Samsung Backs Out of Windows RT Market in the United States

Samsung has certainly danced back and forth a lot when it comes to Windows ARM-based mobile efforts of late. They are releasing them, they aren’t, they are… It’s a bit confusing.

We are finally getting more solid details about US Windows Phone 8 Samsung efforts, but what about their Samsung ATIV Tab that runs on Windows RT? When it is it coming to the states. The answer is that it isn’t.

According to Samsung there has been very weak demand and plenty of confusion around Windows RT, which has led them to make the decision to keep their tablet off store shelves in the United States.
Samsung says it better than I could:

There wasn’t really a very clear positioning of what Windows RT meant in the marketplace, what it stood for relative to Windows 8, that was being done in an effective manner to the consumer. 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. And that heavy lifting was going to require pretty heavy investment.

When we added those two things up, the investments necessary to educate the consumer on the difference between RT and Windows 8, plus the modest feedback that we got regarding how successful could this be at retail from our retail partners, we decided maybe we ought to wait.

Samsung also said that they felt that there they could price the ATIV Tab low enough to make it competitive against Windows 8 tablets, which can do everything that Windows RT can do and can also run Windows legacy desktop apps. The only downside to Windows 8 versus Windows RT being a little battery life.

Samsung says they will continue to watch the market and aren’t necessarily canning all Windows RT efforts going forward– they just need to see that there is a real market for such devices first.

As much as I love Windows 8, I actually agree with Samsung here. Sure, part of making Windows RT appealing is to have a wide range of Windows RT hardware (something that Samsung bowing out doesn’t help with), but I always felt Microsoft didn’t do a good enough job at giving us clear reasons why we should care about Windows RT.

What makes ARM better for Windows users? I know we often hear about battery life, but that’s becoming less relevant as x86 chips become more power efficient. I know not everyone agrees with me on this matter, but I truly feel that Microsoft would have been better off to wait off on opening their platform up to ARM.

If Windows 9, 10 or 11 eventually phases out the desktop– than ARM makes sense, because it would be the same experience as what an x86 device would give: a pure Start UI OS. At the moment, I just don’t know if there is enough reason to go with Windows RT. Of course that’s just my own personal opinion and I understand and respect that not everyone feels the same.

What do you think, did Samsung make the right decision or not? Do you think that Windows RT and ARM Windows tablets have plenty of potential and I’m just missing the big picture here? Share your thoughts below.

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