Asus scaling back Windows RT plans

Windows RT represents Microsoft's first effort to put the full Windows operating system on ARM chips, but so far the response has been lukewarm at best. Several manufacturers have said they'll avoid the operating system for now, and Asus has now reiterated its plans to scale back Windows RT products in favor of Windows 8.

Speaking to AllThingsD, the company's chairman said Asus hasn't seen the response it expected from Windows RT devices such as its VivoTab RT. Part of that is because users still enjoy traditional desktop apps, he said, which aren't available on Windows RT.

"The result is not very promising," Jonney Shih said, noting his company won't rule out Windows RT products in the future, though it will focus on Intel-powered devices running Windows 8.

Shih added that Asus is evaluating its options in terms of tablet sizes, noting that he prefers 10-inch tablets instead of smaller form factors, though he said that was merely his personal opinion. Additionally, Shih said the fact that applications to bring back the traditional start menu to Windows 8 are very popular is an example of a mistake Microsoft made when developing the newest versions of Windows.

The comments come in the wake of plummeting retail pricing for Windows RT devices, including the VivoTab RT, which was available for $377 in April after launching alongside Windows RT on Oct. 26 for $599.

Executives from other companies have called Windows RT "confusing" when compared to Windows 8 and said the operating system has "no value" to consumers. Many companies have abandoned plans for Windows RT devices, though Microsoft has continued promoting current devices with television commercials.

Source: AllThingsD | Image via Asus

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well over the last few months I have been aggressively testing various tablets from Apple, Google and Microsoft. The windows tablets have been Surface RT, Dell XPS 10, Dell Latitude 10, Asus ME400C, Surface Pro and Dell XPS 12. I've pretty much come to the conclusion now that Microsoft needs to create a tablet OS from the ground up. Obviously everyone has their own opinions on things, and some may love the fact that MS tablets are basically laptops in a tablet form factor.

I wonder if RT will ever succeed? It has real potential, it really does

I'll tell you one thing though, an Asus ME400C running a new atom processor supporting mSATA over eMMC would be fantastic

"Part of that is because users still enjoy traditional desktop apps, he said, which aren't available on Windows RT."

To me this is the biggest problem with Windows RT and where Microsoft messed up Windows on ARM. It could have been the same OS, just recompiled. The only reason I bought a Surface RT was because of the jailbreak enabling Windows desktop apps.

For those that want RT to loose the desktop... you really just want Windows Phone OS on it instead... some of us want a full Windows 8 OS on our ARM devices.

Windows 8 RT should have been called Windows 8 Basic, or Windows 8 Tablet, and sold in 200$ 7 inch tablets, and 350$ 10 inch tablets.

The normal Windows 8 should have been called Pro or whatever, and focused more on laptops and desktops, not full screen garbage.

And everyone could have bean happy!

Instead, one OS that sucks in both worlds and truly loved by 1% of the population, good job

Hint: Windows 9 will try to resolve the mess, and Windows 10 will just get things right as they should have bean back in 2010, and by then it will be 2018 where phones or something else will be the one that have everything.

john.smith_2084 said,
Windows 8 RT should have been called Windows 8 Basic, or Windows 8 Tablet, and sold in 200$ 7 inch tablets, and 350$ 10 inch tablets.

The normal Windows 8 should have been called Pro or whatever, and focused more on laptops and desktops, not full screen garbage.

And everyone could have bean happy!

Instead, one OS that sucks in both worlds and truly loved by 1% of the population, good job

Hint: Windows 9 will try to resolve the mess, and Windows 10 will just get things right as they should have bean back in 2010, and by then it will be 2018 where phones or something else will be the one that have everything.

Windows 8 should not be called Pro there is a "Pro" version for a reason. Win 8, Win 8 Pro , and maybe Win 8 Modern/Fluid/Go

"The comments come in the wake of plummeting retail pricing for Windows RT devices, including the VivoTab RT, which was available for $377 in April after launching alongside Windows RT on Oct. 26 for $599."

I'm sorry, but an RT device for $600 is garbage. Especially since the superior Nexus 10 is only $400. Of course prices are 'plummeting', they are being made to a more realistic level.

I agree w/ comments above that RT is a long-play and that it will probably be merged w/ Windows Phone to be the same OS.

Superior? Not really... Cheaper? Yes. Youre right, RT tablets should be sold for much cheaper... If you compare an RT tab with a Nexus tab at the same price youd be insane to go with the Nexus

SteveyAyo said,
Superior? Not really... Cheaper? Yes. Youre right, RT tablets should be sold for much cheaper... If you compare an RT tab with a Nexus tab at the same price youd be insane to go with the Nexus

Superior =>
- Nexus 10 has double the screen resolution!
- Nexus 10 has double the processor speed, if not more!
- Nexus 10 has double the Wifi speed!
- Nexus 10 has the Chrome browser with double the API, double the performance, and double the features!
- Nexus 10 has double the apps.

john.smith_2084 said,

Superior =>
- Nexus 10 has double the screen resolution!
- Nexus 10 has double the processor speed, if not more!
- Nexus 10 has double the Wifi speed!
- Nexus 10 has the Chrome browser with double the API, double the performance, and double the features!
- Nexus 10 has double the apps.

And yet none of that "Double" the speed is noticeable thanks to Android being such a mess when it comes to poor coding. Double the Apps? Not tablet apps, sure they have more awful upscaled phone apps that look like garbage but when it comes to tablet specific apps RT is ahead.

Double Wifi? No Double Screen res? No. Double processer? No

Surface RT has =>
Double the Disk Space
Full USB
Full Free Office Suite
Runs Double the amount of Apps
Chrome browser is slower and less secure than ie10/11
Double Wifi? No Double Screen res? No
Multiple User accounts
More than double the amount for 3rd party systems that are already out in the world (keyboards, printers, mice, external drives etc...)

So basically what youre saying is the Nexus is superior because it does less with a nicer screen? how droll

I'm not sure if john.smith is being sarcastic or not, seeing as how he's just saying it has double everything.

But @SteveyAyo

Surface has 32gb but only 15GB is usable space out of the box. The Nexus 10 OS takes about 4GB of space in comparision. One other note that should be made, is that the Surface has an SD Slot, while the Nexus does not.
Surface does support USB devices with a FULL USB port, this is indeed a great feature.
Surface has a 'free Office Suite'. I guess you could say it's free, but not really, since the device costs more than the Nexus 10. (Well at launch, now it's $50 cheaper)
Chrome browser is slower and less secure than ie10/11 - Where is your source on this? I think Chrome is on par w/ IE10, but I've seen stats where IE11 smokes it. I will say that Chrome has a faster release cycle than IE, and I believe it will catch up soon enough. As far as 'secure' I feel both are equal on this front.
The Nexus 10 now supports multi-user accounts.
The screen resolution on the Surface RT is no-where near as good as the Nexus 10 Screen Resolution. The Surface Rt has a 148PPI, while the Nexus 10 has a 300PPI. Although, I feel they did this b/c Win RT doesn't support Higher resolutions at the moment.


I guess I was saying that the Nexus 10 is superior the the Rt in that it's features that are most relevant to users are superior to the Rt. This being the Google Store and its vast App ecosystem. Now I will say that it's not fair to compare an ecosystem that has been available for a while to one that is just starting out. But I also feel that in order to compete, MS shouldn't have charged a 'premium'.

greensabath said,
....

15 GB out of box? No, that's not true, it was actually about 24... also lets not forget it has a 64 GB option which the Nexus does NOT.
Indeed it is an awesome feature.
Office is free, flat out.
Chrome used to have a faster release cycle but ive seen 3 new versions of ie since the Surface released, its easy to see theyre on par now in terms of releases.
It (sort of) supports multiple accounts, you get a main account and then a dumbed down account (see: WP8 kids corner)
Didn't claim it was, but at 10" its hardly a huge factor.

You didn't mention ANY features that are available to the Nexus that cant be found on the RT, screen resolution isn't really a feature. As far as the app ecosystem goes its filled with mostly phone apps that scale poorly, therefore destroying the screen resolution advantage. Ill agree hey charged too much for the surface, I expected 299 +50 for the cover, but to say the Nexus is 'superior' is absurd

SteveyAyo said,
to say the Nexus is 'superior' is absurd
LOL. Lot of time and energy wasted defending an inferior, overpriced, underpowered product the market has soundly rejected.

Windows 8 gives the best of both worlds, why so much angst over RT? Just can it and move on to full W8 which can be used by power users or casual consumers alike. Powered by Bay Trail Atom chips you lose none of the power savings or lightweight advantages so why continue with a platform that clearly no one want to make or buy?

ARM devices can be cheaper, smaller, less power hungry and very important, your not stuck with Intel as the only good choice which usually results in high prices and lack of innovation. Look how long it took Intel to get going and compete over recent years, that is a bad thing.

Ive said this a few times, but it bears repeating as you may not have seen it any of those times, Windows RT is the future of Windows Phone. Its much more functional than iOS and Android and Windows phone is creeping closer and closer to RT with the 8.1 update, all they need to do is add phone functionality and make sure the apps port properly. With your one Microsoft account linking to 6 total devices they are aiming for a future where you buy the app once and play it on your Phone, Tablet, Laptop, PC and Xbox... since they'll all run on the same framework.

Its a long term strategy, but one that only they can achieve within the next 5 years realistically.

SteveyAyo said,
With your one Microsoft account linking to 6 total devices they are aiming for a future where you buy the app once and play it on your Phone, Tablet, Laptop, PC and Xbox... since they'll all run on the same framework.

Its a long term strategy, but one that only they can achieve within the next 5 years realistically.

Wait 5 years for something that already exists in Google's and Apple's ecosystem for the past few years?

Oh really? Google has a fully functional Desktop OS and Game Console? Interesting, hadn't heard that news... And When did apple release their game console or start running iOs apps directly on MacOSx? Interesting theories you have there considering iOS and OSx are completely different and Google lacks two ecosystems I mentioned above.

SteveyAyo said,
Oh really? Google has a fully functional Desktop OS and Game Console? Interesting, hadn't heard that news... And When did apple release their game console or start running iOs apps directly on MacOSx? Interesting theories you have there considering iOS and OSx are completely different and Google lacks two ecosystems I mentioned above.

Having a gaming console within an ecosystem would be nice, but its not critical and will only become so when the capabilities of phones/tablets (mobile) rivals that of the consoles (likely not in our lifetime and definitely not in 5). For instance, most mobile games would be terrible on the console, and most console games would be terrible on mobile (i.e. can't imagine playing Candy Crush Saga on my 50" or COD on my mobile). Even though the desktop OS space is quickly shrinking, Google does have the Chromebook and ChromeOS with unified stores. When Microsoft gets there, they will late to the playing field, yet again.

This is what they get for trying to make it a jack of all trades.. unfortunately it's a master of non. It doesn't have the eco-system & apps to be a successful tablet and doesn't have the functionality to be anything more than a tablet.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in their 'idea room' .. i bet it's hilarious.

... So what youre saying is that its a stupid idea to make a tablet platform that is MORE functional than Android and iOS because they don't have 1 million apps in the first year? Id love to be a fly on your wall... I bet its sad

SteveyAyo said,
... So what youre saying is that its a stupid idea to make a tablet platform that is MORE functional than Android and iOS because they don't have 1 million apps in the first year? Id love to be a fly on your wall... I bet its sad

As i said, it's a jack of all trades master of non, it might be (or claim to be) more functional but it doesn't really bring anything to the table.. otherwise it would sell.

Uplift said,

As i said, it's a jack of all trades master of non, it might be (or claim to be) more functional but it doesn't really bring anything to the table.. otherwise it would sell.

Full web browser, Full Office suite, REAL multitasking (two things at once), Full 3rd party accessory support for products you already own for your PC... it brings quite a bit to the table, the problem was that the only RT tablet worth buying was incredibly difficult to get your hands on... If you didn't live near a Microsoft store you were basically SOL... now that theyre at WalMart theyre selling much faster, and also at the proper price

Uplift said,

As i said, it's a jack of all trades master of non, it might be (or claim to be) more functional but it doesn't really bring anything to the table.. otherwise it would sell.


TBH, Android tablets aren't selling very well either despite having apps (and the apps are crap anyway) so they don't really bring much to the table either. Only the Nexus 7 seems to do well and I have seen more Windows Phones than Nexuses here where I live (south-east-asia).

Windows RT itself is great, sadly the app situation remains pretty bad. Improving, but still kinda bad.

SteveyAyo said,

Full web browser, Full Office suite, REAL multitasking (two things at once), Full 3rd party accessory support for products you already own for your PC... it brings quite a bit to the table, the problem was that the only RT tablet worth buying was incredibly difficult to get your hands on... If you didn't live near a Microsoft store you were basically SOL... now that theyre at WalMart theyre selling much faster, and also at the proper price

They've been at Best Buy for a good while already. In fact, people were so oblivious to this fact that, while the Microsoft Store was "selling out" of Surface Pros at launch, you could literally walk into your local Best Buy and pick one up and be home playing with it that very same day...

Yeah can't blame them, Asus have done with the MC400, price point, quality and functionality runs rings around their RT offering.

There is a future for Windows on ARM but Microsoft have to nail the basics and then some, not just here and there because that is never enough and only leads to frustration. The user experience isn't anywhere close to being good enough.

I wouldn't go near it until Microsoft do something substantial, 8.1 is a stepping stone not the solution and they shouldn't expect device manufactures to give it more than a glance in the near future.

There needs to be a clear distinction and user experience before you even get to the other problems like apps, compatibility etc.

WooHoo!!! said,
There is a future for Windows on ARM but Microsoft have to nail the basics and then some, not just here and there because that is never enough and only leads to frustration. The user experience isn't anywhere close to being good enough.

I wouldn't go near it until Microsoft do something substantial, 8.1 is a stepping stone not the solution and they shouldn't expect device manufactures to give it more than a glance in the near future.

There needs to be a clear distinction and user experience before you even get to the other problems like apps, compatibility etc.

Said with such authority and conviction, and so very little substance!

Mugwump00 said,

Said with such authority and conviction, and so very little substance!


Not that you argued his opinions with a lot of substance.......

Did not at all, the thing that confuses me the most about what the first guy said is that he wants a clear distinction between the two user experiences... to me, that's insane and completely against what theyre aiming for with 3 screens and a cloud.

The user experience is fine, you have to get used to it at first because its a dramatic shift, but to say its nowhere near good enough is an absurdist exaggeration.

8.1 is MUCH more than just a stepping stone, I have it on my desktop and surface and it addresses A TON of the issues I had with it on the desktop, mainly being able to boot to desktop and then overlaying the tiles on my background... Now I just wish I could choose the individual colors for ALL of my Start Screen tiles so they aren't randomly colored.

Windows RT is Windows 8 (Basically what they think Windows is) to a consumer. That is a big problem along with the prices which again do not show much distinction between the two.

Windows 8.1 fixes issues and that is welcome but doesn't solve my first point other than a file explorer which is a stepping stone not a full on solution. You still have a desktop and Office is there as well.

There is a learning curve but a mash of two curves, old and new. While people may be able to get around doing basic tasks, there is still this issue of user experience not being coherent across the board.

I love the Window Phone but I know exactly what to expect, not half Windows 8, a clear thing of it's own that includes Microsoft features and services applied the correct way for that device.

Windows RT needs to evolve into a separate product that includes the same Microsoft features and services done the right way for the device it wants to be.

Ok, I get you now, I agree that the Desktop needs to be removed completely from RT... to me it makes no sense, like a vestigial tail or something. 8.1 brings that experience to a state of coherence, with 8 it was strange, but then again this is basically V1 of the new modern interface, you have to expect some growing pains as they discover how people are using it in the wild.

SteveyAyo said,
Now I just wish I could choose the individual colors for ALL of my Start Screen tiles so they aren't randomly colored.

I would love to have this, as well

ASUS is an Intel shop anyway, I bet they're thrilled with next gen Intel hardware and it makes no sense for them to continue down RT engineering path.

Microsoft needs to keep RT in house and aggressively attack the low cost tablet market, drop the OEM partners from RT development

That's true, but also the point I guess. RT tablet prices need to come down. But I rather like there being choice in the range of tablets.

Totally agree. Sell the Surface RT at breakeven prices so they can gain some market share and attract developers. As the platform matures and the app store grows, they can gradually raise the price.

Also, once a touch-friendly version of Office launches in 2014, they need to remove the "desktop" from RT.

When they (hopefully) merge Windows Phone and Windows RT im hoping they make a new name to work for both phones and small tablets, like Windows Portable or something, although Laptops that run Win8 are portable so that wouldn't work, but you get the idea

cybersaurusrex said,
Also, a better name than "RT" might help. That means nothing to consumers.

Neither did XP but that didn't stop it from being used for 12 years after its release.

RunTime doesn't have to mean Fun Time...I agree, the naming should have been totally different. But there are other things around RT that need to be fixed.

Edited by Thief000, Jul 30 2013, 4:20pm :

SteveyAyo said,
When they (hopefully) merge Windows Phone and Windows RT im hoping they make a new name to work for both phones and small tablets, like Windows Portable or something, although Laptops that run Win8 are portable so that wouldn't work, but you get the idea

Windows Mobile 9 = (4-5" phones, 5-6" phablets, 7-8" tablets, watches, glasses, etc).

Everyone keeps saying because of Intel Atom that MS doesn't need ARM, but this is wrong. BayTrail is late to market, may just miss out the holiday. That would mean MS was stuck using last years Atom chips to compete with the latest and best ARM chips. Without ARM MS couldn't create a Surface to compete with the Nexus 7 that Google just released because BayTrail isn't out yet. Tying Windows mobile fate to Intel alone is a huge mistake.

mrp04 said,

Neither did XP but that didn't stop it from being used for 12 years after its release.

Yeah, but it didn't have a better big brother to confuse things. 7 and Vista doesn't really too much either. It doesn't help the other one is called "Pro", so it have some positive meaning. What is better than RT? Other than appearing budget but not that big of a budget in price necessarily.