by Anton Shilov
05/14/2013 | 09:41 PM
Dell, one of a few PC makers who decided to adopt Windows RT operating system for a media tablet, has quietly reduced pricing of the product to $299 from the original $449. At last, the ARM platform from Microsoft Corp. became competitive enough in terms of pricing with solutions based on Google Android and Apple iOS.
Dell XPS 10 media tablet is based on Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (two Krait cores operating at 1.50GHz as well as Adreno 225 graphics engine) as well as Microsoft Windows RT operating system. The device features 10.1” multi-touch display (with 1366*768 resolution), 16GB of NAND flash storage, 2GB LPDDR2 RAM, 8MP rear camera, front camera, microphone, USB, microSD slots and so on. The device should work up to 10 hours in tablet mode or up to 18 hours when a keyboard with an additional battery is added.
Windows RT platform has not got really popular among end-users, which is why manufacturers who actually started to use it for their products now have to either discontinue them or sell at substantial discounts. Dell is, apparently, testing, how flexible the demand towards XPS 10 is and whether low demand can be cured with low prices in the future.
Windows RT is a fully-fledged Microsoft operating system compatible with ARM-architecture application processors and incompatible with the vast majority of programs developed for Windows, something that clearly discourages anyone from using it. Given the fact that it carries Windows name, it confuses many buyers as people expect compatibility with their applications. Many PC makers, including Toshiba and Samsung, decided not to offer Windows RT-based devices early in the lifecycle of the OS so to avoid the misunderstandings.
Microsoft is currently working hard to improve software support for the Windows RT platform.
“On the software itself, and we've done so much to improve Windows RT since the introduction of Surface back in the fall, and you see that in just the continuous updates to the system. And certainly that applies to the number of apps coming into the store, the quality of the first party apps. We have done significant updates to mail, significant updates to just about every other first party app on the device. That makes a difference. The overall performance of the system, including just firmware updates we can make where the battery life improves just through the great continuous product improvements coming down through Windows Update. And so I think that's made such a positive difference for Surface RT customers as well as all Windows 8 customers,” said Tami Reller, chief marketing officer and chief financial officer of Windows division at Microsoft, at the JP Morgan Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.