By this point, Windows RT’s colossal struggles are an open secret. The operating system, which is essentially a less powerful version of Windows 8 that’s designed for ARM-based processors, famously took a $900 million toll on Microsoft by itself last quarter, while Surface RT prices have been swiftly slashed worldwide in a last-ditch effort to get them off store shelves. The customer demand and app support just hasn’t been there, and as a result big-name manufacturers like Samsung have already pulled Windows RT devices from launching in certain regions altogether.
Today, the news isn’t getting any better. Speaking to AllThingsD, Asus Chairman Johnny Shih said that his company is currently putting all their Windows-based efforts into devices that run on Intel chips, rather than RT’s requisite ARM ones. The report says that Asus isn’t abandoning Windows altogether–last month it announced the hybrid Transformer Book Trio, for instance–but that it is backing away from the struggling Windows RT the time being.
Asus is just one of many Windows RT device manufacturers that have been burned by the OS in the past. Shih told AllThingsD that Asus’s troubles with the VivoTab RT, which TechnologyGuide found to be a serviceable device, have contributed to his current belief that the results of using the OS are “not very promising” at the moment.
We\’ve reached out to Asus for any further details on its future Windows plans, and we\’ll update this post should we hear back.
Earlier this week, The Verge reported that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has also acknowledged the OS’ continued troubles. In a recent \’town hall\’ meeting, Ballmer reportedly told employees that Microsoft “built a few more devices than [it] could sell” with regards to the Surface RT, and acknowledged that the slate’s price cuts were needed in order to sell the device.
The issues appear to have caused Windows RT to become something of a black sheep at recent press events. Microsoft has made many announcements regarding its upcoming Windows 8.1 update over the last few months, most notably during its Build developer conference, but news regarding Windows RT has been very light the entire time. Recent events from Samsung and other OEMs have largely ignored RT too.
While it may be too early to declare Windows RT “dead,” it would appear that Microsoft will have to make some major moves to increase its viability going forward. Earlier this month the company announced a widespread structural reorganization, one that Ballmer thinks will make Microsoft a more unified and faster-moving company, so perhaps more effort will be allocated to the troubled OS in the future. For now, though, Windows RT devices continue to be unpopular, and manufacturers like Asus appear to be questioning whether or not the OS is really worth their time.