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Microsoft Corp.’s Windows RT platform has not managed to gain many supporters among hardware makers. Recently, Asus, Dell and Lenovo slashed pricing of their Windows RT-based tablets, which may signal either of two things: the companies are testing the demand for low-cost Windows RT tablets and want to see if low price results in higher sales; the platform has failed and they are selling-off inventory at discount.

Windows RT is a fully-fledged Microsoft operating system compatible with ARM-architecture application processors and incompatible with the vast majority of programs developed for Windows, something that clearly discourages anyone from using it. Not surprising that only Asustek Computer, Dell and Lenovo released Windows RT-powered mobile devices in the U.S. Either due to software limitations or high prices, sales of tablets and hybrids running Windows RT were so low that Samsung Electronics recently discontinued Windows RT-based tablets in Europe.

When Asustek’s VivoTab RT first became available, it cost $599. At present, the tablet costs $382 at Amazon and $549 at Best Buy, Staples and Office Depot, reports IDG News Service. Dell XPS 10 32GB used to be priced at $499, today its costs $449. Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 was originally priced at $799, but today it is available for $599 from Lenovo and TigerDirect, whereas Amazon is selling the product for $499.

“Prices usually drop if products are made in volume, or if there is poor demand. I think you are seeing discounting based on user demand. I never thought RT was going to be that successful,” said Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates.

Even Microsoft itself sold only 1.1 million Surface RT in about four months of availability, despite its starting price of $499. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that other companies, who were selling higher-priced WinRT-based devices, were disappointed with actual sales.

The question main question now is whether Asus, Dell and Lenovo are experimenting with demand flexibility and want to find out whether sales will get significantly higher with lower prices, or they just want to get rid of the inventory and quietly discontinue their Windows RT-based products.

Microsoft, Asus, Dell and Lenovo did not comment on the news-story. 

Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Windows RT, Windows 8, ASUS, Lenovo, Dell


Comments currently: 7
Discussion started: 04/05/13 08:10:13 AM
Latest comment: 04/10/13 03:14:42 AM
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The hardware spec had to be better to make it viable. I'd never pay that much for such a slow, low resolution tablet.
1 0 [Posted by: KeyBoardG  | Date: 04/05/13 08:10:13 AM]

Charlie has a long editorial about the Windows RT death spiral:
2 0 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 04/05/13 09:00:21 AM]
- collapse thread

This is a good article to read. Indeed.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 04/10/13 03:13:08 AM]

Not very surprising.
0 0 [Posted by: DIREWOLF75  | Date: 04/05/13 07:39:48 PM]

Amazon slash the prices of kindle... Wow they are aggressive!

Google sell nexus at loss... Wow they are aggressive!

Microsoft cut prices of OEM's hardware... it's a failure!
(note that Microsoft own surface tablet still have the original price)

I think that the reason to cut prices in OEM's hardware is that when compared to the Surface tablet they fall short in build quality, if you check the Samsung ativ line, Asus vivo or dell xps 10, the hardware is inferior to the surface in terms of design and build quality, some of them have better screen resolution and better cameras, but overall lack the appeal of the surface.

For months pundits have saying that MS need to cut prices in the RT tablets to succeed, now that this happen, they start to say tha is a failure.

Biased "journalism" anyone?
0 2 [Posted by: teral  | Date: 04/06/13 12:32:50 AM]
- collapse thread

The article smelled a little fowl as soon as they quoted J. Gold. That quote did not support the main point of the article. For truly biased journalism, they should have at least omitted an opposing viewpoint.
0 0 [Posted by: Pedro_mann  | Date: 04/06/13 07:42:01 PM]

Somehow, 98% of the market doesn’t seem to be moved to abandoning their current devices. In fact, you could say just the opposite is happening. Windows 8 sales are withering, and the target market doesn’t seem to want to pay more for less functionality just so they can get an OS that has “modest” sales and no apps. For a good reason. Give up iTunes and their reams of purchased songs, movies, and TV shows? Android or iOS apps that have no equivalent in the Microsoft ecosystem? All for more money and a clunky frustrating interface? What’s not to love? Why would any consumer not want to re-buy all of their libraries so they can move to a Surface?

There is a whole generation that has tablets that don’t run Windows anything. They use Google Docs, not Office. They use Gmail not Outlook or Exchange.

0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 04/10/13 03:14:42 AM]


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