So yesterday we talked a little bit about Windows 8. It looks like agreat OS for the desktop but more importantly it’s going to create a storm in the tablet market where Microsoft has been sorely lacking. However what about the little guys of the world… Smartphones and Rugged PDA’s?
Well there is a lot going on with a product called Windows RT right now, also known as Windows on ARM or WOA!
As everyone here probably knows, Microsoft likes the X86/X64 platform. This is where all the big stuff runs, servers, desktops, laptops and it’s also why Microsoft tablets are what they are right now. If they want something (in my humble opinion) that runs on a slick, small, thin, light tablet that is anything like an iPad, then they really have to go ARM. The reason? Well basically ARM is powerful enough and sips energy which is why it’s really now the choice for anything mobile. ARM powers everything you see in the hand. iPhones, iPADS, Android tablets and phones and indeed Microsoft WP7 all runs on the ARM architecture of one kind or another, those guys in Cambridge really got it right for the mobile world!
Anyway Windows RT will be a version of Windows 8 for ARM devices but do we know where we stand on which devices it’ll run yet? Well the short answer is no, but looking at some clues I think we can take a shot at answering this.
Firstly it has been said that it’ll only run apps downloaded through the Windows App Store. This will be no good at all for the Rugged PDA market which is based on fully open, tweakable devices, but will be perfect for the smart phone crowd.
Secondly The specs for Windows RT says that it must use a minimum 5 point touch screen. This points directly at capacitive screens which as we all know aren’t the tool for Rugged PDA’s with users wearing gloves and taking signatures, largely with the other end of a biro pen!
There are more but I think we’ve seen enough to say that this OS isn’t going to be the dedicated Mission Critical, Rugged OS that we will be using in the rugged market. What it will do is blur the lines and make it a lot more difficult to choose once again as I think this OS is going to be one to watch. Along with Android the whole market is set to get a lot more cluttered in the next 12 months.
The Rugged and Mobile blog.