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Microsoft admits three operating systems is a crowd

india Updated: Nov 28, 2013 11:07 IST
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The company accepts that having two tablet platforms has caused confusion and that, as a result, Windows RT's days could be numbered.

Speaking at a UBS seminar this week, Julie Larson-Green, executive vice-president of Devices and Studios at Microsoft, said "We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three," indicating that Windows RT will be facing the chop.

On paper it was a great idea, a stripped back form of Windows for smaller low-powered processors, optimized for tablets and restricted to running apps so that it was less prone to malware and to other issues.

However, in practice it has led to consumer confusion and thanks to a very poor selection of apps, limited use. Not helping matters is that the operating system and the first tablet to run it, the Surface RT was launched alongside the Surface Pro tablet that runs the full version of Windows. And while the Surface Pro can run any legacy Windows applications, RT can't.

One of the biggest driving factors in the operating system's creation - the need to run on a low energy, low-powered chip - is also no longer an issue.

Thanks to Intel's new Haswell and Bay Trail processors, everything from tablets to convertibles to ultrabooks and desktop replacement laptops can now run more powerful applications while still offering decent battery life and all for a price that won't mean manufacturers need to charge their customers a premium.

Currently, the only devices on the market that run the RT version of Windows are the Microsoft-built Surface 2 tablet and the recently announced Nokia 2520, and experts believe that neither device will see a refresh in 2014.

So if you're in the market for a value-for money Windows-powered tablet this holiday season it might be better to consider something other than a Surface RT or Surface 2.

For instance, the Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet and Lenovo Miix2, both run Windows 8.1, come bundled with Office as standard yet retail for less than $300. making them $150 cheaper than the Microsoft Surface 2.