If you, like me, took some offline time this weekend, we’re a bit late to the latest slap fight in the world of Windows RT. Until recently, there was only one functional player in the Windows RT space – Microsoft, and its Surface 2 tablet – but Nokia has stepped into the ring, and one of its suppliers is talking a little trash.
No shame in that, of course. Bragging is as old as language. But how Qualcomm – the supplier of the Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows RT tablet’s processor – is taking the Surface 2 to task is interesting.
Both the Nokia 2520 and the Surface 2 run Windows RT, so when it comes to software, they are on parity. Certainly, you could argue that the Surface 2 might behave better with Windows RT than rival devices, given that Microsoft builds both, but that’s edge work.
Qualcomm, as quoted by CNet, thinks that the Lumia 2520 is “bigger, faster, [and] lower power” than Microsoft’s rival Surface 2 tablet. Ok.
The kicker to this is that, for the Surface line of tablet hybrids, the hardware component of the devices has largely not been the point of complaint raised by reviewers and users. Instead, it’s been the software that the Surface devices run on – Windows 8 at first, and now Windows 8. 1- that was the sticking point. Windows 8 was not ready at launch. And Windows 8.1 has yet to be tested against consumer demand.
Why Qualcomm is trumpeting the “speeds and feeds” of the Lumia 2520 is simple: It provides the silicon that powers the device. Microsoft’s Surface 2 runs on Nvidia chips.
Keep in mind, however, that Microsoft is in the process of buying the Nokia assets that built the Lumia 2520, so we could see reconciliation. For now, however, Nokia’s tablet does directly challenge its future brother. Microsoft recently reported that Surface unit volume doubled in its most recent quarter, compared with the sequentially preceding quarter. Surface revenue totaled $400 million for that period.
Here’s the question: Will the Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 markets become akin to the Android realm, where OEMs race to best the hardware specifications of their rivals in their devices?