Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet launched last year as one of the first devices to ship with Windows RT. It was an impressive achievement, with Microsoft essentially retooling its entire Windows operating system to run on devices with ARM-based chips.
But while the Surface RT has long battery life, instant on capabilities, and an intriguing optional keyboard case, it’s also missing something important: the ability to run most Windows apps. Instead, it can only run apps downloaded from the Windows Store, and lacks the ability to run most desktop-style apps.
It hasn’t sold well. Microsoft clearly had high hopes for the tablet and had an awful lot manufactured. But there may be as many as 6 million unsold units lying around right about now.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admits company “built a few more” Windows RT devices than it could sell
You know how Microsoft recently marked down the starting price of the Surface RT tablet form $499 to $349 after taking a $900 million hit on its balance sheet? Yeah, as if that weren’t a clear enough signal that the company overestimated demand, CEO Steve Ballmer admitted recently that they built more tablets than they could move… at least at the original price. [The Verge]
- Chromecast can stream your entire desktop to your TV (experimental, buggy feature]
You can officially use a Chromecast device to stream videos from the internet or the contents of your PC browser tab to your TV. But there’s an experimental feature that also lets you stream your entire desktop. But it’s buggy, audio doesn’t seem to work, and your mouse input isn’t included, so it’s not exactly a great tool for giving presentations. Yet. [Droid Life]
- Early build of CyanogenMod 10.2 (Android 4.3) booting on a Google Nexus 4
It’ll be a little while before CyanogenMod 10.2 is ready for the general public to test. But an early, unofficial build of the new Android 4.3-based operating system is already up and running on at least one device. [+CyanogenMod]
- Google quietly updates Play Services to optionally scan all Android apps you install
Starting with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, Google introduced a “Verify Apps” tool that offered to scan all apps you installed for malware. Now it’s been separate from the OS and included in the Google Play Services app which allows Google to push the update to all existing devices running Android 2.3 and later. That’s almost every Android device on the market. [Computer World]
- “Virtually every” global smartphone maker is working on a model with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor is one of the fastest ARM-based chips introduced to date. And soon it’ll be just about everywhere. The chip maker says pretty much every major smartphone maker plans to release a model with the new processor. [SlashGear]
- Google has a prototype of a real-time translator device that works… sometimes
Ever wish you could talk to someone who doesn’t speak your language by using a machine which would translate in real-time. Google’s reportedly working on something that does just that. And apparently it works perfectly… under ideal conditions and with very specific language pairs. So it’s not exactly ready to go just yet… which isn’t surprising if you’ve ever tried using Google Translate’s web app.[The Times]
- Samsung, Google working on next-gen Nexus 10 tablet
Google’s first 7 inch tablet was built by Asus, and so was the second. It looks like the company is taking a similar approach with its upcoming 10 inch tablet by sticking with Samsung, which made the original Nexus 10. [WSJ reporter Amir Efrati]