Lenovo, Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), Samsung Electronics Co., and Asustek Computer Inc. will make personal computers that boast Windows RT, a version of Microsoft Corp.’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) flagship operating system for devices using ARM Holdings Plc technology.
Microsoft, which is relying on ARM-designed chips to help it vie with Apple Inc. in the market for mobile computers, discussed the manufacturing partners in a blog posting, its first disclosure of which PC makers will carry Windows RT.
Windows RT devices will join Microsoft’s own Surface tablet, its first-ever PC hardware, in a renewed effort to curb the dominance of Apple’s iPad. Machines running the next version of Windows will go on sale on Oct. 26, though the blog post didn’t discuss whether the manufacturers listed would have products on that date. Mark Martin, a spokesman for Microsoft, declined to comment.
Asustek showed its new Windows device at the Computex show in Taipei in June. People with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News in July that Samsung planned to release a Windows RT tablet when the software debuts.
Toshiba cancelled Windows RT plans, however, and said it will focus on devices using Windows 8, which operates on x86 technology utilized by Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in chips for desktop and notebook computers.
“Toshiba has decided not to introduce Windows RT models due to delayed components that would make a timely launch impossible,” Eric Paulsen, a spokesman in the U.S. for the Tokyo-based company, said in a statement without specifying the components. “We will continue to look into the possibility of Windows RT products in the future while
Windows RT Details
The Windows RT operating system will be included in completed devices and won’t be sold separately, Microsoft said. The RT devices will join Microsoft’s own Surface tablet, its first-ever PC hardware, as the market for handheld products outpaces that for traditional desktop and laptop PCs.
Asustek, based in Taipei, showed Windows RT devices using Nvidia Corp.’s Tegra 3 processor at the Computex trade show in June while also announcing plans to release a Windows 8 notebook and tablet with Intel chips. People with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News in July that Samsung planned to release a Windows RT tablet when the software debuts.
Machines running the next version of Windows will go on sale on Oct. 26, though the blog post didn’t specify when the manufacturers listed would release their products. Mark Martin, a spokesman for Microsoft, declined to comment.
Products using Windows RT will be thin and light with long battery life, Microsoft said. The devices will use chips from Qualcomm Inc., Nvidia and Texas Instruments, it said in the blog post.
Lenovo, the world’s No. 2 PC manufacturer is working with chip manufacturer Nvidia on a tablet/notebook that would run Windows RT, The Wall Street Journal reportsed last week. Lenovo also disclosed plans for an Intel-powered Windows 8 tablet. Windows 8 is due out in October.
The Windows RT tablet also reportedly will be a convertible notebook with a keyboard that “flips around” and turns it into a tablet. (The Yoga from Lenovo touts the “flip” capability. See photo with this post.)
The Journal cited several unnamed sources for that story.
At the Lenovo event on Wednesday in New York where the company celebrated 20 years of ThinkPad technology, some information emerged about the new product.
“Dilip Bhatia, general manager of Lenovo’s ThinkPad business, said in an interview at the event that along with the Intel-based tablet, Lenovo also plans to introduce a Windows RT device when Windows hits the market,” the Journal reported. “He declined to provide details about the product.”
Intel and AMD chips power most PCs.
Nvidia is targeting the mobile market for its chips that are based on technology licensed from ARM Holdings.
Lenovo operates its global executive headquarters in Morrisville.
(Bloomberg news contributed to this report.)
[LENOVO ARCHIVE: Check out six years of Lenovo stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]