Microsoft’s upcoming Windows RT operating system is designed to run on devices with ARM-based processors including iPad-like tablets. But while most of the prototypes we’ve seen so far are tablets, Windows RT should be able to run on any device with a supported ARM-based chip.

Texas Instruments has started showing off a Windows RT notebook prototype from Toshiba with a TI OMAP 4470 dual core processor with SGX544 graphics.

The notebook has a touchscreen display and can support touch-based gestures. But you can also use the QWERTY keyboard and touchpad for text input, keyboard shortcuts, and traditional laptop-style navigation.

Windows RT is basically a streamlined version of Windows 8 designed to support ARM-based chips. Tablets, notebooks, and other computers with Windows RT won’t be able to run apps designed for x86 versions of Windows — which means virtually every program developed for Windows 7 and earlier.

But devices like the Toshiba prototype will be able to use most apps developed for the new Metro style user interface in Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Judging by the demo, they’ll also be reasonably fast.

You can find more details, along with a second video showing Windows RT on a TI OMAP 4470 tablet prototype at Anandtech.

via Engadget

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8 replies on “Texas Instruments shows off a Windows RT notebook prototype”

  1. Looks like a hassle going between the keyboard and touchscreen. Anyone know of any videos that show the Metro UI being only controlled by a mouse and keyboard?

    1. here’s one that goes through using Metro with keyboard & mouse only
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBVUeGOhJp8

      I understand the hybrid tablet/laptop idea but not the touch-screen laptops — seems pointless to me to add a touchscreen in that case unless the UI is so bad that it won’t work properly with traditional input devices. . . in which case someone needs to be rethinking things.

      1. If the present trends continue then eventually all laptops should eventually evolve into hybrids like the Asus Transformer or similar convertible design.

        While touch screens can be easier to use than touch pads, just don’t be too focused on the touch screens aspect as they are just the first step of many changes they’re planning as MS has a long term plan for evolving Windows and computer usage in general.

        They’re basically trying to push for a evolution of usage towards something more immersive like what was shown in the sci-fi movie Minority Report where we could interact with the data.

        So they’ll be pushing a whole range of new features, like MS Kinect, Smart Glass features, Smartphone like motion and GPS sensors, augmented reality viewing, greater range of gesture controls, etc… Not going to happen overnight but it’s the general goal for what they’re moving towards.

        Along with other technology MS is going to be pushing like the ability to switch between processors while using the same OS.

        So a docked tablet could convert into a laptop or even desktop.

        ARM is working on similar scalability of their SoCs as well, helps to preserve low power consumption and still provide performance when needed, but it’ll require software to take advantage of it and MS already has a patent on the idea (since 2010) and is likely they’re already setting Win8 to take advantage of it when it becomes available in future scalable architecture.

        Btw, that video you linked is from March 7. So doesn’t account for the improvements shown in the Release Preview.

        1. Well, until something like Minority Report happens in some decades, I’ll hope MS doesn’t make the use of a mouse and keyboard harder because of their push to touch oriented UIs.

          I’m all for improving UIs but not if it means I get a subpar experience in both the new and current (keyboard and mouse) inputs mehtods

          1. It’s mainly just different, you can look at the video “AppleFUD” posted a link to for example of a mouse and keyboard use by someone who bothered learning how the new UI works.

            Though that was back with the Consumer Preview and they’ve made some little improvements since then with the Release Preview. Like better multiple screen handling, less annoying corner pop-ups, standards for the touch pad requirements, etc.

            The Final Release will mainly focus on features and capabilities but should also see some final minor UI tweaks as well. While we’ve yet to see what 3rd party options will become available once developers get to work with the final version.

            Mind also that new systems sold with Windows 8 will have hardware meeting its requirements. Like for laptops it requires a touch pad that fully supports Win8 gestures. So you can do everything with the touch pad that you would have with the touch screen and there are mouses as well with touch pad control surfaces.

            While they’re already getting ready to start psuhing new usage features like Smart Glass for integrating the usage of all our devices together, and features like MS Kinect, or similar, can easily be added to a desktop and lots of people are already using it for controlling their media centers.

            So a lot of changes are going to happen within the next few years and not decades!

          2. Exactly. Trying Win 8, I would still prefer using a mouse and keyboard over touch. Touch always requires too much movement and work. No “enhanced” UI will ever not require my arms and hands to not move around the screen.

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