Apple versus Samsung has given us so many gifts when it comes to what the first generations of iPads really looked like, and now Microsoft has got in on the fun, showing off what the very first Windows RT tablet looked like. Hint: it was awful.
We already know that Windows RT tablets are set to come from Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung when the operating system hits the market in late-October, but how did we come to this point? Well, according to Stefen Sinofsky, president of Windows at Microsoft, it all came about thanks to close collaboration with hardware vendors:
Our engineering collaboration on these Windows RT PCs has been strong, collaborating with the PC manufacturers, Silicon partners, and Operators to focus on hardware, software and services integration.
Each respective partner was committed to sharing early iterations of their products, whether it was a SoC bring-up board, early builds of Windows RT, firmware and drivers, or hundreds of pre-release PC hardware samples (such as the ones featured in earlier demonstrations and videos). Product designs were informed and revised by our collective efforts through development and testing.
As a result, all of these Windows RT PCs will have consistent fast and fluid touch interactions, long battery life, connected standby, and are beautiful, thin, and light designs. All of these are designed to make the most of the capabilities of Windows RT.
That's interesting, because it means that Microsoft really cares how these new tablets actually function, rather than other tablets where the manufacturer just grabbed a copy of Windows they had kicking about and threw it onto a device before calling it a tablet.
The image above is how Asus' journey to the Windows RT tablet started. Truth be told, it looks like a school project gone wrong. Thank goodness the finished product next to it has the Transformer polish.
Thanks to this crazy close collaboration, these new tablets are super light and have a reported standby time of over 400 hours. Microsoft also tested how long it would take that battery to run down if it was told to play non-stop HD video. The results? Between eight and 13 hours. That's awesome. [MSDN]