Dell exec: Windows RT demand is slow but future RT devices still planned

A few weeks ago, Microsoft VP Michael Angiulo defended its work on Windows RT, the ARM processor-based OS that launched alongside Windows 8 in October, saying that tablets with Windows RT have a "very bright future." Today, an executive from PC maker Dell said the company still plans to make new Windows RT products even as he admitted that current demand for Windows RT tablets is slow.

So far, the only Windows RT tablet that Dell sells is the XPS 10, shown above. In an interview on CNet, Neil Hand, head of Dell's tablet and high-end PC business, stated, "Demand is not where I would like it to be at this point in time. The amount of market information about it is not good enough, and the market sentiment is still pretty negative." He declined to state specific sales numbers for the XPS 10.

Hand did say that the company has had more success selling the XPS 10 directly to consumers than through retail stores, mainly because Dell can communicate the features of Windows RT better to those buyers. He added, "If you go off and manage the communication, [the consumer response to Windows RT] is actually really good."

Even with the slow demand for the XPS 10, Hand did say that Dell still plans to launch additional Windows RT-based products but did not give any details on what they would be like or when they might be released.

Source: CNet | Image via Dell

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I have the Surface RT, its a great device. I think Windows tablets have been too expensive so far. They should build smaller, cheaper tablets with RT on it. because the UI is really good with touch.

Windows 8.1
RT should be for 7"-10" devices with best battery life, instant on, no desktop. True Modern UI experience. By end of year there should be a very healthy app selection in the Windows Store. RT should be cheaper across the board to license for manufacturers.

8 (full) should be for any device that would like to not only have the Windows Store and Modern UI, but desktop as well.

LookitsPuck said,
Windows 8.1
RT should be for 7"-10" devices with best battery life, instant on, no desktop. True Modern UI experience.

Not unless MS releases Windows 8 Pro for ARM. I specifically bought a Surface RT for the battery life yes, but it wasn't until the "jailbreak" (to use the term loosely) script was created that disabled the signing requirement for desktop apps did I decide to pull the trigger. There is nothing wrong with the desktop on ARM, limiting its use is a completely artificial limitation. Sure touch is nice for some things, but the desktop is where the "power user" stuff happens. If I wanted a touch-only device there are ipads for that. I like that the Surface is a hybrid device, as that's exactly what I was looking for. The way I see it, Modern UI is more for consumption, desktop is for productivity. That's why Office as a desktop app makes perfect sense, as I'm going to be using a real keyboard when typing a document, and I'm going to be in "productivity" aka desktop mode for that. I'm not going to be poke typing on a on-screen keyboard.

So no, do not get rid of the desktop.

Edited by domboy, Apr 16 2013, 2:24pm :

Dell... Just don't forget the marketplaces that were, and probably still are, your bread and butter. The business/enterprise and serious consumer PC user. Abandon them at your own risk, and note that that part of the marketplace is most unforgiving.

With the ATOM Bay Trail chips on the horizon, I can't see the need for ARM based devices.

Even Windows evangelist Paul Thurrott thinks RT should go the way of the Dodo.

What is the specific need filled by RT that isn't going to be filled by the Bay-Trail ATOMs?

Hambone72 said,
With the ATOM Bay Trail chips on the horizon, I can't see the need for ARM based devices.

Even Windows evangelist Paul Thurrott thinks RT should go the way of the Dodo.

What is the specific need filled by RT that isn't going to be filled by the Bay-Trail ATOMs?


And ARM chips arnt going to standstill, I wont hold my breath on atom we have been hearing this for years and still have the subpar integrated graphics that the ARM chips blow out of the water.

TPreston said,

And ARM chips arnt going to standstill, I wont hold my breath on atom we have been hearing this for years and still have the subpar integrated graphics that the ARM chips blow out of the water.

bay trail GPU is ivy bridge GPU,which kills any gpu in any arm soc. atom has already proven to have a cpu core that's less power hungry and faster than arm,and it is a 5 year old architecture. with the new architecture in bay trail,this will be light years ahead of arm.

BUT arm has one advantage. its still way cheaper than intel,therefore winRT still makes sense.

TPreston said,

And ARM chips arnt going to standstill, I wont hold my breath on atom we have been hearing this for years and still have the subpar integrated graphics that the ARM chips blow out of the water.

The ARMs aren't going to stand still; agreed. I think that if they want to stick with RT, they should allow running legacy desktop applications. That limitation is not technological; it was put in place by MS because of the limitation of current ARM chips. Hackers have already shown that legacy programs can be installed and run on RT. They need to utilize the increased power of upcoming ARM chips and allow legacy software.

Current Clover-Trail ATOMs are already on par with similar powered ARM chips in terms of battery usage. The next gen promises to be even better (as it does with ARM). The next gen is also reported to be using HD4000 graphics which would make them better than most ARM SoCs. I hope INtel can deliver, because none of the tablets do what I want them to do yet. They're either underpowered (every non Win8 tablet) or they're too heavy with too little battery life (Win8 tablets).

I am looking forward to the Intel/ARM war because no matter which side is victorious, it means a win for us consumers.

Getting an ARM device to process Intel instructions through a runtime is doable. But I highly doubt you'll see the performance needed. More importantly I doubt you'll see battery life stand up to that kind of a beating.

Windows RT will have a market once the Windows Store matures. We're starting to see some of the fruits of the labour...but unfortunately it had to have growing pains.

Microsoft was in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. If they released Windows RT as Windows without the desktop...it would have zero demand hence them including Office as a selling point. It was a necessary evil to make 8 a universal OS as to give the Windows Store a lure for developers.

Now that the platform is starting to gain traction (MLB.TV, ESPN, Twitter, etc.), you'll see more and more companies on board. Despite what you may think, nearly 4% of total marketshare that will eclipse OS/X by end of year is a pretty large user base to ignore.

Lol you're both right. Many people wont buy RT without more apps, and developers wont make apps if more people don't buy it. It's a bad position to be in. All new mobile OS's face this problem. You could make the best OS ever and it still wont do well without apps.

derekaw said,
If people were buying Windows RT then developers would make more apps.
People will buy Windows 8 non-RT which will drive demand. It seems that the Blue update is unifying the development so as people develop for Xbox, WindowsPhone and Windows they will be able to produce RT versions.

In general. Anybody who believes that there won't be eyes on the WinRT modern interface of Win8 who you can target just doesn't understand the shear momentum behind the Windows OS. Windows RT will be relevant because Windows 8 will have a significant install base.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,
developers wont make apps if more people don't buy it

That's their loss. I've been amazed at the amount of money I'm making with the Windows Store, compared to on Windows Phone... well over 10x the sales for Win8.

I have 2 apps within the top 100 paids apps. Overall. All categories. And #2 and #4 in top paid news+weather. Do you have any idea how hard that would be to accomplish on any other app store?

rfirth said,

That's their loss. I've been amazed at the amount of money I'm making with the Windows Store, compared to on Windows Phone... well over 10x the sales for Win8.

I have 2 apps within the top 100 paids apps. Overall. All categories. And #2 and #4 in top paid news+weather. Do you have any idea how hard that would be to accomplish on any other app store?

Are you surprised? How many WP8 smartphones are on the market and how many machines running W8? To be honest the ratio should be even higher.

It seems like people are missing a very telling point to the above statement and that is the last part:

"Hand did say that the company has had more success selling the XPS 10 directly to consumers than through retail stores, mainly because Dell can communicate the features of Windows RT better to those buyers. He added, "If you go off and manage the communication, [the consumer response to Windows RT] is actually really good."


This is a key point. Its something I can attest in selling rt tablets and windows 8 devices in general. The major retail outlets just don't help consumers understand the platform. They do very little teaching and just drop the customer into the device, where they quickly become frustrated and have that bad first impression, which spreads. When you take a little time and show them how to use it and what they can do with it, suddenly its not a bad experience at all.

No wonder MS decided to open up its own stores. Dell seems to think the same thing.

Could it be that buying on line direct from Dell means that people don't get to use it before the purchase, if they try it first then they don't buy?

Anything is possible if your going to assume the quote is a complete lie.

If I take the guy at his word, then it seems to mirror my own personal experience in selling the platform. I lean towards it being true since I have seen the issue first hand.

It simply needs more apps to make it more attractive. Shame people created such negative image about it from the get go and MS didn't market it properly either (and still isn't doing so very well). I think if they can manage to bring the average cost of these devices with $100 it will sell much better. I understand that it is technologically much better than iPad and Android but the average consumer doesn't....

If it wasn't a crappy device, any perceived negativity would not exist. The market reacting is not a conspiracy like fanboys want to believe. It all starts with a requirement to make a good, compelling product. Microsoft half-assed it, they didnt market how it was different from regular windows, instead they gave multi-million dollar checks to ad agencies to make creepy boardroom breakdancing videos.

They also didnt bother to make sure it had compelling launch apps - not Microsoft ones, not third party ones - they figured they'd slowly get around to them later. Have you ever seen them launch a new xbox without killer launch titles? They wouldn't dare, and yet thats exactly what they did with RT

At least the XPS 10 is a pretty solid device. It should have been launched at a more attractive price point to really make an impact (as most Windows RT/8 hybrids).

Pretty much. Since any other company would be too embarrassed to say theyre planning on spending money that they'll never see a return on.

Yeah. Dell is dead, thanks to the ****wads at Microsoft and their incredibly retarded piece of ****ty software called Windows 8. Windows 8 is the worst ****ing thing to ever happen, it's the source of all the bad things in this world. They should ****ing quit making software and go ****ing bankrupt **** MICROSOFT **** YOU SO ****ING MUCH I CAN'T EVEN, MY LIFE IS A ****ING HELL THANKS TO ****ING WINDOWS 8.

Lprd2007 said,
Yeah. Dell is dead, thanks to the ****wads at Microsoft and their incredibly retarded piece of ****ty software called Windows 8. Windows 8 is the worst ****ing thing to ever happen, it's the source of all the bad things in this world. They should ****ing quit making software and go ****ing bankrupt **** MICROSOFT **** YOU SO ****ING MUCH I CAN'T EVEN, MY LIFE IS A ****ING HELL THANKS TO ****ING WINDOWS 8.

I trully hope you're just trolling right now, otherwise you should contact a shrink.

derekaw said,
Poor Dell, they must be under some pressure from Microsoft to make a statement like this.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking as I read the article too.