Windows 8 to be called Windows 8, no Outlook on ARM

Microsoft has announced the range of editions planned for Windows 8, which is now the official name (previously it was a code name).

Here is what I found interesting. Windows on Arm (WOA) is now called Windows RT and ships with Office included. However, Outlook is not included, confirming my suspicion that Outlook may gradually get de-emphasised in favour of separate email, calendar and task managers built into the operating system but with strong Exchange support – a good move since Outlook is perhaps the most confusing and over-complex application that Microsoft ships.

Windows RT is missing some features which are in the Intel versions, not least the ability to install desktop software, but has an unique feature of its own: device encryption.

I consider Windows RT as critical to the success of the Windows 8 project, and the only edition that may compete effectively with the Apple iPad in terms of price, convenience, battery life and usability. That said, the market will see the Intel version as primary, since it is the one that can run all our existing apps, but all the legacy baggage will also weigh it down. Users will suffer the disjunction between Metro and Desktop, and will need mouse or stylus and keyboard to use desktop applications. The danger is that Windows RT will get lost in the noise.

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5 comments to Windows 8 to be called Windows 8, no Outlook on ARM

  • If Microsoft could ship a pad for $100/$150 there would be no stopping them. If that sounds ridiculusly cheap, have a look at the Raspberry PI project, which ships a working ARM based PC for just $35 (http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/35-raspberry-pi-computers-have-started-shipping-20120416/). This is a bare-bone system ofcourse, but still manages to run linux and Quake III in HD (as well as HD movies). If you cant beat’em fair – flood the marked (netscape vs. microsoft)

  • Only two retail editions for x86 desktops is a huge step forward, I had not expected that much sanity from Microsoft at this point. The basic edition sounds reasonably complete, too — even good enough for many professional users I’d say.

    Giving the tablet edition a distinct name is another unexpectedly smart move. That should avoid the confusion of various “Windows 8s” being incompatible with each other.

    Now if they only fixed the nonsense of forcing Metro on desktop users, Microsoft could actually have a winner on their hands.

  • Craig

    Jon, I agree with you. If they can come up with a tablet with similar specs to an iPad including the retina display, and get it out in the $150-$250 range then it will be killer.

  • Problem in the sub-$250 range seems to be the display and battery.

    We’ve got a few such tablets here, they all exhibit very decent CPU & GPU performance, good storage options, but the display and battery are obviously the aspects that got sacrificed. The cases aren’t quite there too in terms of weight and feel, but they’re “good enough”.

    But let’s face it, the display on a tablet is pretty much make or break, and the battery dictates how convenient it is in everyday use. That’s two aspects where you still have a wide hardware price gap.

    To lower the price, MS would have to go for console tactics and subsidize the hardware (but they have less cash in the bank than Apple, so a price war may not be something they could win).

  • Tom

    Windows 8 and Windows RT.

    Windows 3.1 and Windows NT.

    After 20 years of naming experiments, Microsoft has come full circle.