Can We Call Windows RT a Flop Yet?

on March 6, 2013


Windows RT was a bold move by Microsoft to make its mark in the world of ARM-powered tablets. But five months after launch, it is looking more and more like an expensive flop.

The German site Heise Online reports (h/t to The Verge) that Samsung has cancelled its plans to roll out the RT-powered ATIV Tab in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, do to weak demand. This is the latest blow in what has been a steady pullback of OEMs from the RT market. In addition to Microsoft’s on Surface RT, there appear to be just three RT tablets available in the U.S.: The Asus VivoTab RT, the Dell XPS 10, and the Lenovo Yoga 11. Hewlett-Packard has announced that it is skipping the RT market and other OEMs seem to have no interest in expanding their product lines.

Tablets running full Windows 8 seem to be doing considerably better, with Microsoft still having difficulty keeping the Suface Pro in stock. The big question is whether these tablets, and the relatively slow sales of traditional Windows 8 PC, give developers enough incentive to create apps specifically for the user interface formerly known as Metro, or whether developers will prefer to try more touch-friendly versions of apps using the traditional Windows UI.