Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

​ Why the Microsoft Surface RT will still be around.

Many have already considered Microsoft Surface RT a failure. The sales have not been competitive against Apple and Google’s tablets, and manufactures are already dropping Windows RT from their lineup. Their price drop reeks from the same stench that Blackberry had to do with their Playbook tablet, which is no longer in production.

Let me tell you right now, RT is not going anywhere.

January 2011 Microsoft announced that Windows would be available on ARM, which is the processor that powers smartphones and tablets. ARM at that point was doing amazing things, and with the iPad that came out the year prior, people were really starting to draw conclusions about the technology market.

At that point, Intel didn’t have a good mobile solution. The best they had was Atom, which did in fact give netbooks great battery life. However, it was not nearly as efficient* as ARM in power or heat. If you had to chose an iPad with 5 hour battery and hot to the touch vs the actual iPad with 10 hour battery and no heat problem, which would you choose. Sure, it would be a lot faster, but at quite a cost.

There have been uncertainies* in the CPU world for a long time now. For x86, it has been Intel, AMD, VIA, Cyrix have been the largest players. IBM for some time now has had PowerPC chips in older Apple computers, and many game consoles (Gamecube, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, Wii U), but they do not exist in the computer world.

Microsoft will continue to focus on Windows RT because of this history. In 10 years, all servers, computers, tablets, and smartphones might be ARM based. Likewise, they might be Intel. Whatever the case, Windows RT is the insurance that they will be ready for the future.

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