When Microsoft announced Windows RT, it was a shift in strategy prompted by the success of Apple's iPad and Android tablets. Windows RT is designed to run on ARM-based processors, and while the OS looks very much like Windows 8, it's a completely different beast. That's why the platform is failing and manufacturers are slashing prices on current Windows RT devices.
Computer World is reporting that PC makers of Windows RT devices have slashed prices in order to clear out inventory, because the tablets and convertibles running the operating system have not sold well. Almost all of Microsoft's Windows RT licensees have begun to cut prices on RT devices, and in some cases are rumored to have discontinued devices due to poor sales.
Dell recently cut the price of its Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablets by $50 and $100. Asus' Vivo Tab RT is now selling well below the $599 launch price; Amazon is currently selling the tablet for $382. Newegg is listing the tablet as discontinued. Computer World reached out to Asus for a comment, but the company did not respond. Samsung had planned to launch its Ativ Tab Windows RT tablet in the U.S., but due to lackluster demand the company scrapped plans to sell the tablet in the U.S.
Analysts believe that these recent price cuts are an acknowledgement that Windows RT is a failure:
"The analysts acknowledged that Microsoft did little to spread awareness about Windows RT. People could not understand the purpose of the OS as it was incompatible with existing Windows applications, and it wasn't a complete operating system like Windows 8."
One analyst told Computer World that "RT will fade away over time, it's not a full Windows 8 experience."
You would think Microsoft would have learned by now that entering a market where competitors have seen success does not guarantee the same results for Microsoft. One only has to look at the Zune and realize Microsoft sometimes chases things it shouldn't chase: Windows RT is another example.