Microsoft supporting Surface with Windows RT until 2017
Trying to make Apple and Android look bad
Microsoft has set date on the end of mainstream support for its Surface tablet running Windows RT as April 11, 2017, with Office products likely to get similar support.
This four-and-a-half-year support cycle is unusual for Redmond. Consumer releases of Windows usually get mainstream support for five years, with security updates long after, and business or developers get a full ten years. Dates for Windows RT haven't been confirmed, but may correspond to Surface's, given how tightly the two have been developed together.
In comparison to the competition, however, Microsoft's support strategy looks pretty good. Fondleslabbers who bought the original iPad are locked out of iOS 6, for example. That said, there some advantages to that, given some of the functions of Cupertino's latest build.
With Android, the situation is more fragmented still, with the majority of users stuck on older builds and a large minority still running antiquated builds such as Gingerbread. Updates to version four and above look unlikely for most hardware currently out there.
But the devil is in the details for the Surface. If Microsoft thinks it can support Surface, and by inference Windows RT, for nearly five years, with all the applications that will be developed in that time, then it suggests one of two strategies from Redmond.
Either the hardware specifications for Windows RT are advanced enough for a considerable amount of development to be carried out without outpacing the processing power of devices, or Microsoft is not planning on making many changes to the OS. One suspects the latter. ®
OS vs apps
I don't have a lot of apps, but I haven't had problems installing apps on my "antiquated" gingerbread Galaxy S.
On the other hand, Apple appear to keep only the latest app versions in their store so my 2g ipod touch is pretty useless. I reset it and all the apps which used to work, now only work with IOS5 which won't install on my device.
Never again, apple, never again.
It doesn't mean that they won't bring out something 'new' that won't be transferable to older devices.
It just means there will be support, just like XP so this is just sound bite advertising.
Re: What does "support" mean though?
" ... but if a catastrophic security flaw surfaces in iOS 5, would Apple fix it and offer a patch?"
Actually no, they won't.
I bought an iPhone 3G the day they were available up here in Canada. Only way to buy was with a 3 years contract (yeah it's a Rogers contract, but fact is, I bought a phone I was not allowed to use / pay for less than 3 years). Just under 2.5 years later, the first iOS that was not supported on my phone came out.
At that time a few Safari bugs / flaws were floating around. Apple declared it was fixed in the new iOS only, and therefore users should upgrade. But I couldn't without buying a new phone. Before the actual contract on mine was over.
That was the last product I will ever get from Apple.
IMHO forcing people into contracts and then ending support for bug fixes on a product that you still have a contract for should be criminal.
Support till 2017
Ah .... does that go for both users ?
I'll be surprised if Surface even exists at that time.