Rebuttal: Windows RT Blunder
Redmond Post Rebuttal to: Microsoft’s ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA
This is first in our new series “Rebuttal”. In this column I will take articles published elsewhere and provide a rebuttal, easy as that! In this first rebuttal Neil McAllister of The Register gives seven reasons as to why Windows RT is a blunder and will ultimately fail. While am not the biggest fan of Windows RT and think Surface Windows 8 Pro is the way to go, I still believe Windows RT has merit and want to dispute this.
1. Windows RT devices are too expensive
As compared to? The biggest issue facing Windows RT is misconception. This is a tablet and designed to compete with tablets, like the iPad. Windows RT devices are priced competitively. The new iPad in 32GB (standard for most Windows RT devices) costs the customer $599.
$599 for a device that does not have any of the core components that Windows does like USB, MicroSD Storage, File Explorer, devices support, Office, and seamless display out and PowerPoint.
While yes, Apple is a marketing genius and get consumers to buy Apple simply for buying Apple- A simple feature comparison reveals how much more functional Windows RT truly is.
In regards to the developer ecosystem currently Apple has Microsoft beat. However what you are not accounting for is the massive platform and growth of Windows 8 overall. As the world upgrades to Windows 8 developers will code for the market with the largest growth. Even Google recognized that with their Modern App.
2. The software stinks
Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office. You assertion that lack of macros support will turn away power users is simply unfounded there has not been an overwhelming demand for that feature at all. Also, lest we forget other tablets don’t support Macros either- other tablets do not even support Office to begin with.
Yes Windows RT exclusively runs apps from the Windows Store. Aside from that it is, for the most part, the exact experience as the main computer.
You mentioned Blackberry’s impressive growth in it’s app market. I call steroids. As you reported, Blackberry bribed all of its developers with $100 during their port-a-thon. Let’s talk about RIM’s “guarantee” that if a developer breaks the $1000 revenue mark the developer will make $10,000 or RIM will pay the difference. This is a house of cards and I believe it may be the company’s undoing. Blackberry trails behind Windows Phone. They can bribe their way into a marketplace of a million apps but if there is no one there to download them they will fail and pay out every last dollar of profit they have to the developers.
You mention the quality of the apps in the Windows Store. Have you seen the iOS store lately? While they do have more “useful” apps than Windows at present, it is filled with mostly junk. And unlike Apple, Microsoft is not policing and scrutinizing the content of the apps like Apple and barring apps because they do not “think it is a good fit for their store”. Conversely the Windows Store is secured and safe unlike the fragmentation wonderland that is the variety of Android Apps Stores. Andriod is completely open and has gotten a good amount of apps because of it but as such has allowed in not just the same bevy of crap apps, but also dangerous apps. Apps that steal your information, identity, and add viruses.
Windows RT is secure, the apps are approved by Microsoft if they are safe but not content restricted and elitist like Apple.
3. Microsoft is competing with itself
Windows RT is a companion device. It is not meant to be a full computer and as such is not meant to be your primary email device, connected to an active directory domain, or any of the other things you mentioned.
This is simply Microsoft attempt at the tablet market. It is meant to compete in that market, a market new to Microsoft. Therefore it is not competing with itself by nature.
That said I do agree with you that it is competing in message. Differentiation between Windows RT and Windows 8 is the biggest and primary problem.
4. Microsoft is competing with everyone else, too
Point taken. You are correct that iOS and Android are fierce competition in those markets, it will be difficult for Microsoft to pick up market share among tablets. Does that mean they shouldn’t compete at all? Perhaps, perhaps not.
I believe that a new type of device form factor can emerge that bridges the best of both the tablet world and the PC world.
That said your comparison of Windows RT to a netbook is unfounded. The main issue with netbooks was performance. They were slow as hell and had no battery life. Windows RT, like it or not, is designed for the ARM platform and runs perfectly fast. Also, because of the ARM architecture you can have a Windows operating system with upwards of 10 hours battery.
In terms of the convertible/ultrabook trend, Surface Windows RT will not compete with those devices. Surface Windows 8 Pro will. And THAT device will hold it’s own.
5. Windows RT is too closed
Can you install apps without an email address, use any app you want, use any productivity suite, change the primary internet browser or music player, plop in a USB flash drive or SD Card, or use flash at all on an iPad? No. You again pitch Windows RT against PC’s. And while I can easily understand why, that is not the battle being forged here.
The Windows Store is yearning for more apps and the requirements placed on developer’s apps are far less with the Windows Store versus iOS. iOS is more “closed” than Windows RT- period.
6. Hardware OEMs haven’t bought in
Agreed. The problems Microsoft is facing with differentiating Windows RT and Windows 8 is the Achilles heel and is prompting the OEM’s to not “buy in” as fast as Microsoft would hope.
I pose the question- “Do they need to?” By far the best selling Windows RT device is the Microsoft Surface. Could this simply be their flagship and primary focus for RT?
7. Microsoft’s marketing sucks
Yes and no. Microsoft’s marketing of Surface and as of late Windows Phone has been getting alot of attention. I believe they are doing “okay” on that front.
In terms of Windows RT, you are right sir. It is has been a cataclysmic mess. Perhaps Microsoft didn’t want the message to focus on the Windows RT powering it but instead on the devices it runs on? But even still when people here “Windows” it means Windows and they are going to (as you have done throughout your entire article) compare it to Windows 8 and computers.
The operating needed a completely different name all together. Call it “Microsoft Modern OS” or “Pussy pussy lick lick” I don’t care but just call it something else!
Microsoft incessant need to brand everything under the sun “Windows” need to STOP. Just because it is the most popular brand they have doesn’t mean it needs to be on everything (ie. Windows Live :P)
We’ll leave it at this Neil, I disagree with your article on alot of points however you overall conclusion for Windows RT I believe to be accurate. I believe most all of the concerns you raised stem from the fact Microsoft has done a terrible job marketing the operating system that is Windows RT. And the concerns you raised, are why this product is failing.
I know the difference and can explain it, the customers don’t. Problem.