Richi Jennings

SKU news: Windows 8 and RT make bloggers barf

April 18, 2012 6:00 AM EDT

Oh dear. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced the names and product editions for Windows 8. The backlash is palpable -- especially over the choice of name for the ARM edition: "Windows RT." In IT Blogwatch, bloggers complain and moan.
[Update: How should we choose between Windows 8 and Windows RT?]
By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Waist not, Want not...
Gregg Keizer brings us the news:

Windows 8...will be sold at retail and preloaded on new PCs in one of two editions: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. ... Volume customers that pay for Software Assurance agreements...will be offered Windows 8 Enterprise.
Microsoft also dubbed its new tablet-oriented operating system...previously called...WOA, as "Windows RT." ... Microsoft did not detail the pricing...or hint at a release date.    M0RE

John P. Mello Jr. runs it up the flagpole (and salutes Redmond):

"RT" stands for RunTime...introduced by Microsoft last year to create apps for its Metro interface. ... Windows RT will support processors based on ARM architecture [with] its small footprint and power-sipping qualities.
[Microsoft] appears to have mind by baking into Windows touch-enabled versions of Office and OneNote. ... Microsoft is sending a strong [intends to] be in a strong position to compete in the so-called "Post PC Era."    M0RE

Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc 'splains himself:

Windows 8 is the official product name for the next x86/64 editions of Windows. ... Windows RT is the newest member of the Windows family...only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors.
Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of...Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.    M0RE

Gavin Clarke covers the confusion:

If Microsoft had wanted its partners or retailers to field lots of questions...then it got its wish. ... Microsoft has not told us everything. ... So, some of this confusion might evaporate once it becomes clear exactly what types of devices Windows [RT] will be and where they'll be used.
The feature list reinforces what we're coming to suspect...that [ARM] devices will locked down and built for specific functions...[not] general purpose computing devices.    M0RE

John C. Dvorak is predictably, professionally cranky:

While this appears to simplify matters, it actually confuses things. ... Windows RT is...built specifically to run a faux-Windows on the ARM chip [but] should not be named Windows at all. You cannot run any x86 code on it. ... Seriously, the company needs to rethink this Windows RT nomenclature.
I hope to find other things to complain about. ... There is something going on and it isn't good.    M0RE

And Peter Pachal calls the nomenclature "terrible":

Wait a sec, Windows what?
Why should you care about any of this? You shouldn’t — it’s all inside-baseball stuff. ... And that’s exactly why Windows RT is such a terrible...perplexing, insidery and underwhelming [name].
“Windows RT”...sounds like it was tacked on at the last betrays the kind of engineer-first institutional thinking that’ albatross for the company. ... [E]ven a bad or stupid-sounding name would be better than a clinical abbreviation...the absence of “8″ in the name appears to indicate...[that we're] stuck with Windows RT for a long time.    M0RE

Update: Mary Branscombe tries to make sense of it all:

Like ARM-based Windows RT devices, Windows 8 PCs...can give also you Connected Standby (where your PC turns off...but leaves the Wi-Fi or mobile broadband running. ... And while any Windows 8...PC can have Connected's only going to be low-power SoCs that can meet the requirement for only using 5% of battery...on Connected Standby for 16 hours.
If you want the best of both Windows 8 and...RT, SoC PCs will give you that. But running Windows apps also means they need antivirus...[and] the crapware OEMs like to 'enhance' their PCs with.
[So] you'll have to weight up compatibility versus losing...the deadweight. ... That's what the different versions of Windows 8 are really about. M0RE

And Finally...
Waist not, Want not

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcherRichi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch, for which he has won ASBPE and Neal awards. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.