Microsoft appears to be considering a shift in strategy. The shift, assuming they move forward, would be one that would have them acting a bit more like Google. That is to say, giving Windows Phone and Windows RT to device makers for free and looking to supplement with advertisements and subscription revenue. Details here come by way of The Verge who are reporting the free versions are under "serious consideration" by Terry Myerson.
Nokia has revealed its much-anticipated Windows RT tablet, the Nokia Lumia 2520, a 10.1-inch slate pairing the distinctive and colorful design of the company's Windows Phone range with LTE as standard and a suite of homegrown apps. Revealed today at Nokia's Dubai event, the Lumia 2520 has a special Full HD display that runs at up to 650 Nits brightness for outdoor usability, and will come in at a competitive $499 pre-subsidies. Meanwhile, there's a full bundle of apps and even a Power Keyboard accessory with QWERTY, an integrated battery, and USB ports.
Windows RT users looking to upgrade their copies of Windows RT 8 to Windows RT 8.1 will have to wait. Some users are reporting that the update is bricking their Surface machines, so Microsoft has pulled the upgrade from the Windows Store for the time being. No official announcement has been made about the cause of the problem or when the fixed upgrade will be available again.
Dell has quietly axed its XPS 10 tablet, the Windows RT-based 10-inch slate that offered a keyboard dock and ARM processor architecture for longer battery life, though it's not certain whether it's a final shift for the company away from the ailing Windows 8 variant. Announced in August last year - in fact we first went hands-on all the way back at IFA 2012 - the XPS 10 promised up to 20 hours of runtime on a single charge thanks to its frugal Qualcomm chipset, but sales proved disappointing and Dell was left unimpressed by the spot Windows RT was carving in the market.
Microsoft's little-loved Windows RT OS could get a second wind by merging more closely with Windows Phone and targeting so-called "phablet" devices, according to hints from the company. The OS, which puts Windows 8 on ARM chips but which has been criticized for its confusing software support in comparison to the "full" x86 version of the platform, failed to challenge iOS and Android on tablets as Microsoft initially hoped, but according to comments at the company's Financial Analyst Meeting this week, the answer might be in the similarities Windows RT has with Windows Phone, rather than Windows 8.
One of the current longest-lasting rumors on a device that's not yet seen the light of day is the Nokia tablet - this week appearing again as a Windows RT device and with Verizon 4G LTE. This machine has appeared in renderings, in trademark applications, and in talk directly with Nokia - and here in the summer of 2013, it may finally be time that the tips converge. What we may have here is a 10.1-inch tablet running Windows RT with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and a release window for Autumn.
We've known for a while now that Microsoft has had a hard time selling Windows RT tablets and ASUS has expressed in the past that they weren't to happy about that, and it seems they've had enough. The company has confirmed that it will no longer manufacture tablets running Microsoft's Windows RT operating system.
Lenovo has apparently discontinued its only Windows RT notebook, the IdeaPad Yoga 11 convertible, quietly ceasing sales through its own online store. The Yoga 11, which ran the pared-back Windows RT on NVIDIA's Tegra 3 chipset, has seemingly been superseded by the newer Yoga 11S, which swaps out the ARM chipset and replaces it with an Intel Core i3 processor and a full copy of Windows 8.
While Microsoft continues to push two different sects with their Windows 8 / Windows RT split, users deciding on the latter have made a case for needing one app particularly: Outlook. The 2013 version of Outlook has been confirmed earlier this week to be coming to Windows RT soon, but until then, the waiting will include early previews and sneak-shots galore. While surprises may be in store for users once the app is made real for the public, at the moment it seems that there's a severe lack of excitement going on for those users pre-testing the software - save a full Office suite, that is.