When Microsoft launched the Surface with Windows RT, it was supposed to be the answer to all of their iPad problems. It runs on cellphone chips, yet still looks like regular Windows 8. It’s supposed to be awesome. But sales of Windows RT tablets haven’t been strong, and now Samsung is saying that they’re second guessing the platform.
In a recent interview at CES, Make Abary, Samsung’s senior vice president who oversees the company’s tablet business, said that Samsung has decided they won’t launch their Windows RT tablet in the U.S. after discovering there’s not much demand for them.
In his interview with CNET, Abary said:
There wasn’t really a very clear positioning of what Windows RT meant in the marketplace, what it stood for relative to Windows 8, that was being done in an effective manner to the consumer. When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was. And that heavy lifting was going to require pretty heavy investment. When we added those two things up, the investments necessary to educate the consumer on the difference between RT and Windows 8, plus the modest feedback that we got regarding how successful could this be at retail from our retail partners, we decided maybe we ought to wait.”
Windows RT devices are designed to be less expensive than Windows 8 tablets because the hardware required to run it is less powerful. However, because Windows RT looks just like Windows 8, there has been a lot of confusion from consumers as to what it can do and why they should but Windows RT rather than Windows 8.
Microsoft has said that they plan to invest $1.5 billion in a marketing blitz to familiar consumers with Windows 8. Araby said that Samsung wants to wait and see how the market develops for RT, but that it’s not a good platform for the company to invest in at this time.