Samsung gets cold feet, won't launch Windows RT device in the USA

This is the Samsung ATIV Tab, which won't be released in the United States

Samsung has blamed weak demand and confusion surrounding Windows RT as reasons to why they won't be launching their Windows RT tablet - the Samsung ATIV Tab - in the United States. CNET heard from Mike Abary at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, who confirmed that the Qualcomm-powered tablet would not be showing up in American stores at all despite launching internationally last month.

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.

They also found that, alongside the money they would need to spend to educate users about Windows RT, the price of the ATIV Tab would not be competitive enough alongside full-blown Windows 8 tablets. Samsung understood that Windows RT tablets should be priced lower than their more powerful counterparts, however to do this they would have had to make too many trade-offs including lowering the available memory.

Abary noted, however, that Samsung would still be assessing the market in the United States and that they wont be "shelving permanently" the idea of bringing a Windows RT tablet to the region. It seems Samsung are hoping that Microsoft will put more effort into marketing of Windows RT as a whole (as opposed to just their Surface RT tablet) before returning to retail with a new product.

The news doesn't bode well for Microsoft though, who seem to be struggling to highlight the advantages of a Windows RT machine to consumers. On the other hand, with the recent release of a jailbreaking tool there is a chance that Windows RT will become a new playground for avid homebrew developers.

Source: CNET

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Nashy said,
Office Included: No one cares about Office. It's boring, and the majority who use it are students, or can get it through work for cheap.

Cheaper: Not really is it? Low end laptops are around the same, if not cheaper. This isn't exactly anything better.

Better security: For the average user, sure, but pay a bit more and get the full experience on a laptop running Window 8 if you want the extra security.

Microsoft has made a fatal flaw in all of this. They are attempting to dictate that everyone should want tablets. Why does everyone think they are right?

Tell me the real benefits of getting Windows RT. I can't run what I want to run on it. Where's my Adobe stuff? Where's my games?

If it's not made for that market, why do they even have a desktop on the stupid thing.

Windows RT should have been the tablet OS.
Windows 8 should have been regular old Windows.


Disclaimer for precious people: This is MY opinion. It's not fact. Except this bit.

I was in your corner until you said "They are attempting to dictate that everyone should want tablets." You are simply WRONG. They arent dictating anything. They are trying to move people away from the Windows we have had for 30 years and bring it to a new form factor.

There are plenty of people who want tablets. Look at iPad sales. However Windows on tablets will still work because it can still work like a desktop OS, just not the RT versions. I think they shouldnt have made the RT versions. We dont need a limited version of Windows. What is good about RT is this. For those who really dont need a full on Windows laptop or desktop, RT provides the simplistic form of Windows where you still have the basics. You have media, you have web and you have games. JUST LIKE AN iPAD. The problem is, many consumers thought that Windows RT was the same as what they had been using. Samsung is right. Microsoft bears the burden of making sure their base understood this. Even tho 65% of their base is business where IT guys would understand this, the other 35% of clueless users had no idea.

Microsoft did explain that Windows RT wont run desktop apps beyond Office. But they announced this in a place where 80% of there based wouldnt have seen or heard about it. Microsoft should have ran some type of commercial letting people know, "this is not the Windows you normally use. It is speciifically tablet oriented for simplistic usage like other tablets on the market". That way they didnt have to mention any tablets names. There should be a caption on the commercial that "this tablet doesnt run desktop applications". Very simple...would have been no problem and people who pay attention would have known what they are buying. A bold caption on the box would help too. Retailers that sell the Surface should put those details as well. I think Samsung is just making a lame excuse as they do could simply put those details on the packaging. Which cost them nothing but time to adds a few lines

They are sabotaging MSFT software releases. Notice how their ATIV devices are barely available.

ATIV x86 devices are overpriced and availability is so abysmal.

ATIV was the first WP8 announced device and the last to become available.

They are just pushing their Galaxy devices.... Microsoft should notice this.

The ATIV S will never be released in the US. Seriously screwed up. They built a GS3 that ran WP8 and just decided to not release it in the US. That thing should have been on every major carrier with custom Samsung apps if Samsung was really trying. It's not like Samsung doesn't have US wireless carriers at their mercy right now.

No one wants these ATIV devices. They aren't innovative, they aren't special. They are light, plastic, junk feeling toys.

Of course they're pushing their Galaxy devices. Because they're selling through the roof. WP8 is great, but their hardware sucks. Look at Nokia, they embraced it, and made a hell of a phone.

Samsung didn't.

Avatar Roku said,
The ATIV S will never be released in the US. Seriously screwed up. They built a GS3 that ran WP8 and just decided to not release it in the US. That thing should have been on every major carrier with custom Samsung apps if Samsung was really trying. It's not like Samsung doesn't have US wireless carriers at their mercy right now.

Whats with the conspiracy theories? Its not that Samsung doesn't want to release the ATIV S in the U.S. Its the carriers. They flat out didn't want it because its a recycled design,and its not different enough. NOKIAs phones are different. Easy to sell. HTC 8x,same thing. Colors,beats audio,pureview camera. How are you going to sell an ATIV S? SD Card? Big screen? Super AMOLED? These are not new cool features.

BTW. I actually bought an ATIV S because of the big screen,big battery,and sd card (I have tons and tons of documents and pdfs). I also own a Lumia 920 because my wife wasn't using it because her old ass flip phone is somehow better.

Ricardo Dawkins said,
They are sabotaging MSFT software releases. Notice how their ATIV devices are barely available.

ATIV x86 devices are overpriced and availability is so abysmal.

ATIV was the first WP8 announced device and the last to become available.

They are just pushing their Galaxy devices.... Microsoft should notice this.

Samsung also as been impatient, as they wanted Windows Phone to have taken off last year and to have seen an overlay addon for Windows 7 instead of a revised Windows 8 OS.

Samsung has been cheering on Microsoft in many things, but waiting... If you look back to Samsung's comments on tablets and especially phone OSes, they really hate Android, and are treating it like a one time appliance OS. They stated over and over that Windows Phone OS was cheaper to build around, and drastically cheaper to support because the responsibility sits on Microsoft's shoulders.

Samsung is far from anti-Microsoft, but who can blame them to push their hardware with what they could at the time and design around what was available to them.

If you look at other devices from CES, even stuff from NVidia, they built around Linux and/or Android because Windows on ARM was not available and not running on their Tegra chipsets, and WinCE was a dead product. Do you hate Microsoft, nope. Do they love Linux or Android, nope.

The Android infusion in the market right now is based on Microsoft vacuum. Basically it is all just timing and logistics.

It seems like a reasonable thing to do, the Windows RT machines have not been setting any sales records and sales are probably best described as lack lustre.

WinRT is 3 years late (and it's even worse for Windows Phone)… they're not bad products, they simply arrived too late on the market and most people already chose the ecosystem they wanted to use and invest in (iOS or Android).

myxomatosis said,
WinRT is 3 years late (and it's even worse for Windows Phone)… they're not bad products, they simply arrived too late on the market and most people already chose the ecosystem they wanted to use and invest in (iOS or Android).

WinRT is not a product, it is an series of frameworks that are used for Windows 8 Store Apps and draws from .NET and IE making applications hardware agnostic.

I think you are meaning Windows RT devices.

The long term success of Windows RT will depend on how good the Windows 8 Store Apps are for bigger name brand software like things from Adobe. If the dependency on x86 is broken then Windows RT will seem to be no different than x86 for the majority of users.

The problem for device MFRs is AMD's new SoC x86 and Intel new lower power and higher performance CPUs introduced at CES demonstrate that ARM has tough competition.

AMD's APU non SoC designs are close enough to ARM batter life and are several times faster than any ARM devices, especially when GPU is figured into the equation.

So it will be interesting to see how many Windows RT (ARM) tablets get released and how many MFRs move on to AMD and Intel variations with backwards x86 compatibility and higher performance at the same power consumption level.

Things to note:

ARM's architecture is not designed for unfettered high end performance. This is where traditional CISC designs can be more efficient, like the x86 and x64 technologies from Intel and AMD, even though they have an aged lineage.

Qualcomm's base GPU designs come from AMD, so AMD does get mobile computing, and if they are doing anything right in the PC industry it is their integrated APU designs.

AMD's new SoC x86 chips are based on technology from Microsoft Hardware Engineering. The core implementation and technology come directly from the revised SoC design introduced in the revised Xbox 360 - that most users don't even realize is inside their non-first generation Xbox 360.

Engineers Note - Microsoft beat AMD and Intel to a functional and seamless SoC design with existing desktop bus and hardware technologies. It was something that rocked the hardware engineering world, but wasn't even noticed by tech rags or end users.

So in an odd way, MFRs reconsidering AMD's SoC solution over Windows RT and ARM is in part to Microsoft's own work that Microsoft provided to AMD. Microsoft also shared/licensed their SoC deigns to Intel as well, and part of the technology is already in the integrated HD3000/4000 CPUs, just as AMD APUs also use a part of the technology from Microsoft.

Windows RT was doomed from the get go. Without x86 compatibility it is almost useless. Why would you spend all that money to wait for the Microsoft store to mature? Your not, if a consumer buys it, chances are they return it do to the lack of apps.

I hear the gap band playing in the background...

Mikee4fun said,
Windows RT was doomed from the get go. Without x86 compatibility it is almost useless.

And the iPad, without OS X compatibility, was doomed from the start too, right? Without OS X compatibility it's almost useless...

Obviously, that's false. And it will be even more false once ARM desktop apps are fully supported on RT, and when ARM-powered desktop computers start being built. Remember, RT actually has a decent amount of backward compatibility - it's just not being exploited at the moment. That's something I expect Windows Blue, or Windows 9, to fix. It would be dead-simple for them to fix.

Mikee4fun said,
Windows RT was doomed from the get go. Without x86 compatibility it is almost useless. Why would you spend all that money to wait for the Microsoft store to mature? Your not, if a consumer buys it, chances are they return it do to the lack of apps.

I hear the gap band playing in the background...

If it wasn't for the new ecosystem of software that is filling the Windows 8 Store, you would be correct. It would be like WinCE tablets/laptops from 14 years ago.

However, because of the Windows 8 Store and WinRT application framework allowing virtually all software to run on Windows RT, the difference becomes less of an issue, especially for people that just want a tablet and would NEVER install or need any x86 software. (They get the full functionality of Windows 8, Windows RT is not compromised beyond the desktop App restriction.)

So if you were considering Android, iPad, Windows RT - they are all in the same class. The difference is the Windows RT tablet is far more capable of running more demanding software easier.

With DirectX and Native code WinRT code, gaming and other higher end applications are impressive, and some are simply not possible on Android or iOS.

The new Intel CPUs and AMD SoC debuting at CES does make the relevance of Windows RT questionable for device manufacturers. Samsung already can and is producing x86 tablets, and if they can squeeze full x86 functionality with equivalent battery time into a tablet, why not ship the full x86/x64 Windows tablet?

It is not because of the software though or the break in compatibility that is a problem. If you notice, the Apps in the Windows 8 Store have arrived fast, faster than any other 'launch' OS offering a new API set. From Hulu and Netflix to Kindle and Angry Birds, the main range of tablet software is already on Windows 8 Store, and these all run on Windows RT tablets just fine.

rfirth said,

And the iPad, without OS X compatibility, was doomed from the start too, right? Without OS X compatibility it's almost useless...

Actually, the iPad launched with full compatibility for the hundreds of thousands of existing iOS apps, and the iOS ecosystem was flourishing. This definitely helped early adopters feel safer letting go of their $500. Having OS X compatibility was never considered since those applications are built for mouse and keyboard.

The news doesn't bode well for Microsoft though, who seem to be struggling to highlight the advantages of a Windows RT machine to consumers. On the other hand, with the recent release of a jailbreaking tool there is a chance that Windows RT will become a new playground for avid homebrew developers

This is where you notice people are insane or purposely ignorant.

With the new Intel and AMD x86 class CPUs, especially the AMD SoC x86 CPUs, that meet the power consumption levels of ARM, and perform SEVERAL TIMES faster then equivalent ARM processors, can anyone really be surprised that there would be a hesitation on delivering Windows RT (ARM) devices?

Seriously, why even screw around with a Tablet, when AMD and Intels shipping and soon to be shipping CPUs are in the ARM power consumption range, and the user gets the full experience of Windows 8 with no compromises?

So Samsung is going to focus on shipping Windows 8 tablets instead of Windows RT tablets, explain to us again how this doesn't bode well for Microsoft or even hurts Microsoft?

Really?

That's a good point but price will be a factor too - intel aren't known for being 'budget' friendly in the main Still, remains to be seen.

I still find it amusing that MS aren't allowed to do ARM because it's 'incompatible' (just like Android and iOS..) and yet can offer a far more unified system with RT than it's competitors (potential to run same apps everywhere for MUI, 'proper' office, full HAL with full USB support from mainline windows etc). I've got a nexus 10 recently but i'd rather have a high res RT device (and maybe a pro) in the future. It's certainly far more flexible than my iPad 3 but RT looks better still.

after seeing the clovertrail tablets match the battery life of surface and be a LOT faster on top of having x86 apps, I have to say that there is no point to windows on ARM any more.

intel has gotten so good and with the introduction of the new bytrail, clovertrail+ and 7wtp ivy bridge, ARM tablets are pointless.

except off course if they can get the price points down as intel tablets are still priced over 500 bucks. but without doubt, the benefits of x86 over cripped android and iOS ARM systems are well worth it.

plus we already know the arm power advantage is gone.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/...clover-trail-power-analysis

MS should of just released a darn version of Windows for tablets on ARM and NOT called it windows so we don't have this darn "but it wont run my programs?" argument...... Sure windows brand is big... but you could start a whole new brand..... we didn't call XBOX the Windows Gaming Entertainment Home Consumer Play Edition did we?

It doesn't matter to MSFT so long as people are buying RT or Win8. They are still buying Windows and Office and that's all good for MSFT.

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