Microsoft is gearing up to enter the ARM-based media tablet market. All its hopes rest on how well Windows RT (Windows on ARM) is received by users. At this moment, though, it’s far too early to even speculate about the kind of response that awaits Windows RT-based tablets. But if a new report is to be believed, we’re likely to have a good enough idea come Monday.
It doesn't sound like Microsoft is interested in getting into a low-price slugfest with Amazon and Android for the bottom end of the tablet market. ARM processors are known for delivering solid, energy efficient performance at low cost to OEMs, which would seem to make them a natural fit for decent, cheap Windows tablets when the next generation of Windows launches later this year. However, VR-Zone quizzed OEMs at Computex and found that Microsoft is charging $80 to $95 per device for Windows RT licenses, with $85 being the most common price point. Poof! Goodbye, dreams of low cost Windows tablets.
Qualcomm on Tuesday unveiled an expanded portfolio for its Snapdragon S4 CPU family, breaking the processors down into four categories of concentration, including S4 Prime (HDTVs and set-top boxes), S4 Pro (Windows RT devices), S4 Plus (smartphones and tablets), and S4 Play (entry level mobile devices). Focusing on the S4 Pro series for a moment, reportedly there are Snapdragon S4-powered laptops running Windows RT already in production.
There's a whirlwind of products being introduced at the this year's Computex convention, including one that Asus and Nvidia gleefully claim is the world's first Windows RT consumer device. They're talking about the Asus Windows RT Tablet 600, a nifty device built around Nvidia's ARM-based quad-core Tegra 3 platform that, when combined with the optional dock, transforms itself into notebook.
Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system will incorporate Dolby Digital Plus audio technology, it has been announced. In a press release on Thursday, California-based Dolby Laboratories revealed that its deal with Microsoft covers both x86- and ARM-based Windows devices.