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Microsoft Unveils Windows 8 RT PC Partnerships and Capabilities

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Windows 8 RT hardware

Microsoft has taken to the blogosphere to reveal more details on its forthcoming Windows 8 platform - this time about the non-tablet devices that will run Windows 8 RT.

Windows 8 RT, lest we forget, is the lightweight version of the OS that’s been designed with relatively low power devices (such as tablets) in mind. It’ll only run apps from the Windows Store, and will not be available for stand-alone purchase by customers.

Suffice to say the focus for such Windows 8 RT devices has firmly been on the tablet format up until now. Now Microsoft has opened up on its RT PC plans, which will involve “different PC form factors” including “both tablets and laptops.

Microsoft goes on to elaborate that “some of our Windows RT PCs come with full keyboard and touchpad solutions, whether removable/dockable or a traditional clamshell.” Indeed, those that feature touchpads will be able to take advantage of advanced Windows 8 gestures that have been built into the firmware.

Windows 8 Gesture

It seems Dell, Lenovo and Samsung are all making these RT PC devices. All will be based on ARM architecture, with Nvidia, Qualcomm and TI making the chips. This isn’t just a simple matter of licensing on these manufacturers’ parts though - Microsoft reveals that “each respective partner was committed to sharing early iterations of their products.”

This promises to result in more consistent, more streamlined, more optimised and - dare we say it - more Apple-like products.

Microsoft’s blog reveals that Windows 8 RT PCs will be “thin and light in industrial design, and have long battery life and integrated quality.”

The blog then gives an example of some of these hardware advantages. On the topic of battery life, early Windows 8 RT PC tests are producing between eight and thirteen hours of HD video playback, while the so-called Connected Standby mode - essentially what your mobile phone is in while it’s in your pocket - is lasting between 320 and 409 hours.

When Microsoft says these devices will be lightweight it means it, with early Windows 8 RT devices coming in at 520 and 1200 grams. Obviously the lower end represents tablet devices, but that’s still more than 100 grams lighter than the current iPad.

It seems anyone thinking Windows 8 RT would be the poor relation of the full Windows 8 experience has rather misunderstood Microsoft’s intentions, as well as its formidable resources.

Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT will launch on October 26 alongside a whole heap of related hardware.

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