Windows RT Facing Same Fate as webOS?

The upstream supply chain is chattering to DigiTimes again, this time comparing Microsoft's Windows RT ARM-based variant of Windows 8 with HP/Palm's doomed webOS platform. They say that most brand vendors have already stopped developing RT products, leaving Microsoft's second-generation Surface RT the only tablet in the works based on the struggling OS.

The news arrives after Microsoft confirmed that it plans to sell Surface RT tablets at $199 to K-12 schools and higher-education institutions. The plan was announced prematurely by Ryan Lowdermilk, Microsoft's technology evangelist, who quickly pulled his blog announcing the deal. But the Redmond company acknowledged the price and said more will be revealed on June 24.

Microsoft also just recently announced that Outlook 2013 RT will be joining the other Office apps in Windows RT (opens in new tab) including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. It will be part of the free Windows RT 8.1 "Blue" update planned to be released later this year. Until just recently, Windows RT was the only current Windows platform that shipped with Office pre-installed.

Sources claim that despite these two factors – along with dropping Surface RT prices in Japan – demand for Windows RT products won't be high. As it stands now, Microsoft has only achieved 3 percent and 1 percent of the tablet and smartphone sectors respectively.

On the smartphone front, Microsoft is reportedly facing a similar issue. Acer, Asus and ZTE have supposedly started putting their Windows Phone 8 device development on hold, thus making it difficult for Microsoft to gain momentum in the smartphone market. If that weren't bad enough, Android and Tizen are spilling into the PC market, joining Chrome OS as a popular Windows alternative.

A lot seems to be riding on Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1. Microsoft has taken partial blame for the decline in PC sales due to a poor response to the touchy new interface. The company also didn't make the wisest of decisions with its DRM scheme for Xbox One. But the company has rectified that, and is looking to calm the restless natives with its free OS update later this year. Question is, will it be enough?

  • Shin-san
    A lot of us don't see the reason to use RT. The prices for Atom tablets have dropped to where some of them are cheaper than RT tablets, and those can run our Windows applications

    I do see that Windows RT was a good idea overall because you have the OS ported over to another CPU. It would be good for an embedded OS, but as far as tablets go, x86 tablets might be better
  • de5_Roy
    was there ever any doubt? :lol:
  • halcyon
    As expected
  • memadmax
    Windows 8 is only a symptom of arrogance within MS...
    We saw it with Xbox too, but for some reason they were quick to fix that, why not win8 too?
  • lockhrt999
    Android runs on atom based smartphones without fuss. No application faces compatibility issues. How could be so different when it comes to windows?
    I'm really interested on knowing this. It's known that google never made x86 version of android officially. So did Atom start reading ARM instruction set out of the blue?
  • bentonsl_2010
    I'm still trying to figure out how Steve Ballmer is still the CEO of Microsoft. Please fire this douche bag. He is clearly out of touch with the way things Should and have worked this day in age.
  • SirGCal
    Windows 8 honestly is what Microsoft Deserves. It's what they get for not listening to their own in-house test engineers for all of those years, their own developers, etc. Their design engineers do NOT know better. They sometimes do have great ideas sure but as in this case; way left field. Might be great in strictly the RT standpoint but they pushed so many people out of it that they don't even wanna try it. Plus Android is so well established right now, I really wounder why they even want to try to compete in that water. I actually have an RT tablet. They gave them away as door prizes once at Best Buy I think it was, maybe some other store, for something... Cause they couldn't sell them. I booted it up. Ehh... Even my grandparents don't want it. Now that's bad. Eventually I'll get around to wiping it and putting some flavor of something else on it but... If I can.
  • bentonsl_2010
    Double post :(
  • Vorador2
    I am surprised. NOT.

    Windows RT is the ugly of windows, namely Metro, without the good, that is, the applications.
  • p05esto
    I'm so pissed at MS these days. I was one of their biggest supporters and after the crap Win8 and initial Xbox plans I just can't stand by them any longer. Yea, they changed their mind but DAMAGE done. Why the heck isn't there a fix out for Win8 start screen and start menu yet? Why are they dumbing things down to the point I don't even want to use the OS any more? I live to customize and enhance my system. They are brining computing to the idiots and throwing out the power users.....DONE with it.