Microsoft is launching two new versions of Windows on October 26th. Windows 8 is designed for computers with x86 processors from Intel, AMD, and other chip makers. Windows RT is a stripped-down version of Windows 8 that will run on devices with low-power ARM-based chips, like the ones found in most smartphones and tablets.
While it stands to reason that devices shipping with Windows RT would probably cost less than Windows 8 computers, PC maker Lenovo is confirming it.
Speaking to Bloomberg, a Lenovo official said that Windows RT tablets will likely cost about $200 to $300 less than Windows 8 devices.
There are likely a few reasons for this:
- ARM-based chips tend to be cheaper than most Intel or AMD processors.
- They use less energy and generate less heat, which leads to devices with smaller batteries and less extensive cooling systems.
- Microsoft will likely charge device makers a lower fee to license Windows RT than the company charges for Windows 8 licenses.
Still, there are advantages to going with Windows 8. Windows RT won’t be able to run older Windows apps that weren’t compiled for ARM-based chips.
That means your existing versions of Office, Photoshop, and other software won’t work — and while many developers will probably make Windows RT-compatible versions of their software in the future, you can’t count on those apps having all the features found in the full Windows 8 versions.
Lenovo has already announced plans to launch a Windows 8 tablet aimed at business users called the ThinkPad Tablet 2. The company is also expected to introduce a Windows RT tablet this year, possibly a convertible laptop-style model like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga.