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HTC kicked out of Windows RT launch

HTC kicked out of Windows RT launch

Was it the poor sales of the Flyer or the company's desire to use Sense UI that caused Microsoft to refuse HTC a Windows RT licence?

Hopes that Microsoft's Windows RT - the operating system previously known as Windows 8 for ARM - would be a brave new frontier for the mobile-centric architecture are looking shaky, with smartphone giant HTC finding itself locked out of the platform for having the temerity to want to customise the user experience.

HTC's current crop of devices, which include smartphones and tablets, use a unified user interface developed by the company called Sense UI. This user interface makes HTC's devices stand out from the crowd, and is a technique used by many manufacturers: Samsung's popular Galaxy product range, for example, uses a customised user interface known as TouchWiz.

HTC had planned to create a Windows RT tablet which would include a customised home screen designed to be instantly familiar to anyone who had used a Sense UI-based device in the past. So far, so regular.

Microsoft's response, however, is ever-so-slightly irregular: the company has cut HTC off from Windows RT entirely, refusing to allow it to launch a device based on the operating system at all.

The decision to cut HTC out of the market is a surprising one, given the companies' long history: Microsoft and HTC worked closely together on what was known as Windows Mobile, with HTC launching the first Windows Mobile smartphone at a time when the company was unknown other than as an original design manufacturer (ODM) for other brands.

The partnership proved profitable for both: with HTC's help, Microsoft saw Windows Mobile become a major player in the smartphone market; with Windows Mobile as a near-unique selling point, HTC in turn became a household name to rival Nokia and Samsung.

By cutting the company out of Windows RT development in this manner, Microsoft is sending a clear signal: Windows RT devices will follow the Microsoft-mandated guidelines, or they won't exist at all.

There are hints, however, that Microsoft had other concerns about HTC's involvement aside from its desire for customisation: Bloomberg quotes unnamed sources familiar with the deal as stating that Microsoft based its decision on concerns that HTC is a relative newcomer to the tablet game - having launched its first tablet device, the Android-based HTC Flyer, in May last year - and doesn't sell enough devices in general.

That's a handy excuse - and could even ring true, thanks to poor sales of the surprisingly expensive Flyer - but HTC's latest financial guidance still claims it will clear almost £2 billion in sales for the second quarter of the year, while its latest HTC One X handset is proving a popular alternative to Samsung's Galaxy S3.

HTC may be permitted to produce a Windows RT product in the second wave, but it won't be there at launch - and with sources claiming that just five devices will be available at release it's looking increasingly like Windows RT is going to prove little threat to the existing tablet market.

28 Comments

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Harlequin 7th June 2012, 11:08 Quote
seems AMD are `absent` recently as well - seems to be an Intel/MS affair....(and nokia)
Gareth Halfacree 7th June 2012, 11:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
seems AMD are `absent` recently as well - seems to be an Intel/MS affair....(and nokia)
Windows RT was previously known as Windows 8 for ARM. AMD's absent because it doesn't produce any ARM processors. Intel's absent, too. As far as I'm aware, Nokia's not involved either (although they, at least, use ARM processors.)
SpAceman 7th June 2012, 11:17 Quote
Well if you want to control what your OS looks like then that is one way to do it.
Ending Credits 7th June 2012, 11:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
with smartphone giant HTC finding itself locked out of the platform for having the temerity to want to customise the user experience.

Microsoft are doing us a public service here.
Harlequin 7th June 2012, 11:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Windows RT was previously known as Windows 8 for ARM. AMD's absent because it doesn't produce any ARM processors. Intel's absent, too. As far as I'm aware, Nokia's not involved either (although they, at least, use ARM processors.)

hmmmm i think these might be of interest then:

http://www.slashgear.com/amd-trinity-windows-8-hybrid-hands-on-06232464/

http://www.slashgear.com/acers-trinity-powered-iconia-tab-hands-on-06232483/

http://news.softpedia.com/news/AMD-Trinity-Windows-8-Tablet-Spotted-273973.shtml


http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/06/amd-shows-off-its-first-windows-8-concept-tablet-at-computex-201/
Gareth Halfacree 7th June 2012, 11:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
hmmmm i think these might be of interest then:<snip>
The Trinity APU is not an ARM SoC. AMD does not make a single ARM processor. (Nvidia, incidentally, does: the Tegra family.)

What you've linked to are Windows 8 tablets. If you'd care to read the article - in fact, if you'd just like to glance at the title - you'd see that we're discussing Windows RT tablets.

AMD is not launching a single Windows RT tablet. It can't: it doesn't have an ARM SoC. Go ahead, search for it: if you can find an AMD device running Windows RT, I'll give you my next six paycheques.

Windows RT != Windows 8. That's why it's called Windows RT, and not Windows 8. It's a *version* of Windows 8, sure, but one with significantly stricter licensing restrictions and no retail release. It also only runs on ARM architecture chips, meaning that it absolutely will not run under any circumstances (processor emulation via something like qemu aside) on any AMD processor.

Clearer now?
Harlequin 7th June 2012, 11:43 Quote
wow what a rude troll you really are.

try being polite occasionally
Gareth Halfacree 7th June 2012, 11:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
wow what a rude troll you really are.
try being polite occasionally
My intention was not to be rude, but merely to educate: you were clearly confused between Windows 8 and Windows RT (which isn't surprising, given that Microsoft only recently renamed "Windows 8 on ARM" to "Windows RT") and I was trying to clarify things for you.
lapens 7th June 2012, 11:57 Quote
It came across as extremely rude Gareth. Extremely.
Gareth Halfacree 7th June 2012, 11:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lapens
It came across as extremely rude Gareth. Extremely.
Then I apologise unreservedly.
faugusztin 7th June 2012, 12:04 Quote
I wonder if we can expect a reaction from HTC, something like "fine, then we are ceasing production of all our phones with Windows Phone 7".
smc8788 7th June 2012, 12:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lapens
It came across as extremely rude Gareth. Extremely.

God you lot are a sensitive bunch, aren't you? Sarcastic maybe, but rude? Lighten up princesses.
Fizzban 7th June 2012, 17:13 Quote
Handbags at dawn!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapens
It came across as extremely rude Gareth. Extremely.

No, it didn't. Read like a man in need of a coffee break though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Then I apologise unreservedly.

Nice chap..have a dollop of rep. :)
schmidtbag 7th June 2012, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Quote:
Originally Posted by lapens
It came across as extremely rude Gareth. Extremely.

God you lot are a sensitive bunch, aren't you? Sarcastic maybe, but rude? Lighten up princesses.

I agree. I've gotten into disagreements with Gareth more than once and I don't find him rude, when he easily could have been. If you say something wrong, expect to be corrected, don't whine about it.
Nexxo 7th June 2012, 17:24 Quote
Apologies were offered. Let's be gentlemen and graciously mention it no more, eh, chaps? Back on topic! :)

(Where is the handlebar mustachio'd smiley when you need one?)
bullseye 7th June 2012, 18:42 Quote
Gareth or Harlequin!................Harlequin or Gareth! Who is better? Only one way to find out!

Fight......Fight............Fight
ssj12 7th June 2012, 20:36 Quote
So... Microsoft is doing everything in their power to make Windows RT a failure... they are succeeding at accomplishing this.
RichCreedy 7th June 2012, 21:08 Quote
microsoft are doing what they should, locking what can be done to windows rt, to protect its performance.
Alecto 7th June 2012, 22:31 Quote
Does RT somehow rhyme with "real ****" or something ... because that's precisely what it's turning out to be - a bootloader-locked, dumb-down and stupid=looking version of Windows port that nobody in their right mind is going to purchase willingly. Sure, people will get shafted with it as they go for ARMish usable tablet wannabes only to find out they wasted their money on yet another incarnation of certain fruit's company iSlate ... great for gloating in front of your buddies who don't own this POS for all four seconds until they realise neither they nor you have any real use for it.

Windows for ReTards won't run any x86 code, won't have majority of existing x86 code ported over in sptite of M$'s efforts (.Net and other related retarded utils/compilers which slow down software immensely just to maintain compatibily with some lame portable framework) and won't look any better than a steaming pile of dog poop thanks to morons who came up with the metrosexual GUI and the daltonist-unfriendly color scheme (I bet the author of this piece of **** was color blind but couldn't get himself to acknowledge the fact ... so I woukdn't be too surprised to learn that he was an undercover fag as well).

Either way, I wish all the fails to retards at M$, they deserve them ! Phucking morons ...
FuzzyOne 7th June 2012, 23:42 Quote
umadbro.jpg
Nexxo 7th June 2012, 23:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alecto
Does RT somehow rhyme with "real ****" or something ... because that's precisely what it's turning out to be - a bootloader-locked, dumb-down and stupid=looking version of Windows port that nobody in their right mind is going to purchase willingly. Sure, people will get shafted with it as they go for ARMish usable tablet wannabes only to find out they wasted their money on yet another incarnation of certain fruit's company iSlate ... great for gloating in front of your buddies who don't own this POS for all four seconds until they realise neither they nor you have any real use for it.

Windows for ReTards won't run any x86 code, won't have majority of existing x86 code ported over in sptite of M$'s efforts (.Net and other related retarded utils/compilers which slow down software immensely just to maintain compatibily with some lame portable framework) and won't look any better than a steaming pile of dog poop thanks to morons who came up with the metrosexual GUI and the daltonist-unfriendly color scheme (I bet the author of this piece of **** was color blind but couldn't get himself to acknowledge the fact ... so I woukdn't be too surprised to learn that he was an undercover fag as well).

Either way, I wish all the fails to retards at M$, they deserve them ! Phucking morons ...

Thank you for your balanced and informed opinion.
Bauul 8th June 2012, 06:38 Quote
Alecto, you speak an element of truth, but remember Windows RT is specifically designed for low powered, locked down tablets in the iPad sense. Not working with any x86 software isn't an issue, because no-one uses x86 software on tablets now either.

This isn't supposed to be a desktop version of Windows, its competition is Android and iOS, and against them it may well turn out quite well.

Sent from Bittech Android app
azrael- 8th June 2012, 08:19 Quote
I'm actually surprised that HTC thought it could stick its own UI on top of WART. Has anyone seen a 3rd party UI on Windows Phone 7? Or Apple iOS, for that matter? The latter is exactly the approach Microsoft is taking with its "Metrofication". There's a unified UI across all devices, not across a single manufacturer.
faugusztin 8th June 2012, 09:56 Quote
Actually what i think they wanted to do was exactly what they did to their WP7 phones. That means adding of HTC Hub, links to their apps on default screen etc.
fdbh96 8th June 2012, 10:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Actually what i think they wanted to do was exactly what they did to their WP7 phones. That means adding of HTC Hub, links to their apps on default screen etc.

It does say in the article they are on about their Sense UI which basically changes the whole user interface, and frankly doesn't look as good as the Metro UI anyway. Also, I can see why Microsoft didn't want them making a tablet, I've tried the HTC flier and it is really bad, and Microsoft need a manufacturer that can make a tablet with their OS the rival Apple (Samsung I guess).
faugusztin 8th June 2012, 13:17 Quote
And guess what HTC Hub on WP7 is.

C2xCqNshyTs

There is no way to customize Windows 8 in any other way than this - adding your own tiles linking to your own apps.
Fordy 10th June 2012, 13:50 Quote
Couldn't disagree more with that closing sentence - are you implying that quantity is what's required to shake up the tablet market (uh.. the iPad and Galaxy Tab)?

Absolutely not, if it's good enough, you only need one device. That's exactly how Apple did it with the original iPad.

You don't hear anyone saying "Oh looks like Apple won't make much impact on the tablet market with only one launch device for iOS..".
Gareth Halfacree 10th June 2012, 16:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordy
Absolutely not, if it's good enough, you only need one device. That's exactly how Apple did it with the original iPad.
That's absolutely true - if you enjoy being held captive at the whims of a single vendor. If there was one tablet, from one company, it would cost one price - and that would be a high price. The more devices there are, the more competition there is in the market and the lower the average selling price.

Increased quantities of devices also allows for targeting different markets: not everyone wants, or can afford, to splash out £500 on a top-of-the-line iPad. Should they be excluded from the market altogether? No. Better they are given the option of a cut-down sub-£100 device which is not as good but also nowhere near as expensive.

We have thousands of different makes and models of cars, and the reason certainly isn't because the Bugatti Veyron isn't "good enough." It's because not everyone needs nor wants a Bugatti Veyron: some people want the ability to carry lots of cargo, and will sacrifice speed and looks accordingly; some people want improved fuel economy; some people simply want something they can afford without robbing a bank.

Choice is key: without it, the consumer always suffers.

EDIT: Incidentally, Apple didn't launch a single iPad: it launched three. There was the (relatively) cheap iPad 16GB, then the mid-range iPad 32GB, and finally the range-topping iPad 64GB. Even within that extremely limited ecosystem, Apple was offering customers choice. It's offering customers even more choice now: it still produces and sells the iPad 2, despite having replaced it with the 'new iPad,' as a cheaper alternative to the latest model.
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