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Nvidia Working on Second-Gen Surface RT Tablet

By - Source: CNET | B 29 comments

Nvidia confirms it's working on the second-generation Surface RT tablet.

On Thursday Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang admitted to CNET that the company is "working really hard" with Microsoft on the next-generation Surface RT tablet. The news arrives after the company said that it's committed to Windows RT for the long-term, that it sees a great future in the ARM-compatible version of Windows 8.

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

Last month Microsoft revealed that it was forced to write down $900 million for Surface RT due to a lack of sales, and then finally admitted that both Surface RT and Surface Pro – the latter of which is x86-based and compatible with Windows desktop software – only generated $853 million in revenue since their debut in October 2012. Needless to say, the second-generation will need to knock everyone's socks off.

Huang believes that one of the big problems surrounding Surface RT sales is that it doesn't have an Outlook RT app – it's the "killer app" for Windows, he says. No disrespect to the Nvidia CEO, but any Surface RT owner can access Outlook through the web browser or the built-in Mail app. Sure, it's more convenient to click on a live tile and have a Modern UI-themed Outlook interface, but Microsoft's tablet has an even bigger issue stalling sales: incompatibility with desktop software aka "customer confusion." Surface Pro doesn't have this problem.

However, on an enterprise level, an Outlook RT app is a more ideal solution; it keeps users out of the browser. By default, Outlook is the ideal client for email services based on Microsoft Exchange, and it works well with Active Directory. It's extremely secure, and integrates with other Microsoft applications like Calendar, and so on. Unfortunately, a tablet-based Outlook RT app also has its restrictions which Microsoft clearly points out here.

Currently, the Outlook 2013 RT app is available in Windows RT 8.1 Public Preview, but it only runs on the desktop and not via the Start screen like other Modern UI apps. Users can connect to their POP and IMAP email accounts, and their Exchange Active Sync accounts. It's optimized for touch, but users can connect the keyboard and switch into Mouse Mode for a more desktop-like interaction.

Huang told CNET that with the second-generation Surface RT, both companies are going to "bring it." They're "working really hard on it" and "hope that it's going to be a big success."

Microsoft teased two new Surface models back on mid-July during its Worldwide Partner Conference. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said that fiscal 2014 will be the company's biggest "innovation year" ever, displaying a slide showing a collection of product launch points including Skype, Windows Phone, Office, Dynamics and even Surface.

Nvidia, confirming its part in the second-generation Surface RT plans, backs up what sources have claimed for the last several months. The Tegra 4 chip will likely power only Wi-Fi based models while a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip – possibly the 800 – would power a 4G LTE model. The updated Surface Pro tablet will supposedly pack a fourth-generation Intel core "Haswell" processor.

Microsoft's 2014 fiscal year began July 1, 2013. Bring it, we say.

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  • -3 Hide
    Maxx_Power , August 10, 2013 12:08 PM
    I'm guessing they are throwing GPUs to solve the Surface woes ?
  • 8 Hide
    nolarrow , August 10, 2013 12:20 PM
    Sir, it isn't selling! hmmm. Prepare the money catapults. LAUNCH!
  • -4 Hide
    matter37 , August 10, 2013 12:53 PM
    Surfacr RT will probably fail again due to Windows RT, but the Surface Pro still has potential.
  • Display all 29 comments.
  • -4 Hide
    matter37 , August 10, 2013 12:53 PM
    Surfacr RT will probably fail again due to Windows RT, but the Surface Pro still has potential.
  • 6 Hide
    BringMeAnother , August 10, 2013 2:12 PM
    I wish they didn't waste resources on making the RT, but since they are I hope they will sell it for around $200 and less than $50 for the type cover to force market penetration and give devs more incentives to make Win8 apps which would benefit Win8 x86-64 users.
  • 4 Hide
    JPNpower , August 10, 2013 3:23 PM
    People, the rt surface is actually a pretty decent tablet...
  • -2 Hide
    LORD_ORION , August 10, 2013 3:57 PM
    The main problem with Surface is the ridiculous price MS thinks they can charge for it.
    At the new $349 "sale" for the basic RT, you aren't going to find a tablet that good at that price.

    I also seriously don't understand how anyone can say RT is confusing. iOS works the exact same way and DOESN'T have the ability to join a Windows network and access file shares. Derp on you for even spewing that propaganda horse crap out of you mouth.
  • 1 Hide
    apache_lives , August 10, 2013 5:44 PM
    i see very few here have actually used or owned an RT tablet

    there 1000x better then any android or iPad device, you can actually use them for professional work, join networks, remote desktop etc without any cheap crappy third party applications
  • 4 Hide
    assasin32 , August 10, 2013 6:13 PM
    Just wish they make a RT netbook for around $250 to compete with chromebooks. I think they would fly off the shelves at that price, look at the chromebook it's a gutted OS but it works. RT is far more versitile and includes office which is a bit plus for students. Office + IE alone would cover most tasks for students, I think they are missing a big market here for a budget netbook market they could dominate in.
  • 1 Hide
    JPNpower , August 10, 2013 6:13 PM
    Windows 8 haters, RT Surface haters. I would love to lock them up in a room with a Surface RT and actually make them use it for a while. Maybe they will notice something.

    Would I buy one? no. mostly because I already have laptop and PC, and would want a tablet solely for reading stuff without bulkiness, which a super slow/lightweight Android does better. However, I see this as the future for ultraportable PC. light file editing. web/email+ tablet mode.
  • 0 Hide
    alextheblue , August 10, 2013 6:43 PM
    No disrespect to Kevin Parrish but comparing web Outlook and the built in basic email app (which doesn't support POP3 - although POP3 is outdated trash and I wish it would die) to a full offline version of Outlook? Really? You wouldn't want to use Web Outlook or the basic email client on a daily basis, if you could help it. They're barely adequate.

    WinRT 8.1 solves this problem by porting over Outlook. It doesn't matter if it runs on the Desktop only. Office RT runs on the Desktop and it's no big deal. My dad has a Surface for around the house web browsing and Office work. He's looking forward to Outlook RT, since he uses Verizon mail and they are behind the times (POP3, lazy pricks, IMAP is much better).
  • 0 Hide
    yannigr , August 11, 2013 12:32 AM
    RT in my opinion is an OS that Microsoft made in case ARM wins against X86. As long as Intel is still in control of the market, Microsoft wouldn't do much to promote RT.
    Before you tell me that "smartphones that and tablets this", market is still being controlled by Intel. Android, smartphones and tablets are still considered... cute. Someone who wants to be serious about business, work and gaming is powering on his desktop/laptop. If X86 invades the smartphone/tablet market before ARM manages to take a significant market share from desktops/laptops (no single user cares about server market - how many linux systems are on servers that no one cares about?), then there is no reason for Microsoft to ruin the Wintel recipe.
    In the end the only company that really really REALLY wants RT to succeed is Nvidia, and that's because they have no guaranteed future in X86 platform. Especially now that RT is abandoned by everyone, is the perfect opportunity to make Nvidia and Tegra significant again.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 11, 2013 2:11 AM
    If they stopped with the RT and gave it full windows, x86 processor and a GT610M or GT620m (to play very light games) it would be perfect tablet as the 620M can play all modern games at low settings and the 610M can play most on low settings. And price it below an iPad and it will be a huge hit! Or use one of the AMD APUs, even the lowest mobile APU would destroy any other tablet for gaming (apart from the Razer tablet)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 11, 2013 3:07 AM
    Perhaps Nvidia are just working on a custom GPU for it or a way to get a mobile GPU into it rather than the whole machine? Its just annoying that its RT and not full Windows 8
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , August 11, 2013 6:08 AM
    Surface RT was just too expensive, and frankly Tegra 3 didn't cut it. Plus $100+ for a cover is obscene.

    I mean, hell, most high-end mechanical keyboards sell for that much.
  • -1 Hide
    DrHoads , August 11, 2013 7:38 AM
    Ahh well.. I am glad that they will continue to push RT. I LOVE my surface RT. Printing, network drives, Remote Desktop and 10 hours battery!! Awesome!! Sure, my pro is a lot faster and can install all applications, but most of those I do not need on the go. Look forward to Outlook RT update for 8.1 and a bit faster CPU in the Surface RT 2.
  • 0 Hide
    Marlin Schwanke , August 11, 2013 1:09 PM
    Surface RT, what a kludge job! Tablets are mainly about time wasting and media consumption. You need the MS Office Suite for that? Tablets don't have keyboards because they don't need them, see time wasting and media consumption above, so the Surface ads all feature the dancing tablets with the click-on keyboards.

    "No, no, no, professionals want tablets and need to do useful work on them", you say? I say, way too few pixels on the screen, which is too small, and oh, right, the Surface RT can't run real Windows programs anyway. "But, but there's a Surface Pro for that", you say? I say, for a $1000 I get get an Ultrabook or a MacBook Air which is what your Surface Pro mimics poorly at about that price with its keyboard attachment. Oh, and I don't like my tablets with fans anyway...
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , August 11, 2013 2:30 PM
    The sooner Microsoft will put up with non-x86 idea, the better.
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , August 11, 2013 9:04 PM
    Hopefully it will come with android preinstalled, with the option to download and install windows rt if you want.
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , August 11, 2013 9:13 PM
    Windows RT tablets should be priced below x86 based tablets and laptops - this is their downfall

    On the other hand they should be priced above android because its much much more useful and powerful
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