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Nvidia Working on Second-Gen 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.

  • Maxx_Power
    I'm guessing they are throwing GPUs to solve the Surface woes ?
    Reply
  • nolarrow
    Sir, it isn't selling! hmmm. Prepare the money catapults. LAUNCH!
    Reply
  • matter37
    Surfacr RT will probably fail again due to Windows RT, but the Surface Pro still has potential.
    Reply
  • matter37
    Surfacr RT will probably fail again due to Windows RT, but the Surface Pro still has potential.
    Reply
  • BringMeAnother
    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.
    Reply
  • JPNpower
    People, the rt surface is actually a pretty decent tablet...
    Reply
  • LORD_ORION
    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.
    Reply
  • apache_lives
    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
    Reply
  • assasin32
    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.
    Reply
  • JPNpower
    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.
    Reply