, and the dumb kickstand and magnetic keyboard was a poor design choice vs. a proper dock.
  • 0 Hide
    dennisburke , July 19, 2013 10:51 AM
    I still have hope for the Surface RT. I've been waiting for an alternative to Android. I would like something that will Sync nicely with my Windows desktop, and it doesn't have to be able to run every x86 Windows application. The main problem I have is the price, and if Microsoft can get the price down to compete with Android...I'm in. The fact that Microsoft includes a microSD slot really helps, and if it comes with a Tegra 4, I'll be first in line.
  • 0 Hide
    chiefbox , July 19, 2013 11:16 AM
    Microsoft strategy is flawed - they should have taken a similar approach to Apple's. Build the mobile ARM based platform with Win 8 1st, and converge the Win 7 x86 platform functionality via the Cloud. It's working for Apple for OS X and iOS. This is not the 90's, when MS set the rules, those days are long gone, there is a new sheriff, or 2, in Tech Town!
  • 0 Hide
    fulle , July 19, 2013 12:30 PM
    It's not a fun time for Nvidia in the mobile space. No love from Apple, or most Android OEMs, because Qualcomm and PowerVR provide superior products... so they're forced into Windows 8 RT tablet territory, where they're going to get a beatdown from Intel, who's selling superior X86 based Windows 8 tablets.
  • 1 Hide
    dgingeri , July 19, 2013 12:41 PM
    MS needs to make a version of Windows Server that supports ARM, with roles restricted to secondary AD DCs, DNS, DHCP, and routing. That would make them perfect for telephone/LAN closet authentication and network services with very low power (12-15W) consumption, right along side the local switches. Perhaps they could even get built into the switches. Admins would still administer from a central DC, but it would take the authentication load from that central server.

    Many companies have moved this kind of thing to virtual machines, but that still requires big, power (>250W) hungry hosts. With smaller, low power units based on ARM, they could reduce the datacenter footprint, power consumption, and heat, spreading it out to telephone/LAN closets.

    The main DC would still have to be a big x64 machine, and so would file servers, print servers, DB servers, and other services, but ARM could have a significant contribution to the datacenter.
  • 0 Hide
    littleleo , July 19, 2013 2:06 PM
    MS needs to fire Steve he has made more dumb moves then any CEO in history. Fire his ass before he sinks MS into a hole it can't get out of!! As to the article I have one question. How do you die overnight and have a slow death at the same time?
  • 0 Hide
    Chris Droste , July 19, 2013 2:21 PM
    RT reeks of the same neglect that killed WebOS, only it seems that Microsoft with oodles more money than HP to put a product out there managed to kill it FASTER? MS shoulda taken their 1st-gen XBOX strategy; that is to sell the SurfaceRT at cost or at a slight loss to install their userbase. the workspace could have vast potential in a business space where these days iDevices are starting to become almost a de facto standard. get hardware, SDKs and direct collaboration with major business oriented software developers and get mature, secure line of business software working on this from day1(a bit late, maybe day1 of the second-gen devices?) and pound the ground with tests and presentations to businesses. if they can see the benefit and employees become accustomed to the experience, they will want to take that experience home or tell their friends/business partners. MS has the money to install this market NOW and wait to make the money tomorrow.
  • 0 Hide
    Larry Bob , July 19, 2013 4:11 PM
    @teh_chem: Didn't Dell warn Microsoft about the dangers of using Windows branding on WinRT?
  • 0 Hide
    redeemer , July 19, 2013 10:03 PM
    Quote:
    Wow. Nvidia is excited about a DOA platform. Must be desperate for Tegra sales.


    When it comes to mobile Nvidia is obviously desperate
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