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back to article What Surface RT flop? Nokia said to be readying WinRT slab for September

New reports have emerged suggesting that Nokia is planning to boldly go where other device makers fear to tread: the Finnish firm is reportedly planning to release a tablet running Microsoft's ill-fated Windows RT operating system. Murmurs that Nokia is working on a Surface RT competitor have been buzzing around for months now, …

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Anonymous Coward

I think the main problem is calling it Windows. It sets expectations of being able to be used just like an x86 Windows laptop.

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They learned nothing from Vista naming

Since you can also get tablets that run full fat Windows 8 you have a very confusing situation:

Normal Windows 8 on a PC.

Windows 8 running on a tablet.

Windows 8 RT

Windows Phone 8

Now what runs on what? Can they run older Windows applications?

It's perhaps more confusing for Joe Punter than the Vista cock-up.

People get confused by this and end up looking at products with a model you can understand better.

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Facepalm

And Flop called Symbian a burning platform?????

Jesus wept. This is a whole different kind of piss taking.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not sure this is legit. That picture looks rather photoshopped.

The guy's thumb seems to be hovering in mid air, not holding the tablet.

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Coat

> I think the main problem is calling it Windows. It sets expectations of being able to be used just like an x86 Windows laptop.

Ah but with Windows 8 on the desktop now, Microsoft are hoping to lower people's expectations.

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FAIL

I think the main problem is calling it Windows....

For Redmond fans: "It sets expectations of being able to be used just like an x86 Windows laptop"

For Consumer: It sets expectations of being just as unusable and unfriendly as a Windows laptop.

Thus "Windows" has become a technical and marketing liability with purely negative associations.

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Mushroom

"The guy's thumb seems to be hovering in mid air, not holding the tablet."

The person holding the device may be trying to minimise skin contact with it. Keep in mind that this device is based on a platform that has already sunk, yet it burns under the waves and it could destroy a once highly successful multinational company.

With that in mind it seems very prudent to minimise contact with this highly toxic device, although the person in the photo really should be wearing a heavy apron, some heavy gauntlets, welding mask and have a very big quenching bucket near to hand.

Burning platform icon selected.

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Windows

Re: That picture looks rather photoshopped

Of course it's Photoshopped. How else are Technology Powerhouses like Nokia supposed to push vaporware?

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Plumbing new depths

Is there no limit to this madman Elop's depravity? Why is he trying to take the share price to new lows? Is his severence clause so attractive that hes getting impatient? This psychopath must be stopped. For the sake of humanity.

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Re: Plumbing new depths

Nokia =/= Humanity

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Plumbing new depths

yeah, it's a real shame, a couple of years ago I would have seriously considered a Nokia phone as a replacement. These days they're completely out of the running.

They always seemed to be a good honest company with quality hardware and good intentions, then something changed, I don't recognize this company anymore.

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Re: Plumbing new depths

I agree, he really has gone of the deep end with this tablet idea. They simply do not have the cash to waste on such a risky venture. Latest info suggests they will run out of cash and face bankruptcy in late 2014 or early 2015. They currently hold 4 billion euros in cash and have about 5 billion in debt. (See: http://computingcompendium.blogspot.com/2013/08/nokia-may-die-taking-windows-phone-8.html for details). Even if it were the case that Microsoft is somehow picking up the tab (and I doubt this), it really couldn't make sense to do this, just on the grounds of loss of focus.

Just the other day a VP at Nokia was complaining about Microsoft being too slow about getting WP8 apps. Wait till that guy sees the poor selection in the Windows Store. Worse, many of the ones in the Windows Store won't even run on RT.

It's mind blowing that this is actually happening.

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Re: Plumbing new depths

I very recently had to help a co-worker set up his new Nokia Win Phone. The hardware was a huge surprise, just a Lumia 520 but it felt and looked fantastic. The OS however....

If it was Android they'd be my first choice after that experience.

But Windows on a phone? No!

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Re: Plumbing new depths

"Is there no limit to this madman Elop's depravity?"

He is unable to resist. He's got Ballmer's hand so far up his a$$ he no longer controls his mouth.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Plumbing new depths

"I would have seriously considered a Nokia phone as a replacement. These days they're completely out of the running."

They are really good - best camera on any phone - and the Windows Phone OS is a leap ahead of Android or IOS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Plumbing new depths

"info suggests they will run out of cash and face bankruptcy in late 2014 or early 2015"

erm, no - The latest forecasts are for them to be back in profit by the end of the year. Possibly by next quarter.

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Re: Plumbing new depths

> They are really good - best camera on any phone

Do try and keep up. That may have been true of the 808 a couple of years ago, but you obviously haven't heard of Samsung's Zoom.

Optical Zoom always trumps digital zoom.

"""Camera

Primary 16 MP, autofocus, Xenon flash

Features 1/2.33'' sensor size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, 10x optical zoom (24-240mm), optical image stabilization, HDR, panorama

Video Yes, 1080p@30fps"""

Overall the Nokia 1020 (and only this model) is slightly better for some things than an iPhone, and slightly worse in some tests:

http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/iphone-5-vs-lumia-1020-vs-olympus-e-pl5-1174823/2#articleContent

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Re: Plumbing new depths

Of course, optical zoom is usually better than digital zoom, but Nokia's PureView is not your granddad's digital zoom. And optical zoom brings its own problems with distortion outside the comfort zone of the optics, which will likely be significant at this size. Better picture quality generally calls for a larger sensor, which is why Nokia probably ditched optical zoom because fixed optics for a large sensor would be large enough and zoom would only make things bigger. I know my Canon 18-55 kit lens is not the best example, but at 55mm the effective aperture is tiny and at 18mm the distortion round the edges can annoy me. Anyway, sometimes, I shoot wider when it's darker to get a bigger aperture and then crop to zoom after getting the photo off the camera, which is effectively what the PureView system does, only with a single button press instead of me faffing around.

Not to mention Facebook will probably mangle the photo anyway, and very few people will be taking photos that their mates will want to look at 1:1.

NB: No, I don't own a PureView phone, I'm an iFan, but I am very impressed with what Nokia achieved. If Samsung can produce good quality optical zoom that doesn't have mechanical issues, I'll be very impressed.

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Re: Plumbing new depths

> Better picture quality generally calls for a larger sensor,

It is not just the size in terms of megapixels, but also the physical size of each pixel. While the 1020 has a larger sensor than most phones and many compacts the pixel site size is smaller.

> which is why Nokia probably ditched optical zoom because fixed optics for a large sensor would be large enough and zoom would only make things bigger.

Yes, the Samsung zoom has a collapsing zoom lens, but that is why it is a much better camera.

> I know my Canon 18-55 kit lens is not the best

Then you are probably better off with a quality compact than lugging around a big DSLR with a poor lens.

> Not to mention Facebook will probably mangle the photo anyway, and very few people will be taking photos that their mates will want to look at 1:1.

Then they don't need a 'pureview', any old phone camera will do for facebook.

> If Samsung can produce good quality optical zoom that doesn't have mechanical issues, I'll be very impressed.

Samsung have 11.8% of the world digital camera market, they are not new to making cameras of all types.

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re: Whatever is brewing in Nokia's Espoo headquarters

Must be strong stuff, though I suspect reserved for the board

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Re: re: Whatever is brewing in Nokia's Espoo headquarters

Wasn't that an Iain Banks novel: 'Espoo dare street'?

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Re: re: Whatever is brewing in Nokia's Espoo headquarters

You should note that it is no longer _Nokia's_ headquarters, they sold it and leased it back so their losses didn't look so bad (in the short term).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: re: Whatever is brewing in Nokia's Espoo headquarters

Didn't Samsung take a sizeable share of it as well? The headquarters that is...

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Bill Gates to his mother

Quick , ma, come quick. That nasty boy from microsoft is throwing stones and he's breaking all the Windows.......

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That would be 'Sirius' as in Sirius Cybernetics Corporation

"Your plastic pal who's fun to be with!"

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Re: That would be 'Sirius' as in Sirius Cybernetics Corporation

I was thinking along the lines; "Sirius-ly? You're pulling my leg!"

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I am not really sure why windows RT exists, i understand why there is Windows 8 (for X64/86 cpus) and Windows phone 8 but why not just kill RT and allow phone 8 be used on larger screens or merge phone+RT into one version that can be used either on a phone or tablet/laptop

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" allow phone 8 be used on larger screens or merge phone+RT into one version that can be used either on a phone or tablet/laptop "

And ditch the, ahem, 'Modern' screen on Win 8, dump the name 'Windows 8 phone' for the mobile OS, and just call it, oh, I dunno... 'Microsoft Mobile'?

BAM! No more confusion, and everyone's happy! (Except maybe the crew that came up with this whole fuster-cluck in the first place.)

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Don't feel bad, no one understands why RT exists or who it was even targeted at. Everything surrounding it has been confusing, vague, contradictory and occasionally insulting with the only clear functionality being the ability to buy apps, but failing even in that as they forgot to build any apps to buy...

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> I am not really sure why windows RT exists

Windows on ARM and RT are to wave at the OEMs in order to remove their 'loyalty discount' on _all_ products if they build an ARM tablet with a different OS.

It worked for a while with HP and WebOS, but OEMs are now ignoring the threat because RT is a failure.

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Angel

The Modern UI is what I really like about Windows 8, it works well on everything from my phone, through my tablet to my desktop - well, actually, my desktop is my tablet plugged into a dock with external monitor, keyboard and multi-touch touchpad; but the interface works equally well, whether I am using the touch screen or the touchpad.

Another big bonus is, the tablet goes with me everywhere, so I have my data with me all the time, even if I don't have an internet connection, I can carry on working and when I get back to my desk, I don't have to wait for the data to sync to the cloud, before I can work on my "desktop".

Having access to the same apps and the same data, no matter which 'mode' I am in is great.

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Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

> Windows RT is a thin client but has built in lightweight applications, like those old green screen terminals with built in calculator.

Nice try, but wrong.

The only RT products so far are touch tablets with 10inch screens. These would be completely unsuitable for running existing desktop software (actually running on a server). That software is unsuitable for touch and requires keyboard and mouse. 10inch is too small for desktop software where pixel level mouse accuracy is required. Any on-screen keyboard would get in the way of the input areas - because the software is not designed to work that way. Attaching a keyboard means its just a too small laptop (and Surface won't be used on a lap - it just doesn't work at that).

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FAIL

Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

Nice try but wrong.

RT is an API set for Windows, addressable via the .NET framework. As such, it runs on every post Win7 windows installation.

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Sheesh...

Enough of the sales pitch dude... nobody's buying your bovine excrements.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

"That software is unsuitable for touch and requires keyboard and mouse"

Erm - but Surface RT has full USB support - it supports 400 million devices out of the box!....Including....USB keyboards and mice!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

"RT is an API set for Windows"

No, that would be WinRT.

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Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

>> "That software is unsuitable for touch and requires keyboard and mouse"

> Erm - but Surface RT has full USB support - it supports 400 million devices out of the box!....Including....USB keyboards and mice!

Sure, keyboards and mice can be attached, as they can with most other tablets too. But the desktop based software is most useful with, and probably _requires_, keyboard and mouse. So the task is done better with a laptop with a bigger screen - and that may be cheaper too.

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Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

It would but the point is, if you write for WinRT you can address any implementation of Windows, be it Server, 8.x or RT.

The point of Windows RT was to provide an ARM-powered device which was genuinely useful (unlike the iPad which is basically a portable telly if you're going to be honest) and in some bizarro way, show that Windows doesn't actually need a desktop in order to do stuff, including content creation.

I suspect MS hoped that developers would instantly start targeting WinRT as a development platform, which was stupid. 99% of developers work in corporate environments, corporates are still running Windows 7 having only just upgraded their shitty XP boxes and are not going to upgrade again for at least three years.

$900 million is a lot of money for a prototype, but that's what Windows RT boxes are. A prototype. A look at where things are going, not at where things currently are

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Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

> if you write for WinRT you can address any implementation of Windows, be it Server, 8.x or RT.

Why would any server be running a GUI, let alone a touch based one that gives apps the full screen or just 2 or 3 splits?

> (unlike the iPad which is basically a portable telly if you're going to be honest)

That must be why they are selling so poorly.

> show that Windows doesn't actually need a desktop in order to do stuff, including content creation.

Office RT uses the desktop Win32 API and not TIFKAM. Office works poorly (according to reviews) with touch, it needs the keyboard and mouse/touchpad to be useful. This then requires that it be set on a firm surface such as a desktop. That's a failure then.

> $900 million is a lot of money for a prototype,

That figure was just the partial writedown on approx 6million devices. When Surface 2 is announced then these will be written down again or written off for more hundreds of millions.

> but that's what Windows RT boxes are. A prototype.

'Prototypes' are made in small numbers. I am sure that actual prototypes did exist, perhaps in several different forms. Making several million 'prototypes' would be major incompetence.

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Stop

Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

Why would any server be running a GUI, let alone a touch based one that gives apps the full screen or just 2 or 3 splits?

So you can administer it from a tablet device, obviously.

> (unlike the iPad which is basically a portable telly if you're going to be honest)

That must be why they are selling so poorly.

They're hardly selling at PC levels, are they? Even with the alleged "death of the PC", the tablet market is a minnow by profit comparison and the iPad doesn't even rule that. It's a portable telly. A consumer device for consumers to consume stuff with. Not what Windows RT was intended for.

Office RT uses the desktop Win32 API and not TIFKAM. Office works poorly (according to reviews) with touch, it needs the keyboard and mouse/touchpad to be useful. This then requires that it be set on a firm surface such as a desktop. That's a failure then.

Mostly, I agree, except for two issues.

1. There's OneNote RT which does indeed work on Metro and is likely to be the way that Office RT is going. The rest of Office RT currently simply an ARM port of the x86 code. I suspect that's more about time to implement than any conscious and permanent decision. So it's not a failure; it's an incomplete piece of work with a kludgy workaround.

2. Will you cut it out with the "not useable on your lap" nonsense? You clearly haven't used a Surface so why do you insist that you "know" this?. I am using the test Surface RT machine we have in the office right now. With the keyboard. On my lap. It's fine. I could use a flatter angle but it's perfectly workable. The 1366x768 resolution is actually a benefit since everything's big enough to see anyway.

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Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

> They're hardly selling at PC levels, are they?

The latest IDC forecasts for whole of 2013 global markets:

Desktop PCs: 134m Mobile PCs (laptops): 181m

Tablets: 227m Smartphones: 918m.

So, Yes, they are.

> Even with the alleged "death of the PC", the tablet market is a minnow by profit comparison and the iPad doesn't even rule that.

Apple's gross margin is around 40%. Significantly higher than PC vendors.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/04/15/pc-gross-margins-expected-to-decline-as-sales-shrink-dell-goes-private

> It's a portable telly. A consumer device for consumers to consume stuff with. Not what Windows RT was intended for.

You may sneer, but it is what many people want. It already has, as does Android, sufficiently capable apps for 'Office' type functionality and can connect to web based solutions or use RDP, VNC and many others.

Windows RT is just a 'me too' as MS tries to be an Apple 'me too'.

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Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

>> Why would any server be running a GUI, let alone a touch based one that gives apps the full screen or just 2 or 3 splits?

> So you can administer it from a tablet device, obviously.

I have been able to administer my servers remotely, using a tablet even, for years and they _don't_ run GUI at all. They run WebMin (available since 1997) accessible by any browser, even a phone (as long as it is allowed in the config).

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Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

You may sneer, but [the iPad] is what many people want.

No-one's denying that for a second, and I'm not actually sneering. I merely reminded you that consumption is not the purpose of Windows RT, or certainly not the sole purpose.

Whether or not it meets the needs of various users is for them to decide. Not me and certainly not you. You haven't even used one, which makes your accusing me of sneering somewhat amusing.

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Re: I am not really sure why windows RT exists

>> You may sneer, but [the iPad] is what many people want.

> No-one's denying that for a second, and I'm not actually sneering. I merely reminded you that consumption is not the purpose of Windows RT, or certainly not the sole purpose.

You were sneering by calling the iPad a 'portable telly' when it is just as capable of producing content and being used as a terminal to central servers as RT is. It may be that the keyboards are third party (which means choice and flexibility) and the software is different.

I also find that the 16:9 screen of Surface is targetted more at watching movies than producing A4 documents, especially when it is stuck in landscape by its keyboard and stand. A 4:3 screen is much more usable for content creation and is particularly so when it can be put into landscape or portrait mode when word processing and clipped into the keyboard/cover/stand combination that are available to suit the various users' needs.

It RT was intended to be used for content creation then Microsoft has done a very poor job.

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Unhappy

large-screen Lumia makes sense

Making a bigger Lumia for browsing/editing makes sense for Nokia just like Samsung or even Blackberry, the question is whether to use WinPhone or RT? But given the kernel is the same, the question is really “should nokia follow the shi1e UI of RT or stick with something touch oriented? “ (we touch things, RT fakes gestures).

Safe to bet: [1] Nokia’s RT tablet will follow the clean UI of WinPhone [2] huge stockpiles of MS Surface will be “given” to students/developers, rather than sold cheap

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