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The last time we had ARM Windows machines, we got the Surface RT. I still have one of these that I occasionally bring to meetings to fool around and maybe put a ticket in with. It is not a great piece of equipment...



It's not that bad. Win 8 inside was terrible. The hardware was OK. Not a big fan of the sharp edges when holding it.

But to me the main problem was having built an iOS style environment, completely locked down, with no way to install anything unless you pay money to microsoft through the windows store (and redevelop your app). There was no technical reason to prevent regular .net apps from running directly on windows RT.

So it was a subpar experience compared to iOS without the power and flexibility of windows.


It generally takes Microsoft 3 tries to get something right. Unfortunately their next ARM device will only be #2.


I'd say Windows CE on ARM devices was attempt #1.

Lumia and Surface 1 and 2 were #2.


1. Windows CE on ARM

2. Xbox 360

3. Windows Phone 7 (on leftover chunks of Windows CE) on ARM

4. Windows Phone 8/Windows RT

5. Windows 10 on ARM

So, by my count, this might be iteration 6? (Though maybe more like 5 Part 2.)


I'm thinking specifically of the Windows desktop experience on ARM, so things like phones and Xbox don't count. But I didn't realize the Surface went through 2 iterations of ARM, so maybe this counts as #3? Or maybe it doesn't count at all since it was a watered-down version of Windows that couldn't run most apps.


Xbox 360 was PowerPC, not ARM


Are you speaking just of the software or does the hardware have issues as well?


Both, in my experience. The touch screen sometimes works with the keyboard attached, and sometimes doesn't. The keyboard often doesn't work if it has been disconnected without the old-school "splatter chicken blood and livers about" kind of computermancy.

Of course, the software is a mess, because nobody has bothered to build versions for RT in years, and none of the regular x86/x64 Windows software is compatible with RT.




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