In recent weeks Acer chairman J.T. Wang has transformed into an outspoken critic of Microsoft’s OS strategy and now he’s at it again. This time he has Windows RT in his crosshairs, and it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard PC execs criticising Redmond’s fledgling tablet OS.
Commenting on Acer’s launch of the first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet, Wang told the Wall Street Journal that he’s not sure Windows RT will remain relevant. He said the OS is unlikely to stay “influential” and that the company has not decided whether it plans to launch a new Windows RT tablet.
Wang doesn’t like to beat around the bush. They come on the back of a Bloomberg report, which claims Microsoft might be about to cut the price of RT for small tablets. Microsoft is also reportedly working on an 8-inch Windows RT Surface with a much lower price tag, but it might be too late.
Surface RT sales were never good and it did not take long for partners such as Samsung to jump ship. HTC reportedly ditched plans for a 12-inch RT tablet last week, and it is very likely that Acer is out as well. Dell and Asus can’t be thrilled, either.
In retrospect, it was Microsoft’s fault. For some reason the company thought it could charge an arm and a leg for RT, while at the same time crippling it by refusing to bundle Outlook. The high price, coupled with RT’s relatively big footprint, meant that the first generation of RT tablets was overpriced and underspecced – it didn’t stand a fighting chance in the insanely competitive tablet market.