Zune, Kin, Win phone, RT
Microsoft Corp.’s Windows RT operating system that is compatible with ARM architecture, but is incompatible with the software for all previous Windows versions, has yet to gain any market acceptance beyond Microsoft Surface tablets. Warren East, chief executive officer of ARM Holdings, remains optimistic about the prospects of the OS. However, to popularize Windows for ARM, Microsoft may need another generation of the operating system.
"I am well aware there is a perceived wisdom that RT has not been as successful as lots of people thought it was going be. Quite certainly I'm sanguine about it. […] Microsoft will not give up quickly and will offer improved versions of products until they meets customer needs, as has happened in the past. Microsoft's Windows XP took over from Windows ME, and then Windows 7 after the disappointing Windows Vista,” said Warrant East in an interview with IDG News Service.
Microsoft Windows RT cannot be acquired in retail, but has to be obtained along with a media tablet or a laptop running an ARM-based system-on-chip. Since the value proposition of the Windows RT remains unclear, keeping in mind completely new user interface, incompatibility with classic Windows software and some other aspects, sales of Windows RT-powered devices remain low.
In the longer term future the Windows RT will gain its acceptance on the market, believes the head of ARM. Mr. East is confident that given Microsoft’s reliance on high-volume sales, the operating system is simply destined for success. Moreover, as ARM-based SoCs with Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A53/A57 cores will offer considerably more competitive performance when compared to x86, the appeal of appropriate devices will get much higher than it is today.
“[Microsoft] does not operate on the 'wow' end of the spectrum. Think about the volumes they ship. Companies like Microsoft, everybody in the technology space, when they look at ARM in the future, [they] are thinking about 64-bit,” said Mr. East.