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1/11/2013
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Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.

Samsung's decision hurts Microsoft's efforts to gain ground against Google and Apple in the mobile computing market.

8 Key Differences Between Windows 8 And Windows RT
8 Key Differences Between Windows 8 And Windows RT
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Just days after Steve Ballmer touted the company as one of Microsoft's key partners in the tablet market, Samsung has killed plans to launch in the U.S. a device based on Windows RT, a derivative of Windows 8 designed mainly for portable systems.

Samsung senior VP Mike Abary told Cnet that the South Korean electronics maker does not see sufficient demand from retailers to justify launch of the previously announced Ativ Tab. Abary said retailers' interest in Windows RT is only "modest." He added that customers may be confused by the OS, which, unlike full-blown Windows 8, can only run software preinstalled by Microsoft or apps downloaded from the Windows Store.

"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," Abary said. "And that heavy lifting was going to require pretty heavy investment." Abary said Samsung may still launch the tablet in some international markets. A spokesperson for Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

[ Will Microsoft introduce more hardware products beyond Surface? CEO Steve Ballmer suggests it's likely. ]

Last year, Hewlett-Packard said it had scrapped plans for a Windows RT tablet, based on customer feedback.

The decision by Samsung, one of the world's leading consumer electronics makers, to pull back from Windows RT surely comes as a blow to Microsoft. On Monday, CEO Ballmer made a surprise appearance during Qualcomm's keynote at CES to tout new Windows devices, including the Ativ Tab, which he called "stunning."

Microsoft developed Windows RT to run on ARM chips made by Qualcomm and Nvidia. But Samsung's move leaves only Lenovo, Dell and ASUS as the only major OEMs developing products around the OS for the U.S. market.

Microsoft itself entered the market when it launched Surface RT in October. Indeed, Redmond's concern that hardware makers may not fully get on board with Windows RT was partly behind its decision to go into the business itself.

"Not that we don't have good hardware partners, but sometimes getting the innovation right across the seam of hardware and software is difficult unless you do both of them," Ballmer said at Microsoft's annual shareholder meeting in November, Bellevue, Wash.

Analysts believe Microsoft may get deeper still into hardware if it senses its partners are not fully behind Windows RT and Windows 8, or if it concludes that the OEM community is not being sufficiently innovative. "Sometimes when you want a true showcase product you have to step up and do it yourself," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at The Enderle Group, who cited Google's Nexus smartphone as an example.

Many PC makers looked at Windows RT "and said this is a crippled product" because it does not run legacy Windows applications, Enderle added.

Earlier this week at CES, Microsoft Windows group co-chief Tami Reller said Microsoft is in the hardware business for the long haul. "We got into this business as a business, this isn't a short-term adventure," said Reller.

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stahmasebi9211
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stahmasebi9211,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/14/2013 | 10:25:08 PM
re: Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.
Windows 8 is a dud. It's time to axe Ballmer and bring new life to Microsoft.
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
1/14/2013 | 7:08:06 PM
re: Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.
I agree. Same stuff, same concept, just different labels. Good for my home or family, but not for me doing work away from the office on real devices, not consumer ones.
sefarkas
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sefarkas,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/14/2013 | 6:03:03 PM
re: Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.
How is Windows Store & Windows RT device any different (to the average user) than iTunes and iPad? The anti-MS bias is very strong here. The evidence is right here.
ConAim
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ConAim,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/14/2013 | 5:14:59 AM
re: Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.
Samsung's managements, there are ton of many other hardware vendors (Ace, HTC, Nokia, Levono, HP, Dell) will pickup and continue the success of RT, as they will recognizing RT is better performance and security over Android OS (Java stolen technology). Your Samsung and Fandroid hyper can continue riding on the success of Galaxy's products, but in long run, you will lost.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/13/2013 | 4:44:03 PM
re: Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.
Disagree with you on whether ARM will last. It has deep roots and many prominent licensees. They will continue to keep pace using SoC packaging and new silicon designs.

Devs CAN write apps for RT. Otherwise the platform would be dead out of the gate. The problem with many legacy apps is that they are highly complex and thus optimized for running on the x86 chip. Not something that can be easily ported to RT and still function well.
Generalkidd
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Generalkidd,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/13/2013 | 8:17:49 AM
re: Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.
Actually, ARM may not be around for much longer depending on how aggressive Intel is with their push into the mobile market. They have a chip that performs better than ARM while using less power now. The rest is just marketing and hardware partners.

The fundamental problem with Windows RT is its inability to run legacy apps. I understand that's an architecture problem, but if Microsoft had allowed developers to write apps for the Windows RT desktop, it would've allowed devs to port a lot of their apps to WinRT and users would have more software available to use thus solving some problems of Windows RT.

Overall though, I think Windows RT is totally unnecessary and I think it only exists as a backup plan for Microsoft if Intel is unable to succeed in their push into the mobile market. Everything depends on Intel here. ARM has 0 advantages against x86 at this point. It's been proven time and time again that ARM is performs extremely poor when you attempt to scale it up (eg. ARM servers). However, x86, when scaled down, remains a lot more capable than ARM without sacrificing battery life of the device in question.

So basically, Windows RT exists just in case if Intel fails. The ARM chip is popular for now, but not for much longer. That being said, Intel is too slow in their push right now. If they take too long, ARM may catch up to the performance of the Intel Atom. At that point, x86 will lose its performance edge against ARM. Currently, the high-end ARM chips like the Tegra 3 have a performance level close to that of a Pentium 2, maybe a Pentium 3. Intel Atoms are currently just a notch above that.
SteveNY
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SteveNY,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2013 | 10:15:51 PM
re: Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.
The iPad was never billed as an OS X replacement, just a complimentary product. I think the confusion among consumers and tech reviewers about the different iterations of Windows 8 is part of the problem. PC makers are reluctant to invest in the development of an iPad competitor. The desirability and popularity of a Windows tablet is as of yet not a sure thing in terms of need or desire among regular consumers and IT departments alike. Cost is only one among several variables that PC makers will need to address.
Philip Hurlston
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Philip Hurlston,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2013 | 6:43:53 PM
re: Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.
Is the iPad crippled because it doesn't run native Mac OS apps? I don't like W8, but silly, double standard comments like that from "many PC Makers," just makes you lose faith.
Jack N FranF583
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Jack N FranF583,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2013 | 5:25:21 PM
re: Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.
And if MS uncripples ARM devices for MS Office, it will also uncripple Android devices for most enterprise applications.
Wallace Gordon
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Wallace Gordon,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2013 | 4:41:33 PM
re: Samsung Nixes Windows RT Tablet For U.S.
The leader of Microsoft should resign...because he did not plan well. He should have had a back up plan if the deal with Samsung fell through. You should always have a back up plan! Should not have depended on Samsung to determine the company's future in the USA. Just plain stupid. Who is ever doing the marketing for Microsoft should be replaced...you have to build up a following and nurse it along until it grows... make the deals that need to be made... and change the product so that users can actually use it...now.
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