Samsung planning Windows RT tablet
SAMSUNG will be among the first to launch a Windows tablet running on Arm-based processors rather than Intel, reports claim.
Samsung tablets running the existing Windows 7 software have long been Microsoft’s favoured way of demonstrating its operating system’s touch interface. For the release of Windows 8, however, new tablets will also be released using Arm’s lower-powered chips, upon which the iPad is ultimately based.
The new tablets will run a version of Windows 8 called Widnows RT that is optimised for touchscreens and only offers the ‘Metro’ browsing interface that is similar to that used on Windows Phone.
The Samsung tablets will be released when Windows 8 itself is unveiled in October, Bloomberg reported. They will boost Microsoft’s continuing bid to get into a tablet market that is dominated by Apple’s iPad, which shipped more than half the entire market in the last quarter.
The 11.8 million iPads shipped represented a 58 per cent share according researcher IHS ISuppli Inc. Samsung was second, with 11 per cent, thanks to a mix of Windows 7 and Google Android devices, while Amazon’s Kindle Fire took 5.8 per cent.
HP has confirmed that it will not, however, be backing Windows RT initially, instead sticking with traditional, Intel-based Windows.
Bloomberg added that Samsung’s Windows RT tablet will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor.
In an indication of how important Microsoft considers the tablet market to be, it also recently announced that it is to make its own tablet, called the Surface, which will incorporate a slimline keyboard in the screen cover. Although the device was apparently impressive, reviewers were not able to use it extensively, and manufacturing partners have suggested that Microsoft’s decision to make its own devices could compromise their existing relationships.
Intel itself, however, recently announced that it had secured first refusal on significant touchscreen orders with four manufacturers, enabling it to make sure its partners have access to what could be scarce parts when Windows launches.
Spokesmen for Microsoft, Samsung, Qualcomm and Arm declined to comment.