Microsoft is looking to rekindle interest in the Windows RT platform by cutting the cost at which the software will be available for manufacturers. According to a report by Bloomberg, the company is looking at the small tablet market, with this move being positioned to help its flagging sales.
However, there are a few problems that Microsoft is facing. The first is that most manufacturers don’t want to look at the RT for tablet offerings. A year after launching its first Windows RT machines into the $64 billion tablet market, Microsoft is still struggling.
According to IDC, Apple controls 40 percent of the global market share, while Microsoft accounts for less than one percent of the total global tablet market. According to the same sources, global device makers like HP and Acer don’t want to come near the system, which in turn is leading to a shortage of RT machines in stores. Acer head honcho JT Wang tagged the Windows RT as “very immature”. He went on to say that the company would have to think long and hard before getting into the development and mass distribution of any such tablet.
Microsoft tries to save its Windows RT by cutting costs for manufacturers…
Though Acer has announced a Windows 8 tablet as well as another with an Android OS, there is no mention of any device sporting RT. While Microsoft has not revealed the prices that the computer makers are being charged to preinstall the software on tablets, it is clear logic that a cut in the cost is an attempt to get manufacturers interested. This does not spell out any benefits for the users though.
While some manufacturers like Dell and HTC are still working on RT-based tablets, the only widely available RT machine in the market is the Microsoft Surface. HTC for now has announced plans for a 7-inch device with Windows RT. This price cut will definitely help those models. But HTC itself is going through a tough time, with its smartphone presence taking a beating in the global market. According to sources, HTC has in the past discarded plans for a full-sized tablet which would feature Windows RT, fearing that there would not be enough demand for the tablet. This shows that the demand for RT tablets in the market itself is poor, at best.
The cost of making these machines was another point that HTC brought up. Other companies like HP have not announced any plans to make a Windows RT device, while Samsung, which developed a model earlier, is not sure about any RT device in the future.
Microsoft seems to be realising that the RT platform is a losing bet. With launches like the Surface Pro with the Intel x86 inside being launched, it is clearly in the company’s best interest to shift its focus to a complete Windows 8 machine, as opposed to a half-sized operating system like the RT. In terms of cost, there is no guarantee that reducing the cost will woo manufacturers, who will still face considerable cost developing tablets for the system.
The company is doing all that it can to plug the holes in the Windows RT platform. However, the intense competition, lack of manufacturers and lacklustre interest from the market continue to prevent Windows RT-based devices from seeing much success.