Samsung Bails on Windows RT, At Least in the U.S.

PC juggernaut and the second biggest tablet maker, Samsung decided to bail on Microsoft Windows RT operating system, at least in the U.S. The company decided against launching the Ativ Tab stateside, a 10.1-inch tablet that's powered by the company's Exynos family of SoCs, running the operating system. Samsung blamed weak demand for the only major product based on the software thus far - Microsoft Surface for Windows RT - as indication that the Ativ Tab could flop.

In an interview with C|Net, Samsung's head of PC and tablet business in the U.S., Mike Abary, stated:

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.

According to Abary, Windows RT is failing at delivering tablet makers its biggest incentive - lower device and software costs than the x86-based Windows 8. Samsung found itself making huge compromises such as lower memory, to bring down price, and that should sound alarming enough, given that Samsung is also a leading component maker, with its own Exynos brand of SoCs and Green Memory. "We didn't necessarily attain the price point that we hoped to attain," Abary said. "It's not an issue on Microsoft's side. It's more an issue of how the product was built and some of the tradeoffs we had to incorporate in it."