Nvidia's Huang not thrilled with Windows RT


— 9:06 AM on March 20, 2013

Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's CEO, had a busy day at yesterday's GPU Technology Conference. We saw him announce next-gen GPUs, futue Tegra chips, and more. Apparently, though, Huang wasn't too busy to chat with analysts and rag on Windows RT, which he feels isn't where it ought to be right now.

"Windows RT is disappointing to us because we expected to have sold more than we did," said Huang, according to CNet News. Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor powers many Windows RT devices, from Microsoft's Surface RT to Asus' VivoTab RT to Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 11, so Huang isn't complaining about market share within the Windows RT market—he's complaining about the operating system itself.

"Is Windows RT important to Microsoft?" he later asked. "Is ARM important to Microsoft? I can't believe the answer could be 'I'm not sure.' It's too important ... because there are a large number of devices. ... They need to find a way to get into that ecosystem." Huang went on to complain about the lack of an ARM version of Outlook, which no doubt impedes the operating system's prospects in the business world. (Windows RT isn't capable of running x86 software.)

Still, all that doom and gloom aside, CNet News says Huang did express some optimism about Windows RT's prospects. He expects the operating system will eventually enjoy a "good position" in the market, though he apparently didn't share when he expects that to happen.

Windows RT is in an awkward place right now. Devices take a long time to open applications, which makes them feel sluggish. Also, aside from Modern UI software, they have access to a very limited library of applications. But Huang is right: given the sheer quantity of ARM-based devices out there, Microsoft would be foolish not to push Windows RT a little more aggressively.

   
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