Samsung Says Windows 8 Tablets and Phones Have Lackluster Demand

Recently Samsung showed its ‘love’ for Microsoft by stating that Windows 8 was essentially no better than Windows Vista. Samsung has also shown that it isn’t taking its role as a Windows partner very seriously when it comes both to its WP8 handset offering and by the fact that it has basically withdrawn from the Windows RT market as well.

Now in a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Samsung’s new co-CEO JK Shin talks a bit about Windows Phone 8 – and no, it isn’t in a positive light.

WSJ: What about your relationship with Microsoft? Has it changed after Nokia began to work more closely on Windows devices?

Shin: Smartphones and tablets based on Microsoft’s Windows operating system aren’t selling very well. There is a preference in the market for Android. In Europe, we’re also seeing lackluster demand for Windows-based products.

Based on these statements, it is pretty clear that Samsung sees itself more in bed with Google (Android, Chrome OS) than Microsoft these days. With the Galaxy S4 now official and Samsung started to prepare its own Tizen handsets as well, it wouldn’t be surprising if we continue to see slow steps away from both Windows Phone 8 and even Windows 8, although they might keep making desktops and laptops for a while longer unless Chrome OS really does something to surprise us (like integrates with Android * hint, hint *).

How Does Samsung’s Change in Relationship with Microsoft affect Redmond?

Honestly, not that much. With Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has found itself leaning more heavily on HTC and Nokia. If Samsung was to pull out completely of the Windows-based smartphone market right now, there wouldn’t be many fans that would care.

Nokia’s handsets are much more innovative than Samsung’s Windows devices, and HTC is at the very least on par with anything that Samsung has come out with running on Windows Phone.

As for Windows 8? From Dell to Lenovo, there are plenty of solid brands out there that are beginning to rock the PC world with their unique Windows 8-driven offerings. Samsung is just one partner, and not the biggest loss.

The only area where it is sad to see Samsung go is for the enterprise. I truly believe Samsung could have been a great partner here. With its recent creation of a more secure Android environment for its BYOD-oriented handsets and other enterprise efforts, Samsung is aimed at the enterprise world in a big way.

Samsung’s designs are more about plain functionality than sexy, colorful design (like with Nokia and HTC), which often appeals more to business customers. Of course I still believe Microsoft can break into the BYOD sector with Nokia and HTC at the helm, just maybe not as easily.

Also, Samsung hasn’t pulled out yet. They might not be showing the same level of interest in Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 as they are in other operating systems like Android and even Tizen – but they still realize that the Windows market is important enough that they haven’t jumped ship.

Will they in the future? That largely depends one part on what Microsoft does going forward and one part on what Google does going forward. What do you think?

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