After studying the market, Samsung decided now is not the time to launch a Windows RT tablet.
We don't know what the future holds for Windows RT tablets, but if we had to guess, well, it's probably not good. Overpriced and hamstrung by an operating system that can't run legacy applications, Windows RT tablets are of limited appeal, and at least one major vendor wants no part of it. For now, anyway, Samsung won't be launching a Windows RT tablet in the U.S. market.
Micheal Abary, Senior Vice President of Consumer IT Product Marketing for Samsung, told CNet that his company was having second thoughts about forging ahead with Windows RT. Previously, Samsung had planned on launching its Qualcomm-powered Ativ Tab for $649, but after doing a bit of soul searching, the company decided it's not up to the task of trying to educate consumers about the benefits of Windows RT.
"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," Abary explained to CNet. "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."
So there you have it, Samsung's strategy in the U.S. market is effectively put on pause (someone send Microsoft the memo), though it's unclear if it will try and launch Windows RT tablets in other territories.
Price was one of the major determining factors. No matter how you slice it, Windows RT tablets should cost less than Windows 8 slates, but in order to do that, Samsung felt it would have to make too many compromises, like less memory. It's even more challenging when you have companies like Dell announcing full fledged Windows 8 tablets at $499, or $150 less than what Samsung planned on selling its Ativ Tab for.
What are your thoughts on Windows RT tablets? At what price would they have to be to tempt you to purchase one?