It’s no secret that Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet is not doing very well and now it appears that Redmond will not introduce any new Windows RT gear this spring. It will focus on the Windows 8 based Surface Pro instead.
Rumours of new Windows RT products emerged a couple of months ago, pointing to a smaller Surface tablet and some sort of Xbox branded gaming tablet. However, the rumours were apparently unfounded.
Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, Tami Reller, CFO of Microsoft’s Window unit, said there are no plans to refresh the company’s Windows RT lineup this spring. She said Microsoft is still focused on getting the five RT products announced in October into stores in large numbers.
However, Microsoft’s problem apparently has more to do with getting the tablets out of the door, rather than securing more shipments. As many as 1.25 million Surface RT tablets have been shipped so far, but analysts put the actual sales figures much lower, in the 680,000 to 750,000 range.
In the short term, Microsoft will focus on Windows 8 tablets instead, including its own Surface Pro. Reller said more Windows 8-based tablets will probably be sold, compared to those running Windows RT, which doesn’t bode well for the RT platform, which was supposed to end up significantly cheaper than Windows 8 and generate more volume.
“We will scale over time, but right now we’re focused on making sure the designs that have been built do have commercial availability and commercial success, and we’ll stay focused on that for the short-term,” said Reller.
Also, many more OEMs are expected to embrace Windows 8 tablets over their lower end Windows RT siblings and demand for RT gear seems very low indeed. Samsung has already opted not to sell its Windows RT tablet in the US, but at least they chose to build one, which isn’t the case with many partners.
Even chipmakers don’t seem sold on Windows RT. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs recently raised concerns about Windows RT gear. He said Qualcomm was not surprised by the muted demand for new Windows OS and it is taking a cautious approach.
Reller did not wish to provide any Surface RT sales numbers but it is becoming increasingly obvious that the tablet, and the entire Windows RT platform for that matter, aren’t gaining much traction.