Samsung nixes plans for Windows RT tablets in US, citing 'modest' demand

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Samsung no longer plans to launch a tablet in the U.S. running Microsoft's Windows RT platform due to a number of factors, including consumer confusion and slow sales.

Mike Abary, a Samsung executive in charge of the company's American PC and tablet businesses, told CNet at this week's Consumer Electronics Show that it would require "a lot of heavy lifting" to educate consumers on the difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT. With retail partners also signaling that Windows RT has "modest" potential for success, Samsung decided it wasn't interested in making that investment in the U.S. market.

Abary also said that Samsung had difficulties hitting the lower price points the company felt it needed to achieve. The Korean electronics maker believes that Windows RT devices should be less expensive than PCs running the full Windows 8 operating system.

"We didn't necessarily attain the price point we hoped to Attain," Abary said. He noted that some of the sacrifices the company explored to cut costs, such as including less memory, were poor tradeoffs.

Microsoft Surface


Samsung could still build to opt Windows RT devices in the future, if some of the current obstacles cease to exist. Abary told CNet his company will wait to see how the market develops for Windows RT.

"It's not something we're shelving permanently," he said. "It's still a viable option for us in the future, but right now might not be the right time."

Samsung has, however, invested heavily in tablets running Google's Android operating system. Windows RT is a stripped down version of Microsoft's desktop operating system compatible with low-power ARM CPUs like those found in Apple's iPad.

It's Windows RT's reliance on ARM processors that prevents it from running traditional Windows applications. The underlying architecture of Windows RT is very different from Windows 8, preventing it from running legacy Windows applications.

Further confusing matters is the fact that Windows RT features both the touch-centric Windows Metro interface along with a traditional Windows desktop layout, just like Windows 8. Windows RT also includes touch-optimized versions of Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One Note.

Microsoft has reportedly had to revise its return policies for its own Surface tablet running Windows RT. The changes were made after a number of customers apparently returned the hardware once they discovered the Surface cannot run traditional Windows applications.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 129
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,799member
    The only hope this tablet had to succeed is if it could run in dual boot mode to allow a real Windows experience and not a crippled one. That might at least offer some benefit to former netbook customers looking for the portability of a tablet but also needing to use it just like a laptop as well. The 2.0 version will probably address this shortcoming and could fill a niche.

    The iPad is a far superior option on many levels and so are pretty much all the android tablets as well. This device will fly first class on a one way trip to the island of misfit toys.

  • Reply 2 of 129


    cant blame samesung on this one.  Windows RT is a complete abomination. Only an idiot would buy something that bad.

  • Reply 3 of 129
    Floppy flop flop
  • Reply 4 of 129
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Not worth copying
  • Reply 5 of 129
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gwmac wrote: »
    The only hope this tablet had to succeed is if it could run in dual boot mode to allow a real Windows experience and not a crippled one. That might at least offer some benefit to former netbook customers looking for the portability of a tablet but also needing to use it just like a laptop as well. The 2.0 version will probably address this shortcoming and could fill a niche.

    The iPad is a far superior option on many levels and so are pretty much all the android tablets as well. This device will fly first class on a one way trip to the island of misfit toys.

    Even if it was the regular Windows 8 OS but on ARM it would still be worse than Windows 8 OS on an Atom-based system, which pretty much defines the CPU used in the netbook category. The reason the iPad feels so fast is because they got rid of all the crap that would make it impossible to run Mac OS X on ARM. Looking at the base install sizes of WinRT compared to iOS for iPad and the fact that the classic UI is still there MS wasn't willing to build it from the ground up.
  • Reply 6 of 129
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    gwmac wrote: »
    The only hope this tablet had to succeed is if it could run in dual boot mode to allow a real Windows experience and not a crippled one. That might at least offer some benefit to former netbook customers looking for the portability of a tablet but also needing to use it just like a laptop as well. The 2.0 version will probably address this shortcoming and could fill a niche.

    The iPad is a far superior option on many levels and so are pretty much all the android tablets as well. This device will fly first class on a one way trip to the island of misfit toys.

    A real Windows experience is why the first tablets failed.
  • Reply 7 of 129
    quinney wrote: »
    Not worth copying

    Best post of 2013! :)
  • Reply 8 of 129
    Microsoft just doesn't understand human beings. Its success comes from selling to organizations.

    No one calls iOS a crippled Mac experience because Apple didn't create any expectations by calling the iPad a Mac or say it runs OS X. That's what ms has done by insisting that we have software called Windows everywhere.

    If they would have called Xbox a windows box, would it have been an (eventual) success? They got their sacred brand synergy from the X, but I've never met anyone that even gets or cares that the X is from ActiveX, directX, etc.
  • Reply 9 of 129
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,799member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    A real Windows experience is why the first tablets failed.


    I hate Windows as much as anyone here. But I do admit there are plenty of people that don't. For them, a really power efficient, slim, and decent  Windows tablet that could also be converted to a laptop capable of running all their Windows applications would probably at least be a lot closer to getting them to open up their wallet than this thing.  I am not saying that is a good idea at all, just that Microsoft is sort of caught between a rock and a hard place and might not have any choice. I just don't see their Windows 8 mobile version gaining enough traction to compete against iOS or Android on it's own. So that might be a last ditch effort option. 


     


    Having said that, even that strategy is as likely to succeed as was Notre Dame's chances against 'Bama to even a casual observer of college football. You really had to be blind to not predict that game.  

  • Reply 10 of 129

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    A real Windows experience is why the first tablets failed.






    I both agree and disagree.  I don't think the traditional Windows UI necessarily dooms a tablet to failure, much to the contrary, I think if you're vastly exceeding the cost of a full-on notebook, the full capabilities of Windows (the full desktop and the ability to run all you're x86 applications) is very important.  I know iPads sell like hotcakes, but I, and a lot of others, simply aren't willing to spend upwards of $800 for a glorified smartphone.  Which is why, despite some of their decisions, I think Microsoft is on the right track with Windows 8 - provide a tablet friendly UI for basic and on-the-go tasks, and the full desktop for when you need to be productive with the "real" applications you need to use.  I know there's some overlap between "apps" and traditional "applications", but there's no denying that when real work needs to be done, there's no replacement for full desktop applications.



    Clearly what's dooming Windows RT is that it's essentially nearly all the cost of a full Windows Pro system with none of the benefits - unlike iOS or Android tablets, the available app selection is extremely limited and limiting.  So you don't have access to your traditional applications, you don't have access to much in the way of apps, and the whole Metro UI is essentially barely out of beta status. 



    On the other hand, give it a generation or two, and I think Windows RT will be gone and Windows Pro will make a very compelling OS for truly dual-purpose tablets - a touch friendly UI when it's used as a tablet, drop it into a dock and you have a full desktop OS for when you need those capabilities. 

  • Reply 11 of 129
    I played with a Windows RT tablet at an office store. I found that when changing basic settings, Windows RT drops you into the desktop environment which is not designed to be used with a touch screen. It is obvious that Metro UI is just a thin skin over traditional Windows and that it is not ready to take on all aspects of the operating system. I can't understand while Microsoft released it like this. I really think that this is the end of Windows.
  • Reply 12 of 129
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member



    ... a number of customers apparently returned the hardware once they discovered the Surface cannot run traditional Windows applications.



     


    Yet more heavy lifting.  Explaining why it's called "Windows RT" but won't run traditional Windows applications.


    Unless, of course, the customers thought it sucked anyway.  And they used "won't run my apps" as an excuse.

  • Reply 13 of 129
    Apple-related content: 0%
  • Reply 14 of 129
    larryalarrya Posts: 582member
    GrangerFX wrote: »
    I played with a Windows RT tablet at an office store. I found that when changing basic settings, Windows RT drops you into the desktop environment which is not designed to be used with a touch screen. It is obvious that Metro UI is just a thin skin over traditional Windows and that it is not ready to take on all aspects of the operating system. I can't understand while Microsoft released it like this. I really think that this is the end of Windows.

    Sounds like my old Windows Mobile 6.5 phone - the one that had me run to an iPhone after a couple of weeks.
  • Reply 15 of 129
    RT is part of Microsoft's "see what sticks" strategy. It's a hedge against the vertically designed iPad becoming the future of computing. Microsoft will cut it loose once it is clear that is not the future of Windows, any more than ARM-ported Windows CE wasn't. Then I will laugh in the face of those early adopters.
  • Reply 16 of 129
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    A real Windows experience is why the first tablets failed.

    I think moreso the fact that it wasn't a real Windows experience considering most of the early returns were due to the inability to run Windows apps.

    Funny though that many analyst were excited with the prospect of the Surface because they thought people could get the full Windows experience (apps and all) in a lightweight touch screen $499 tablet. Well they were again wrong and the Surface and Windows RT are FAR from iPad killers.

    But I will say that I believe there is a desire for a fuller desktop experience from portable touch screen tablets but technology isn't there for that yet.
  • Reply 17 of 129


    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

    Apple-related content: 0%


     


    "Modest demand" = "Dag, yo, them Apples be splurgin' all up in this here marketshare!"


     


    Note that this is not part of—nor is it a sister language to—the previous use of "Ugh" to denote cable appearance. "Ugh" comes from Designlish, also known as Modern Designlish, as evolved from Middle and Early Designlish. 




    This is High Industryese, which has existed alongside the design languages, but has been far removed from it for a considerable time.

  • Reply 18 of 129
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member


    Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post



    ... It is obvious that Metro UI is just a thin skin over traditional Windows and that it is not ready to take on all aspects of the operating system. I can't understand while Microsoft released it like this. I really think that this is the end of Windows.


     


    Agree with the first part.  When Ballmer said "No compromises," he meant "we're just going to port Windows 7 over to ARM more or less unchanged."  Because that would require the least amount of actual design work.  Simple to add a layer of sizzle on top of the same old tough steak.  Very hard, if not impossible at this stage, to redesign and re-code all of Windows + Office with a true multi-touch-centric interface.


     


    Disagree with the last part.  I think Windows will be around decades from now, a brain-dead ghost of Microsoft's 1990s marketing success.  The same way all those millions of lines of 1960s COBOL programs hung around until the Y2K scare.  Obsolete, irrelevant, barely maintained.  The difference being, of course, that Microsoft will still be able to milk corporate IT out of Windows + Office license contracts.  


     


    Microsoft is the victim of its own past success.  The Windows + Office corporate license business is so important to the company that they can't afford to cannibalize that revenue stream in any way.  Not with any successful mobile phone.  Not with any successful pad computer.  Because consumers and corporations have been trained, by Apple, to expect to pay less for mobile phone and pad OS updates and apps.


     


    So, Microsoft is in a lose-lose situation.  If Surface became wildly successful by some bizarre miracle, it would cannibalize sales of traditional PCs.  Which in turn would cut Microsoft's revenues because of lower software margins.  (And it would take Microsoft years to get the same supply chain economies of scale that Apple has, so hardware profit wouldn't make up for the decline in software profit for quite a while.)  


     


    Or, in the 99.999183% scenario, Surface will be little more than yet another embarrassing chapter of fail in Microsoft history book.  The good news for Ballmer and company: Surface won't cannibalize their more profitable businesses.  Because of "moderate" sales.  The bad news for Ballmer and company: Apple and its imitators will absolutely own the post-PC era.  And Apple and its imitators will cannibalize Microsoft's most profitable businesses.

  • Reply 19 of 129
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    gwmac wrote: »
    I hate Windows as much as anyone here. But I do admit there are plenty of people that don't. For them, a really power efficient, slim, and decent  Windows tablet that could also be converted to a laptop capable of running all their Windows applications would probably at least be a lot closer to getting them to open up their wallet than this thing.  I am not saying that is a good idea at all, just that Microsoft is sort of caught between a rock and a hard place and might not have any choice. I just don't see their Windows 8 mobile version gaining enough traction to compete against iOS or Android on it's own. So that might be a last ditch effort option. 

    Having said that, even that strategy is as likely to succeed as was Notre Dame's chances against 'Bama to even a casual observer of college football. You really had to be blind to not predict that game.  

    I think one day technology will catch up and we'll see fuller desktop experiences on light weight tablets like the iPad.

    The Surface Pro with Windows 8 is going to weigh more than some laptops and be pretty thick and chunky.

    That's why we don't yet see a desktop class OS on a lightweight tablet because currently it just isn't feasible.
  • Reply 20 of 129
    GrangerFX wrote: »
    I played with a Windows RT tablet at an office store. I found that when changing basic settings, Windows RT drops you into the desktop environment which is not designed to be used with a touch screen. It is obvious that Metro UI is just a thin skin over traditional Windows and that it is not ready to take on all aspects of the operating system. I can't understand while Microsoft released it like this. I really think that this is the end of Windows.

    Windows users (and the tech elite) give Microsoft a lot of leeway when it comes to making mistakes. You know the saying, "it takes Microsoft three versions to get anything right?" or "they just rush a product out to market and iterate until they defeat the market leader"? Vista wasn't the end of Windows. The Office Ribbon wasn't the end of Microsoft Office. Users just swallow hard and ask "thank you, Microsoft, may have please have another?" And complicit tech elite sites don't even bother to put the suffix "-gate" at the end of a Microsoft failure, because it's expected. No, I predict that Windows will never die, so long as people are willing to put up with Microsoft's failures.
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