Microsoft May Merge Windows RT into Windows Blue

Sources from the upstream supply chain have told the somewhat spotty DigiTimes that Microsoft has no plans to launch another tablet based on Windows RT. Instead, the Redmond company will merge the ARM-based version of Windows 8 into Windows Blue.

At first glance, the wording implies that Microsoft is working to merge an operating system based on ARM architecture (Qualcomm, Nvidia) with a platform based on x86 architecture (Intel, AMD). Thus, the company would have one Windows 8 product that works on both.

Unfortunately, supply chain chatter can be misinterpreted as details get lost in translation. What's likely happening is that Windows RT will join the incremental update pattern dictated by Microsoft's Windows Blue release schedule. Even more, it appears that the company may drop the "RT" label so that from a brief consumer standpoint, there's no real obvious difference between the ARM and x86-based versions.

The report claims that although Microsoft and its partners pushed Windows RT rather aggressively from the beginning, the sales just aren't there. The Windows name has reportedly misled consumers into believing that the RT platform would be compatible with their current x86-based software. But it's not, and a lack of apps, combined with the compatibility issues, have thus damaged the Windows RT brand.

How Microsoft plans to resolve this by removing the "RT" label is unknown at this point. Despite HP and Samsung rejecting the platform, several OEMs have already stated they still plan to produce Windows RT tablets this year, as they're cheaper than their x86-based cousins. With that, Microsoft may need to stick with an entirely new name to reduce the amount of customer confusion.

Most of what we've heard about Windows Blue is mere chatter anyway. Microsoft didn't acknowledge the scheme until earlier this week. "With a remarkable foundation of products in [the] market and a clear view of how we will evolve the company, product leaders across Microsoft are working together on plans to advance our devices and services, a set of plans referred to internally as Blue," said Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft.

Thus, Windows Blue is an envelope of simultaneous, incremental updates. It makes sense that Windows RT will be included in this "Blue" schedule, and it really isn't surprising that Microsoft plans to revise its Windows RT strategy. How that strategy will unfold will likely be revealed during BUILD 2013 in San Francisco from June 26 to June 28.

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  • 11796pcs
  • de5_Roy
    wart (windows arm rt) will become windows blurt.
  • janetonly42
    So MS is now just throwing their crap at the wall to see if it sticks.
  • thecolorblue
    janetonly42So MS is now just throwing their crap at the wall to see if it sticks.basically
  • luissantos
    MS' original goal was to have Win8 support both x86 and ARM. For the illiterate: that's a good thing.
    The hate posts on this article are clear evidence of how moronic it has become to bash MS for pretty much everything just because they did not give you a Start button and a boot-to-Desktop option.
  • corbeau
    My only fear with Windows RT is that because it is a closed platform, and it is only used for tablets, if Microsoft decides to end support (like Zune), then the device will be crippled. At this point in time, it seems logical to either go x86 or stick with android or IOS because support and software will be there.
  • freedquaker
    The execution is horrible on the MS as usual. But beside that, There are 5 major problems:

    a) They did not design an OS for the Tablets from the scratch but slapped an unintuitive tablet interface on a fully fledged desktop OS and simply waited for tablets to be strong enough to handle just the basic GUI. Even then the software execution, the lag times etc still bad (beside may other obvious things)

    b) Microsoft = Windows & Office. So they wanted to keep the Windows Brand (without real windows in Metro!), and seemingly uniform although the code bases are largely different. Again the execution on so many grounds have been terrible, and the very idea of of uniformed platform (in a windows mindset with different code bases, and forced guis slapped on legacy interface) is just sickening.

    c) They kept the prices artificially high for various reasons in a very price-sensitive market (unless you have a quality brand name like Apple), with an unproven, already outdated and ecosystem driven product.

    d) The quality control is severely lacking. They have put an unduly significance on the quantity". People will either choose on "price" (too expensive), functionality (too limited compared to rivals due to the dearth of apps), or on quality (severely lacking due to Apple and even Android)

    e) They buy those stuff for the software, and nowhere is seen any emphasis on it. The whole emphasis is on those gimmicky keyboard which are sold separately for a handsome amount of money! It's like putting a lot of emphasis on the "touch screen" when iphone first came out but shipping it without it, but charging extra for it. Just ridiculous!
  • Bloob
    The plan from the get go was to merge as much of the update process as possible. So yeah, Win 8, Win RT and even WP8 will get a set of patches known as Blue.
  • Aoyagi
    Bah, I would much rather hear a word about fixing the abomination known as Windows Phone 8. As a user, I want my control back!
  • lp231
    All this Windows Blue talk about I don't understand any of it. Maybe it's because I don't give a damn or something?
    I got Windows 8, besides no start button, there are other gripes with the OS.
    1. Programs cannot create shortcuts to the desktop. It can only be pinned to the start screen or the taskbar. To create shortcut to the desktop, then you'll need to head over to the program location.
    2. When pulling a USB flash drive, without using the eject function, sometimes it will cause windows to crash and then a error Windows to Go on USB will appear.
    3. When using a picture password, the left hand pane (showing the user name and user picture) will cover the entire screen, preventing users from logging in.
    4. Windows Update does not show notification while in desktop mode. When set to manual install, you'll need to head over to Windows Updates from time to time to see if you need updates or not. Previous OS will tell the user if there are updates to be installed or not.
    5. At the log in screen, the message "Windows cannot install updates, please sign in to installed updates" is annoying. It sounds like the system has problems, while it's just Windows wanting to install updates. They should have say "Windows wants to install X amount of updates, please sign in to install updates" or a friendlier message.