Why buy Windows RT instead of iPad (and vice versa)?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by ozaz, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. ozaz, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012

    ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    I am thinking about whether to buy a Windows RT device when they are released, and was wondering about the relative merits of Windows RT and iPad.

    These are the lists I have.

    Why buy Windows RT?
    1. System-wide user accounts (this is a big draw for me. It really frustrates me that iPad does not have user accounts).
    2. Windows Store has trial periods for apps.
    3. Microsoft Office pre-installed
    4. Designed to accommodate pen and keyboard input.
    5. More choice of color / screen size etc (I assume)
    6. Purchased apps can also be used on Windows 8 (non RT) desktop PCs (I assume - can someone confirm?)

    Why buy iPad?
    1. Hardware + OS + support already proven over several years.
    2. Mature App store.
    3. Technologies that require Apple-only hardware (Airplay mirroring)
    4. Entrenchment in iCloud ecosystem.
    5. Unlikely availability of Windows versions of favorite iOS apps.

    I have excluded love/hate of Apple/Microsoft as that could go in either list.

    Please add to the lists or argue against any that you don't agree with.

    [update, the following additional reasons for Win RT purchase have been pointed out in the thread]
    Skydrive is well integrated into Office
    USB and SD card compatibility
    NFC support
    DLNA support
    Tie into Microsoft ecosystem (e.g. stream to Xbox)
  2. DingleButt macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2011
    Nailed it. Missed SkyDrive benefits of Windows though where it ties into each app that had a file picker and Office too. Win RT apps purchased will work in Win8 too btw. Also edge navigation on Win looks really beneficial and nice to use.

    The biggest benefit of iPad really is buying into the mature state of iOS and it's apps. If Windows catches up there, there really isn't much benefit to iPad anymore add far as I see.
  3. rushluvr macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2012
    I avoid anything involving Windows like the plague. Worthless OS
  4. DingleButt macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2011
    Is English not your first language? I don't think you know what "worthless" means for doubt you would have said that if you did.
  5. Stropaganda macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2012
    It's honestly a tough choice if the specs and experience are the same. Windows tablet looks fun and interesting, but iPad has tons of apps. I honestly don't know the answer. I suppose one of the biggest questions is if you are wanting to use it for Office, right? Does the iPad have any apps for everything office has like spreadsheets and word processing?
  6. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    With that logic, OS X shouldn't exist or be gaining market share every year as it has been recently. There still is personal preference, amongst other thing:

    No matter how mature Windows 8 gets and how robust their app store becomes, it still will not integrate into Apple's ecosystem as well as an iPad. For some of us, this is hugely significant.
  7. rushluvr macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Well, lets put it this way. Every Windows PC I had (5) got viruses and/or the hard drives died and had to be replaced within 2 years. Had the last 2 give out within 8 months of each other. I have only had 2 iMacs and neither has ever crashed let alone need to be replaced. I sold my 2008 20 inch in perfect working order and my 2010 27 inch has worked flawlessly. So yes, Windows is a worthless piece of **** OS.
  8. ozaz, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012

    ozaz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    That's great.

    What's edge?

    Office is a huge draw. But for me so are the other ones I've listed. The iPad has several office apps that can work with MS Office documents (http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/236371/office_suites_for_ipad_the_roundup.html) but the workflow is clunky, inefficient and in my experience unsustainable, since a conduit app (e.g. dropbox) is needed to move files to/from desktop, and they struggle with complex formatting. The skydrive hook in to individual apps mentioned by DingleButt will mean a much, much more efficient experience for Office users on Win RT. The RT version of Office won't be without limitation though, since it will apparently not support macros or 3rd party plugins.

    Macs and OS X benefit from lots of strengths that are/were weaknesses on Windows desktop machines (easy system maintenance, easy backup/restore, coherent and gorgeous interface across apps, applecare, generally superior build quality, lack of malware, great looking hardware) plus ipod/iphone halo effect and switch to Intel so people can run Windows on Macs since 2006ish.

    Maybe with the exception of malware (although, will existing Windows malware run on Window RT???) I don't see those clear benefits in iPad relative to Win RT (largely, I think, because MS has learnt a lot from Apple's philosophy in getting rid of a lot complexity, giving a lot of attention to interface and controlling the app store). So, unless you are heavily embedded into the Apple ecosystem the draw of iPad could significantly lessen.

    Yes, it seems that the advantages of fully integrating into Apple's ecosystem has become so great that it can override decisions at individual device level. But with Win 8, Win RT, Win Phone 8 and Xbox, I think MS now also have an ecosystem which can have this effect. Google, not so much.
  9. DingleButt macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2011
    Ha, thats funny because Ive never had a failed harddrive since 1995 using Windows on all our computers, but my GF's Macbook has had 2, her friends Macbook has had 2 and I read about them failing all the time on this forum (Didnt Apple admit to issues?). Besides its not like Hard Drive failures mean anything for the OS.

    My computer from 2007 is still running after removing 1 gig of the RAM (To 1 gig now running Win 8 just fine) and giving it to my GF's Mac so it could run Snow Leopard with 2 GB.

    My dads tablet from 2006 is still going fine and he sues it for office work as a doctor bringing it around and at home.

    My moms laptop from 2007 is still going fine. My last desktop went from 2000 to 2009 before we dumped it because it never got used anymore, with no issues.

    No lies or even half truths were posted here.

    Viruses are your fault and the rest are not Windows... ;) Maybe you should direct your anger toward the makers of the hardware, not the maker of the software that runs the world you live in.

    Thats the swipe from the left side to bring in the last used app, swipe from the top or bottom to access the app bar in apps, and swipe in from the right to bring up the Charms.
  10. rushluvr macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Yea, probably from downloading music and movies off torrent sites but guess what? Never had a virus doing the exact same thing on a Mac! That alone makes it more worthwhile to me to own. You can have Windows and its freezing, crashing and viruses. Now you get it in a tablet too, woohoo! :)
  11. noteple macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2011
    If you don't buy the RT all those new Microsoft Stores will start to go out of business within 6 months. :rolleyes:
  12. ozaz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    I'm now assuming that because Win RT can't run existing Windows apps, it won't be able to run existing Windows viruses. Is that correct?

    Obviously, new viruses and can be written, but as in iOS the only way to install apps will be through a locked down app store so seems unlikely that will be a problem.
  13. laserfox macrumors 6502


    Jan 21, 2008
    new york
    Windows do support DLNA and the tablets also have NFC for airplay like features. Also if you have an xbox you can stream music and videos wireless to the xbox.

    Windows RT also have the benefit of usb compatibility with lots of devices - printers, keyboards, mice, cameras etc with no extra accessories required.
  14. ozaz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    Oh yeah..... I had thought of that (and built in SD card slot - in the MS Surface, at least). But somehow forgot to put them in the list!

    I decided not to do a iPad v Win 8 RT v Win 8 x86 thread because it seems to me that iPad and Win RT are the more direct competitors. I can see Win 8 x86 tablet is more appealing to those who want to be able to install traditional desktop applications and the full version of Office. But if we are restricting discussion to devices with similar form factor and size as iPad, do you feel there are any other general advantages of Win 8 x86 over Win 8 RT? What are the general downsides? (I assume in general, battery life will be lower, price will be higher, and malware will be a bigger issue in Win 8 x86)
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    [MOD NOTE]
    Stay on topic and stop the bickering.
  16. ozaz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    Never mind......Found some concise articles on this.
  17. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    It seems like the version of Office installed in RT will only be a preview.

    This may be an indicator that RT will be loaded with trial and ad-supported software by default.

    I find this annoying despite the reduction of cost it produces.
  18. ozaz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    My understanding is that the preview (beta) version of Office for Win RT will be preloaded on the devices at launch and then updated to the final version (at no cost) when it is ready in Nov/Dec.

    I'm sure bloatware will continue to be a problem on Win 8 x86, but will this also be the case on Win RT? Can't find a clear answer on this browsing the web.
  19. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
    That is indeed correct, viruses would have to be coded to run on RT, snuck inside an app submission and slip through Microsoft's vetting process to make it onto Windows RT.
  20. zbarvian macrumors 68010

    Jul 23, 2011
    Windows RT > iPad. It's just such a better tablet OS.
  21. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    Indeed, it'll be a free upgrade from what I read.

    As far as bloatwear? I don't think thats an issue. Because most PC OEMs are getting away from pre installed bloat, which is good.
  22. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    Locked down app stores and vetting prevent trojans but doesn't prevent malware due to exploiting vulnerabilities.

    This has been shown via the jailbreakme exploit used to jailbreak iOS devices. This wasn't malware but used the same type of exploitation. These types of vulnerabilities are rare in iOS due to the robustness of the runtime security mitigations in iOS.

    Successful malware requires privilege escalation to bypass userspace security mitigations to generate higher levels of profit. Privilege escalation vulnerabilities are rare in both iOS and OS X which is the reason that iOS has not had any real malware, such as banking malware.

    Currently, no known methods are available to bypass the runtime security mitigations in OS X. Recently exploited vulnerabilities in OS X relied on logical errors, which are relatively rare, instead of memory corruption. Runtime security mitigation only protect against memory corruption exploits. But, these logical error based exploits have been found only in java, which isn't included by default in OS X and isn't available for iOS.

    Windows RT is largely based on Windows 8. Methods to bypass the runtime security mitigations are already available against Windows 8. So, memory corruption exploits may still be an issue for RT. Many sources suggest RT will share many of the same vulnerabilities as Windows 8.

    Privilege escalation has always been an issue in Windows. For example, Windows 7 has included as many privilege escalation vulnerabilities as all the versions of OS X combined. But, Windows 8 most likely won't have as many as Windows 7.

    Will Windows RT be able to run Java? If yes, then this is also a factor that has to be taken into account.
  23. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    The surface is thinner than the iPad, has 2 usb ports, and a cool keyboard cover. I think the surface is going to have way better software than the ipad does. iPad apps are mostly for reading news, playing games, listening to music, but windows RT seems to be more like a full fledged PC with the size and speed of an iPad.

    Being able to send files over to USB flash drives and external hard drives is HUGE for me. Having a decent first part keyboard that's detachable is big for me too. And hopefully windows RT will multitask just like a PC, and not have you running one app at a time.
  24. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    Example of a zero-day memory corruption vulnerability being exploit in the wild.


    Metasploit includes working exploits for this vulnerability that affect IE up to 9 on Windows XP/Vista/7.

    The flaw exists in IE but Flash, Java, or the Visual C runtime library must be present to allow bypassing ASLR.

    No methods are available to exploit memory corruption vulnerabilities in Lion/ML. No methods have been demonstrated at security conferences or hacking contests. For example, Safari running on Lion was not compromised at the last pwn2own.
  25. ozaz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    So does that mean this is relevant or irrelevant for Windows RT?

    Anyway, reference to IE brings up one of the characteristics I find annoying about Win RT - that 3rd party Metro browsers apparently won't have access to the full set of APIs that IE gets, so will be difficult to make them competitive. I guess the same issue exists on iPad with Safari. However, whilst I quite dislike IE, I am merely indifferent toward Safari.

    Possibly thought of another unique selling point of iPad that I don't think has been mentioned yet - Newsstand. I really like having morning papers automatically downloaded to iPad overnight whilst I sleep so they are available for morning commute. As far as I know, Windows 8 /RT does not have anything equivalent. Is that correct?

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