Yes, ARM-powered Windows RT tablets will be cheaper
Lenovo recently confirmed what the mobile industry has long suspected: ARM-powered tablets running Windows RT will be $200-$300 cheaper than their x86 Windows 8 counterparts.
"RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points," Lenovo exec David Schmoock told Bloomberg during a recent interview.
"It will do well but it's going to be more of a consumer price point play to begin with. [Remember], Windows 8 has more compatibility with other Windows software, making it more attractive to corporations, while Windows RT will be a very good consumer box."
Thus far, Lenovo has maintained a rather bullish attitude towards Windows 8, emphasizing that its ThinkPad Tablet 2 can easily co-exist with Redmond's indigenously designed Surface.
"On the whole, the Surface tablet does a lot for the Windows ecosystem, and we believe that Microsoft announcing Surface... is going to really bring excitement to the Windows 8 ecosystem and help to drive that," Lenovo rep Preston Taylor explained.
"Our general position is that the excitement in having strong, quality products in the Windows 8 ecosystem will be good for the ecosystem and ultimately great for ThinkPad."
Hewlett Packard (HP) exec John Solomon recently expressed similar sentiments, rebuffing reports that the corporation had been critical of Redmond's decision to enter the lucrative mobile market with Surface.
"I believe Microsoft was basically making a leadership statement and showing what's possible in the tablet space. Our relationship has not changed at all due to Microsoft's announcement. In fact, I applaud it - I think it's great that they are getting out in front and [showing] what's possible," senior HP VP John Solomon told CRN during a recent interview.
"[Sure], other OEMs will be doing tablets, but the HP tablet is going to be different: It's going to have a specific area of focus, or multiple areas of focus, which will require a high degree of channel engagement to take full advantage of the opportunity."
Nevertheless Solomon acknowledged that it would difficult for the industry to take on Apple's wildly popular iPad, which he described as the "best tablet" out there.