Hewlett-Packard has decided to delay the launch of its tablet featuring ARM Cortex-based system on chip featuring Windows RT operating system. Instead, one of the world's largest suppliers of PCs will concentrate on releasing business-oriented slates powered by Intel x86 microprocessors that utilize Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro OS.
“The decision to go with x86 was influenced by input from our customers. The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future,” said Marlene Somsak, a spokeswoman for Hewlett-Packard, in a brief interview with Bloomberg news-agency.
By coincidence, HP makes rather surprising announcement just about a week after Microsoft Corp. disclosed plans to release its own Surface tablets for consumers and businesses late this year and early in 2013. In fact, the news-agency believes that the decision cuts an already small number of Windows RT tablets planned for this year’s debut, which undermines Microsoft's ability to compete directly against Apple iPad as well as Google Android-based media tablets.
Although Ms. Somsak stressed that the decision to focus on business oriented x86-based tablet - which is more expensive, in many ways less consumer friendly and energy-efficient than Apple iPad - had been made prior to Microsoft's unveiling of surface, the HP announcement creates doubts about initial success of Windows 8 RT operating system aimed at ARM-powered devices.
One of the reasons why HP and LG want to avoid Windows RT-based tablets this year could be poor performance of ARM Cortex-A9 system-on-chip devices available today in demanding applications, while ARM Cortex-A15 SoCs are not going to be available in volume for a long time.