Three days into Computex Taipei, Asia's biggest computer show, not a single manufacturer has announced a Windows RT device. Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 designed for more power-efficient ARM processors, made its official debut at last year's show on a convertible tablet by Asus.
The operating system has suffered a shaky period since its October launch, with disappointed comments from partners, fire sales from manufacturers, and unflattering performance comparisons all contributing to a general sense of negativity. The Computex show floor has been dominated by devices running Windows 8 on Haswell and other chips from Intel, but ARM-powered units have been conspicuous in their absence.
Qualcomm has pledged support for RT 8.1
However, the upcoming Windows 8.1 update and its RT counterpart could provide a shot in the arm to the fledgling OS. Qualcomm has pledged support for RT 8.1 with its new Snapdragon 800 processor, which president and COO Steve Mollenkopf described in a presentation today as offering "about 75 percent better performance than the S4 Pro."
The Verge has heard that manufacturers may be holding back RT devices for Qualcomm's new chip and the 8.1 update, which is also designed to improve the experience on smaller-screened devices. Earlier in the week, Acer announced the first 8-inch Windows 8 device, the Iconia W3, which has not been optimized for the imminent version of Microsoft's OS. Windows 8.1 will, however, be offered as a free upgrade to Windows 8 users.