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Microsoft to boost Windows tablet sales by cutting the cost of Windows RT licenses for OEMs

Windows RT

Microsoft really wants consumers to put down their iPads and pick up its own ARM based Windows RT devices. So far, we have seen aggressive campaigning against Apple’s portable computing tablet. Now, Microsoft plans to cut the cost of Windows RT licenses and make tablets running the operating system even cheaper; this intel comes from anonymous sources, as the exact pricing for Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system is confidential.

The decreased pricing would allow manufacturers to release more inexpensive tablets while/or increasing their own profit margins. The soon to be released update for Windows RT also allows OEMs to develop for smaller form factor devices – a market where the operating system could be expected to pick up in sales.

Manufacturers and OEMs have been shunning the Windows RT platform and voicing that it simply doesn’t offer enough as is. As Bloomberg words it, this is Microsoft’s “second chance” to get partners onboard and interested in the RT platform.

The future is also beginning to look gloomy for the ARM platform and Windows RT devices, as Intel continues to develop its x86 and x64 microarchitectures. When Windows RT was originally released, Intel and AMD powered devices simply couldn’t obtain the battery life and form factor that ARM based products could. As we move forward, Intel is developing extremely low power chipsets to compete, which may tip the scales in Windows 8's favor.

Intel Haswell

Either way, if Windows RT fails or succeeds, its failure will most likely be due to higher consumer interest in full Windows 8 devices. A failure for the RT operating system is less of a long term problem for Microsoft and more of a long term problem for ARM technology. Intel is showing that in today’s mobile computing market, it can still be relevant.

What do you think about the RT operating system? I carry a Microsoft Surface RT around everywhere and I love it, but maybe you don’t feel the same about the platform.

Source: Bloomberg

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Reader comments

Microsoft to boost Windows tablet sales by cutting the cost of Windows RT licenses for OEMs

96 Comments

why? if Intel chips allow for the same power, battery life, and form factors as devices using arm chips, then why wouldn't you just want full-on windows 8? as a surface rt owner I have no problem seeing the platform die if that is the case..

Intel has yet to deliver anymore than the "more power" part of the equation and even that is arguable with the current Atom processors.  They also all still generate too much heat and battery life is not nearly as good as claimed. Throw in the fact the ARM processors cost a fraction of even the cheapest Intel processors, and should be pretty obvious that Microsoft needs a seat at both tables.  The tablet world is dominated by lightweight, cool running, and somewhat underpowered ARM based products with which people are generally satisified.  It is foolish to assume that everyone will drope them for Intel based products just because they claim in marketig materials that their new stuff is better.

"Throw in the fact the ARM processors cost a fraction of even the cheapest Intel processors, and should be pretty obvious that Microsoft needs a seat at both tables."
Yet the ARM tablets with Windows are more expensive than the ones with Atom. Atleast here in Czech Republic.

Well right now arm is a very secure platform.lets see some real world numbers on x86 battery life and performance by then there will be improvements to snapdragon also

It depends- do all my legacy apps get retroactively updated/upgraded to be touch friendly? Do all current desktop apps come with touch friendly options?
I'm not willing to use desktop apps on a tablet when they are almost all about as touch friendly as a scared porqupine. Sure, I can plug in a mouse/keyboard or touch/type cover, but that's situational and I want something that can work at all times.

-1
Most people (not all) do not need all their x86 applications on a tablet. If you need a laptop/desktop replacement then get that. For most people, a tablet is a secondary device. I have a Surface RT and it has a physical keyboard/mouse. So I am perfectly comfortable using apps that are not touch enabled (such as Office). But I can't imagine trying to do Autocad or Photoshop on my Surface. For that, I fall back to my primary (dual screen) machine. People who say they want all their x86 apps to run on their tablet ...don't really understand what a tablet is. Yet often (within the same breath) these same people say then they could just use their iPad. People don't expect iPad's to run x86 apps but yet they expect the Surface RT to do so. Surface RT is an iPad ...but better. It isn't a laptop replacement. It's just a tablet.

I don't know, but I'm glad I saved my.money and went with the RT. The legendary desktop is a pain in the ass to use, even with the Pro (have tried a friends). I use the Metro start desktop 98% of the time. The only reason I use the legendary is for office (OneNote now available for Metro) and for file transfers. There are file transfer programs, but for some reason most show no progress bar and take twice as long to move the file. Once and app that covers those issues comes out, I'm down to using legendary desktop with Word and PowerPoint with the touchpad.

The only thing I don't get, is why more big name apps and games don't come out for Windows 8 and RT. I get the WP problem with them being behind in total number of units in hand, but Windows is everywhere. Get on board already. Maddens, NHL 13, Tiger Woods, a better video/movie app (Movie Premier, StormPlay, Pandora Video Box), SoundHound, etc would be awsome. Bug bame games like I mentioned with an Xbox 360 controller would be epic.

I don't really see the point of RT.  The Jan Brady OS that gets no love.  Why not focus on Windows 8 for the high-end PC-based tablets and merge with/ extend Windows phone 8 for the low-end tablets?  Why have to deal with 3 eco-systems?

Why have 3 or 2 ecosystems when we will likely be pushed to 1? Well, 2 since whatever the current XBox console likely won't allow for the specific games to be played on a tablet. That said, I think consoles will see more merging with desktops for gaming and Roku/AppleTV for media.

It's not 3 ecosoystems. It's 2. Pro and RT are the same ecosystem, but RT can't run legacy desktop apps because they are not written for ARM.

Ahem, what about my DEC Alpha box here running NT 3.51 (okay not really)?  NT also ran on PowerPC and MIPS.  I don't know why everyone thinks this cross-platform stuff is brand-new.

Because one day the desktop will be irrelevant for most people. I have an Acer w700 and I rarely need the desktop. Once desktop apps are converted to metro what will be the point of the desktop?

Why can't apps designed for engineers be written for metro? I thought that it supports native code. I realize that any engineering app would have to be more mouse centric than touch centric. Who ever said that all metro apps have to be touch centric? The mouse works fine with many metro apps.

They certainly could, but the developer would have to custom design most of the UI elements, i'm not sure metro has access to all the basic menu, button, etc UI elements that apps produced for the desktop do.
 
Most users in that situation use more one app at a time though, which presents several issues. Firstly not all the apps they use will be ported to metro at the same time and they are not going to want to flick back and forward between metro and desktop. Secondly they will want to use several apps sized in various ways on the screen that may not be able to be achieved in the metro interface. Thirdly you need to be able to quickly gance to see your open apps and click straight to the one you want. This becomes especially important when you have upwards of 10 windows open - the desktop is just a better UI for managing complex use scenarios.
 
Also many users just prefer the old interface, even if their use of it is not complex, and that is fine. Windows has never been about telling people how they have to use their devices, it has always been about choice and letting peope do things they way they want. There is no point forcing a new UI on customers if they dont want it.
It is clear that the metro interface has been designed and optimised for touch (i'm not talking about the start menu here, I quite like the full screen start experience and think it works fine as the start menu for desktop pcs), wheras the desktop is desgned for mouse and keyboard. Both interfaces can be navigated with the alternate input method (touch on the desktop or mouse on metro), but both feel a little clunky and inefficient. Why not Let users stay in their preferred interface 100% of the time? The idea of a combined tablet and desktop operating system is a good one and streamlines development of software and apps, but that doesnt mean the experience has to look the same on devices with vastly different input methods; in fact it would be inappropriate to force this on users. Windows on differnet form factors should be consistently good and device appropriate, not identical in appearance at the expense of function. Having the same underlying operating system enables a lot of possibilities, but trying to mimic edge flicks with a mouse, or hit a tiny button on the desktop with your finger are not what this should be about.
 
I think the best way forward are the changes in 8.1, plus something like modern mix, which allows you to run metro apps on the desktop in windows. That would give desktop users access to the new features in windows 8 without the drawback of having to switch between UIs. It would also allow users to continue to use the metro mode with mouse and keyboard, or touch with the desktop if they so choose. It would also allow use of the start menu in a more traditional way, with immediate access to a complete app list. It's about choice, and it's presence doesnt really inconvenience those who are happy with the current experience, it just makes it better for those who arent.

Yes, Metro has been designed for touch ...because ALL devices in 1-2 years will be touch enabled.

Touch + Keyboard/Mouse is better than just Keyboard/Mouse.

Using my SurfaceRT, I constantly switch between touch and Keyboard depending on context. Zooming and scrolling is far better with touch. But precision cursor placement when editing documents is better with a mouse. I now use both, without thought, because touch is better. I'm often now frustrated going back to a non-touch device cause some things take much longer with a keyboard/mouse.

The Microsoft's timing to release Windows 8 is the lack of touch enabled devices available to consumers ...not that Win8 to too touch enabled. In 2-3 years, you'll understand what I mean. You can't buy a CRT monitor anymore. Soon, you won't be able to buy non-touch enabled devices. At that point, Windows 8 (or 9/10) will make sense to you.

I want to see several windows at a time when I'm working. I'll never switch to an environment where it's one app, full-screen all the time. That is a huge step backward to the DOS days in my opinion.

RT is the future Windows Phone, Intel procs with 10+ hours of battery life on PCs are the future. About time MSFT cut the cost, they make 30% on apps, don't charge OEMs anything.

The more and more that I think about it the more I lean towards a device with regular Windows and not Windows RT.

The only issue with it is the lack of apps. I have my ASUS VivoTab RT and love it... with the dock its the perfect replacement. i got rid of my android tablet... and gave it to the wife. 
It is meant to be a tablet... not a full fledged PC... thus why it is cheaper then anything with windows 8 pro on it.

I personally want a RT device myself.  I prefer it to be 7-8" though.  I want it to be more personal like my wife's Kindle Fire HD.  I'm not looking to run Crysis on it or anything, I have a laptop and a couple of desktops still.  A RT device at that form factor and a good price to match is where I'll be jumping in the tablet train.  Glad to see MS taking MUCH needed steps to kick their issues in the rear.  This and a pack in KB for the Surface are great ways to start!

picked up a surface pro this past friday and it really is an amazing device... *HOWEVER* I'm certain that an RT device could never satisfy. 

if they're going to push the RT hard they have to *seriously* boost the app market with developer incentives. 

That's good, hopefully the savings will be passed down to us! An RT tablet is really the kind of toy I want to play with. I wonder if there will ever be a Games for Windows or similar, after all, the full Unreal Engine does work on WindowsRT.

Stick a fork in RT. It's done.
Beside, who needs a stripped down version of Windows that doesn't run desktop apps when Haswell will offer full Windows 8 with the same battery life as RT?

Its far from done. The only problem with it, is fools like you that don't want it and think that means the rest of us shouldn't want it.

Your the same people that convinced Microsoft that no one wanted syncing capability for the phones and just drag and drop. What now? A million people screaming about lack of sync and some last minute half ass tossed together app/program that does synching for sh*t.

It only has a chance of surviving if they can make it significantly cheaper than an ATOM based WIndows 8 tablet. If it's not much cheaper the ATOM one makes more sense to buy.

Yet another person who seems to believe that Intel's Haswell marketing is more true their marketing for products last year and the year before, etc.. Nothing has been released to show that, in real world products under real world conditions, Haswell will represent any more than an incremental improvement. If you think it will really be the processor that solves the heat and battery life issues, please take a look at what they have claimed for every processor since they started using the i designation. Personally my bet is that in a few months, Toshiba, Asus, and Lenovo will be releasing new products with impressive battery life profiles, but they have already been doing that since the second generation processors. Beyond that I expect the only thing that will be genuinely hot about Haswell machines will be the heat transmitted to your hand or lap when the chip is running at full power.

Haswell won't offer the same battery life as ARM (though it will be a major upgrade from Ivy Bridge in its lower-power versions, which aren't what Intel took the wraps off of this weekend). Next-gen Atom will (probably). Microsoft will keep RT around until they're completely convinced Intel has gotten the low power religion, and then it will die just like every other non-x86/x64 version of Windows has (except WinCE/Windows Phone, and if Intel comes up with a viable smartphone platform, that might go x64 too).

Well. Haswell won't compete with ARM based processors. Baytrail (and it's successors) will. Only time will tell whether atom will eventually outperform ARM or not (in term of processing power and power consumption).

Windows RT might be a great choice for my wife or kids, because all they do is Facebook, Pinterest, email, Word, and Excel. Although the cult that is Minecraft tips the hat to Windows 8.
As for myself, Windows 8 Pro. I have a lot of x86/64 applications that I use, and most of them are not a good fit for the Metro/Modern/Single-app/Whatever UI.

RT would be great post 8.1 if they get rid of the desktop, speed it up and get these "apps" everyone keeps talking about

Microsoft was dragged into the ARM market. Honestly, I think Microsoft would hold a party the day they shut down Windows RT.

As mentioned, Intel and AMD mobile chips simply offer more than ARM chips. Any "failure" of RT will be more a failure for ARM than Microsoft.

More, but still at a higher power point.  Remember... as Intel reduce power, so does ARM.  And they have the headstart in this area.
I think ARM tablets do have a place as a cheaper option.  Also keeps Intel awake.

ARM power envelope is increasing generation after generation to increase performance, all the A15 chips have been underclocked or get throttled by the OEM's.

Really? As far as I recall, A15 which intended to rival (and outperform if possible) atom processing power has big issue on power consumption factor. Heck they even need a separate old core to preserve power when not doing intensive processing (a.k.a big-little). As desperately as it seems, ARM even release A12 because of this issue. In fact, in micro architecture itself, intel lead the way by going first on 22nm on baytrail (and 14nm next year) while ARM is falling behind in this aspect. As for baytrail, it will support fully out of order instruction set which will offer better performance, and has current intelHD graphics which will double the current atom's poverVRs. I don't know about it's power consumption though. But given that intel was confident with this, they should be good enough.

And guess what? Even Samsung's Galaxy Tab lines are incorporate clovertrail now (following Asus and Acer success story in this platform).

I love my surface rt. Sure there's a few things that it could have app or just integrated software wise. But what it needs is for there to be a clear difference in pricing between it and a pro version. I personally think the lower windows 8 version should die out as it would be even more confusing for people as not all programs can run on those.

RT has to be under 300$, or it wont work. Windows 8 at 300+ with haswell or atom or kabini OR temash will present so many more features.

That was going to be my comment. Once 10.1 and 11.1 RT tablets start coming in under $300, they'll blow the doors off of tablet sales. Get more apps and games have parity with android & ios and you'll have a battle on your hands.

I just can't handle the limitations of RT. That's just me personally though. If there is demand, great. Its just not coming from me.

RT limitations are the same one's that are in the Ipad and any other tablet. The only thing it is lacking is more apps. Productivity wise, it is a bit better than other tablets because it has built in support for mice and other hardware and has some multitasking capability which other tablets lack.

Precisely why I never gave a dime for an iPad.  It's a toy.  I need more function.  I do agree about RT being better than other OS options, but as I stated, it's a personal choice. If prices were way down comparable to some Android or Kindle tablets, I may pay for that.  Until they get there though...I'll just keep waiting for the next gen out this fall from a bunch of OEMs and see what they serve up.  Part of me regrets not getting the surface pro and getting the Acer S7 instead.  Love Windows 8 and touch...

I thought about an RT device for pricing and no way... I see no need for an RT device in this marketplace.
Why is there a need for a device that can't run any current Windows applications besides the built in the marketplace ones ? People want Windows, Not a stripped down version and that is what RT is...
I guess if your day to day stuff is' just in office documents and some mild games RT would work for you but, there is always that one program you need or want, and to me, it would be worth it to upgrade to a Pro device, even if it's a simple Windows game. I dont deal with limits on stuff very well.

The need for RT is the same need as any other ARM based tablet. They are inexpensive and provide all the functionality a person need for consumption tasks. Even if Win 8 Pro tablets start getting the weight and battery life of RT tablets, they will still be considerably more expensive. Will you spend $1000 for a tablet if all you do is browse, email, chat, and occasionally use Word to write a letter?

Exactly, although I could afford the Pro I bought Surface RT as a consumption device, the best feature is the inability to install legacy applications. All my docs, music, video and settings are on my network or in the cloud so I don't need to backup anything. I've already wiped to factory to address an issue and was up in no time, not having to deal with the legacy aspects of Windows restore was a nice change. Also most people who complain about an RT device have never used one, read any customer reviews and RT gets very high ratings.

I own a surface RT....i use it everyday. On the flipside if Intel can deliver on its promise, then so be it. The next few years will be very interesting for microsoft to say the least.

I have an RT and for the 1st time in 15 years I went on vacation without taking a laptop. I was able to vpn into our network and use remote desktop to do server maintenance and kick off jobs. Didn't miss a beat and still used it for personal use. It would benefit from a price drop though.

Windows RT should've been far cheaper from the start. The current situation with RT devices being as expensive as Intel PCs is just ridiculous. Microsoft's greediness is the cause of RT's poor popularity. If even MS confirmed that they can afford lowering the license fees that means they simply got too cocky and overpriced it.

Microsoft could have sold Surface RT for much cheaper, but if you recalled OEMs were crying about them having created their own hardware. You think it would have been a good idea to piss off the OEMs more and undersell them too?

On the contrary, my dear. I wish Microsoft had offered Windows RT cheaper to OEMs at launch, so that OEMs could sell their lesser devices for under 400 bucks, as they do with android tablets, while the Surface remained a premium RT device at $500.
 
I'm pretty sure if Acer released a 11'' Iconia Tab W200 RT for like $350 it could beat Surface sales worldwide.
 
Now if RT.1 arrives with 8'' support and lower license fees, something like an Iconia Tab W100 RT for $250 can be a hit.

I have to say, I shunned RT in favour of a full Windows 8 tablet. I hardly ever use the desktop, though - it's really fiddly on a touch screen. I suppose I'm glad the option is there, though...?

If Microsoft really is interested in making RT a success, they should drop the license price to around $25 bucks. If they loose money, oh well. That's what they get for coming late to the game.

This should have been the case from the beginning.  MS insistence at getting a share of the OS sales and the sales from the Apps shows the disconnect betweent the old MS and the new MS. 
Most people don't want a tablet that seems competitive with an iPad priced the same as an iPad and has less apps then an iPad on the premise that it has a poorly designed Office suite and needs a keyboard.  At that point they will just buy an iPad and be done with it.  The only reason android gained any traction was because it was cheaper then an iPad.
At least MS is realizing this (ever so slowly) hopefully not too late.

As long as "apps" are the only programs you can run, and 3rd party devs are ignoring Windows RT it will never be a viable option to ios and android tablets with hundreds of thousands of apps. That is the situation today and unless it turns around quickly its a valid question to ask what is the point of Windows RT.
 
With a device powered by the Atom ciip (even the Clover Trail available today) the app question goes out the window because you have access to 99% of Windows programs. The other 1% made up of power apps like Photoshop and Lightroom can be reserved for desktop use but having a full x86 tablet opens up a world of software. Atom devices also provide the same long battery life as ARM devices so you are getting the best of both worlds in one device.
 
The next generation of Atom, Bay Trail pushes this even further and makes the argument for ARM even harder to make as it pushes performance higher and maintains the same battery life capabilities. This is why an RT device is a hard sell for OEM's and consumers alike. Its time to accept that in the Windows world at least, the x86 advantage coupled with Atom's battery life trumps any argument you can make for Windows RT.

The RT tablet is actually perfect for many markets... just initially badly done.
 
An RT tablet should have no desktop mode.  This makes it as indestructable as an iPad, which is one of the real strengths of an iPad: a limited but consistent UI.  Nowhere to go break things.
 
Currently iPad users find desktop mode confusing on a tablet... RT should have been RuntTime only mode.  Of course because 8 was rushed before all the settings and Office would run in RT, they had to leave it there which caused major confusion to people.
 

Microsoft should sell the Windows RT operating system as a stand alone software so people can install it on any ARM device!! 
I have two ARM tablets with very good specs but with ugly-Android installed.  I would love to be able to buy Windows RT and install it on them. 
I am pretty sure there are a lot of people in the same situation; tablets in perfect working condition and good specs but uglyAndroid running on them.
Look at it this way: The more Windows RT installations out there, the more apps will be developed.  The more WinRT apps available, the more people would buy brand new WinRT tablets.  You have to start somehow...

The thing people seem to forget is that Windows RT isn't just a pet project to Microsoft. It's a strategic initiative set out to accomplish a number of goals. For example:
 
1. Push Intel -- Intel has always been big man on campus, but they've always been very slow to push the technological boundries. They need rivals like AMD and ARM to keep them pushing forward.
 
2. Microsoft wants Windows everywhere. Do we really think that an Intel is the best chip for the job of integrated components? No way. You're not going to run Intel in a car or in an ATM, or cash registers. RT is proof that Microsoft is serious about embedded technologies.
 
3. Windows RT is the future of Windows ... over time, people will use the desktop less and less until they declare it legacy and then dump it completely. That's a long way off, but it's coming, and it should.
 
4. As an IT guy, I would love to put Windows RT with RemoteApp in place at every desktop and never ever have to worry about viruses and malware again. And I never have to worry about users installing crap that I don't want on their systems.
 
I loved my Surface RT, and if my job didn't require me to switch into Desktop for 98% of what I do, I'd have stuck with it. Instead I stepped up to a Surface Pro so I can do more. But pretty much everyone in my family (excluding my mom and dad) would be best suited using Surface RT, because they don't need all those legacy applications. They email and surf the web, and having Office lets them get their level of work done.

3. The desktop shouldn't be dropped unless they can come up with a way of being as productive in metro as you can be on the desktop. Metro is fine for tablet usage but the moment you want to get any real work done on your computer you want to be in the desktop.

They could also work a way in so that desktop apps open in a frame like a Metro app and use the same swipe down to close guesture which would remove the jumps between the desktop and the Metro side. Then it just comes down to making a suitable replacement for other desktop elements such as (file) explorer and the rest of the control/computer features. 

As a tablet, RT is great. People should stop trying to make it something it's not. If you want to run big x86 programs, you need at least an ultrabook. WinRT machines are light and have great battery life. Apps are overrated. Use the internet to fill the gap. The free app Tile Genie will let you create custom logo tiles to launch into the sites you need. My start screen looks great and has all the functionality I need.

I wish you would have mentioned Amd in your article, more. Their x86 jaguar chips are in the new Xbox and ps4, and mobile versions are more capable than atom.

Especially in graphics performance, where they will spank haswell.

One advantage to rt, is precisely that you cannot run legacy code. This is good, if you're giving it to your kids and don't want them installing god knows what.

3. The desktop shouldn't be dropped unless they can come up with a way of being as productive in metro as you can be on the desktop. Metro is fine for tablet usage but the moment you want to get any real work done on your computer you want to be in the desktop.

The only thing wrong with my Surface RT is the price, get that down and it will sell due to the value proposition.

Windows RT needs to be at 99-100$ level! Come on, w8 is getting close to windows RT price point. Who'd want an RT? I agree now, RT is wrong direction. RT put bad name for w8. Dammit! Anyway, Acer w3, come to pappa!

I've never been fond of the whole RT tablet thing.. I just see it as misleading to the average consumer because you have two tablet's that look exactly the same, but are on different spectrums of computing.. I'm just afraid that some consumers are going to buy a WRT tablet expecting for it to have the capabilities of the pro, and be disappointed.. I also don't have faith that most salespeople even know the difference themselves, and that could cause a huge problem.. Also, what's the need for RT tablets when Pro tablets have already hit lower price points than the iPad, and some Android tablets. Are they planing on having sub $100 RT tablets or something?

Just got a $99 RT at TechEd and loaded it up with EDU software for kids to use over summer break :) take that u fruity OS and low/no-cost ripoff ;) Works great, fast-n-fluid with lots of apps!

Techiedude

I would love to give windows 8 rt tablets to my parents.  Sadly the windows 8 pros I installed on their laptops are wasted since everything they ever do can be done using metro apps.  If RT comes down I just might get a couple then move the windows 8 pros from their laptops to desktop computers which hopefully gets better use.

I love my Surface RT. It's slim and beautiful, battery lasts forever, virtually virus/bloat free. Some of my colleagues ask me why didn't I get Pro (because... oooh, it's "pro"), but a pad is a pad is a pad, and a laptop is a laptop...

RT is great but ultimately, if there were a more power efficient W8 I would prefer the complete utility native x86 would provide. That said, I'll agree that RT "failing" because of ARMs growing irrelevancy isnt a failure for Microsoft.

Dell XPS 10 is already at $299, now only if they discount the keyboard or make it $350 bundle (love mine). Windows RT tabs will sell like hot cakes at that price point. 

Why is it nobody squaked at apple when none of the ipads ran native osx apps. After all ios is based off of osx. Here comes Microsoft with their tablet running on arm just like the iPad, yet because it says windows on it never mine the rt label you all expect it to run the same apps you run on your desktop. Get a clue folks, its a tablet meant to be portable and do light work loads. Hell they are giving you office for free, apple does not do that. I for one love the surface I think its better than the iPad for productivity hands down. I can email, write docs, spread sheets, and even do a presentation. Surfs the web great, and I've watched the entire 1st and 2nd seasons of game of thrones on it. Couldn't be happier! As for metro I love it. I'm tired of that dumb ass menu cascading out to sub menus to reveal the apps I want to use. Time to embrace the future people whether you like it or not W8 with metro is here to stay, and hopefully W8rt too.

Windows RT is an offering against MacOS/Chromium tablets with apps available by revenue sharing through online store only. So as Microsoft is making earning through COMPULSORY developer revenue sharing, it should be the least costly PC OS license. iPads & Android tablets are wierd in that they lag PS/2 peripherals extensibility considering that tablets are bulkier than mobile handsets. iOS Android limitations are restrictive to the extent of leveraging the device as means of capturing user data on nosy 3rd party clouds, rather than personalize at par with PC OSs usable independent from networks.