Bad News For Microsoft's Plans To Crush The iPad?

Steven Sinofsky

Photo: Screenshot Of Microsoft’s Surface Launch Video

Microsoft’s plans to put Windows on tablets that compete with iPad and Android could be hitting some snags.Brooke Crothers at CNET says Windows RT, which runs on ARM-based chips, could “stumble out of the gate.”

He believes that Microsoft’s PC partners, like HP, and chip-makers are struggling to get the ARM-based Windows RT working perfectly.

Just to back up and explain all of this, Microsoft is releasing two versions of Windows 8. One version runs on Intel chips, and is compatible with older versions of Windows, like Windows 7. The other version runs on chips that are based on designs by ARM, which does lighter-weight, lower power consuming computing. Almost all smartphones and tablets run on ARM-based designs.

Microsoft has never released Windows for ARM-designs before. As a result, Crothers says it is trying to slowly release Windows for ARM-based tablets.

What does it mean in the big picture?

Well, Microsoft sees the tablet market taking off. Apple is leading the way. Google is finally starting to get its act together with the Nexus 7. Then there’s Amazon with the Kindle Fire.

Microsoft is releasing the Surface tablet, which is meant to compete with the iPad, but it’s probably not going to be a widely released product. So, if Microsoft is going to slow down the progress of Apple and Google, it needs its partners to release great tablets. However, they can’t release great tablets if Windows RT isn’t working perfectly.

Long story short: Microsoft’s tablet operating system could be delayed until the start of next year for all tablets other than the Surface. At that point Apple will be on the fourth generation of iPad.

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