Analyst: Microsoft should pull the plug on poor-selling Windows RT tablets, admit defeat

“Microsoft could gain nearly 5% of the tablet market this year with its Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems, research firm IDC said Tuesday,” Patrick Seitz reports for Investor’s Business Daily. “But longer term, it would be better off dumping its poorly received Windows RT line to focus on Windows 8 tablets, IDC says.”

“Microsoft introduced its stripped-down Windows RT operating system with its own branded Surface tablets in late October. But devices have not caught on with consumers, who continue to buy Apple iPad and Google Android-based tablets instead,” Seitz reports. “Starting from a smaller base, Microsoft has more growth potential, but its two-operating-system strategy is confusing, IDC says. ‘Windows RT is a tough sell,’ IDC analyst Tom Mainelli told IBD. Windows RT devices can only run applications that are specially written for the operating system. RT can’t run familiar Windows PC programs. And app developers prefer to write software for iPad and Android tablets because those devices have so many more users.”

Seitz reports, “Samsung already has pulled its Windows RT tablets from some markets in Europe because of poor demand, according to media reports. Samsung previously announced that it wouldn’t sell Windows RT tablets in the U.S. for the same reason.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Garbage with a kickstand.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rainy Day” for the heads up.]

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35 Comments

  1. Microsoft won’t pull the plug for at least two years. And who in the world came up with the idea for the dual-OS strategy anyway? Must have been Ballmer because otherwise that guy should have been fired by now.

    But maybe Microsoft can’t afford to lose any more executives.

    1. Remember, Bill Gates is still there as Chairman of the Board. Dollars to doughnuts, he’s the one protecting his buddy Steve Ballmer, engineering recent executive purges, and getting the board to vote down any ideas that threaten to erode the Windows brand. I think the foolish ideas are Bill’s, and Steve is the crash test dummy.

    2. “And who in the world came up with the idea for the dual-OS strategy anyway?”
      The same people who thought the bleeting masses would buy and be happy with Vistcrap.

  2. XBOX strategy. Build millions, lose Billions for years until you wear out the competition. The second part is eventually MS figures out the right hardware design and catch up. Sure Billions of dollars wasted. No Problem. They have Windows and Office to fund it all.

    1. This time, it’s NOT Xbox, Zune, or Windows Phone that Microsoft is losing “Billions for years until you wear out the competition.” It’s Windows itself.

      Yes, we are talking about Windows “RT” here (not “8”), but Windows RT is supposed to be the future. Window 8 is the past, shimmed and propped up as much as possible on a creaky foundation, to look like the future. There will be no “Windows and Office to fund it all” for that much longer if Windows RT is a failure. Windows 8 is the same basic design, and it will follow, taking old-school Office along for the ride…

      The only recourse here for Microsoft is to admit defeat on BOTH Windows RT and Windows 8 (like they did with Windows Vista). Go back to Windows 7 (as the base) and continue with the traditional “desktop” PC business from there. No “mandatory” touch screens or SSDs that are 70% full with the pre-installed software, and PCs that end up costing more than Macs. No tablets that are too heavy and need keyboards to be fully functional. Businesses need “normal” lower-cost reasonably-competent PCs, or they’ll just buy Macs more and more, because Macs are now the lower cost “traditional” desktop and laptop computer choice. Imagine that…

      Once Microsoft DOES shore up and make its desktop OS and software cash cow healthy again, they can try again to look toward the future, with someone else in charge. I have a feeling it will be Bill Gates trying to copy Steve Jobs once again, and save the company he founded.

      1. I think you may be mistaking the differences between ARM and Wintel devices. MS has no choice but to chase both. Its problem isn’t just that Windows RT is a bad idea, it’s just that the Windows 8 interface sucks by any measure, and the hardware doesn’t perform appropriate to users’ expectations. MS is so late to the show that they have few apps to offer.

        I also think you underestimate how much money MS makes from Windows and enterprise-size products and services. They will buy their way into market relevance because that’s what old entrenched monopolies do with their cash cows.

        Also, given Ballmer’s pigheadedness, MS will continue sunsetting older & better interfaces, regardless of how much less the end user likes the crappy new interfaces like the horrendous “ribbon” and the pathetic metro-tiles. Even when independent studies proved that the ribbon prompted a 20% decline in productivity, MS continues to push it. Windows 8 will be the same forced adoption, like it or not.

        If Apple lifted a finger to court business customers, this would be the best opportunity ever to bring its Mac OS market share significantly above 10%.

        Sadly, Apple’s leadership is MIA. Cook clearly cares only about the iPhone and iPad. Without crisp direction, Mac hardware updates have been fumbled and late; Apple software guilty of some of the same atrocious MS moves: iTunes 11, FCP X, Quicktime X, etc are all duds from a user interface & intuitiveness (and therefore user productivity) measure. iWork is stale and uncompetitive on both Mac and iOS.

        Apple might be happy to have kids playing games on tablets and every professional carrying an iPhone, but that hardly displaces the Xbox, the Dell Workstation, and Office which will continue to drive revenue for Redmond, not to mention the backoffice services and software where Apple never played..

        Apple should be pushing MacBook Airs as fast and hard as they can to enterprises and schools that were interested in the Surface Pro and the Surface RT. The failure of Apple to recapture the huge accounts it once served is simply astonishing. It almost seems like Cook seems happy to let the Mac fail in these markets where the Mac used to set the standard. Redmond won’t be impacted that much if RT zunes out. But Apple can’t place its entire future on iOS.

        1. My school district is gradually dropping Office and Windows in favor of what will probably be a two-tiered approach, giving students cheap Chrome books for some uses while adopting iPads for other uses. I’m told that the cost of our Office licenses has already gone down due to competition with Google Apps, which we adopted fully this year. Microsoft cannot rest on Windows and Office any longer.

          1. Google? Sounds like going from mediocre to horrible to me.

            No Google app is ready for prime time deployment, least of all at a school.

            This may be one good reason to vote down the next school tech levy. Kids should learn fundamentals applicable to all fields first, not the particularities of some IT gorilla’s software — and yes, that includes Apple. Keep electronics out of kids’ hands until junior year of high school, and then we’d have just as smart, perhaps smarter, and definitely more well rounded kids for significantly less investment.

  3. It’s no different than the “netbooks” of Win7 and Vista. Those sold so badly that they had to bundle them with normal desktop computers just to get rid of the stock built up in stores.

    1. Don’t forget those came with Windows Home Basic, basically equivalent with RT. Home Basic is a very watered down version of Home Premium, which is the mainstream OS many of you actually refer to as “Home”.

  4. Microsoft is too PROUD and STUPID to pull Windows RT crapware without it gnawing on their cash hoard for a couple years. Witness the catastrophe of Zune and how long it took them to stake that loser and give it a decent burial. Two hilarious years of suckage ahead. Let’s enjoy the show. 😆

  5. I have Windows 8 on a new HP laptop and have to say its a horrid copy of iOS. It’s bloated, clunky, and the so called apps are laughable. I spend most all of my time on “Win 7” side and that ain’t no great shakes either. The reason for the existence of this OS is a head scratcher for sure!

    1. Your argument was let down in the first sentence. how you can say it’s a copy of iOS is baffling. Looks nothing like iOS. Think maybe you have no idea what you’re talking about.

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