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Microsoft faces lonely road with Surface RT tablets

Matt Hamblen | July 31, 2013
Asus and other makers have abandoned the Windows RT tablet franchise.

In fact, Microsoft may be the only OEM shipping Windows RT for "a few years," he said. "They are sticking to their guns, as it's a long-term play."

Windows RT "continues to be a very hard sell to consumers," said Tom Mainelli, an analyst at IDC. "The upcoming 8.1 update and resulting name change is likely to confuse people even more, since they're calling it Windows RT 8.1."

IDC said only 200,000 Surface RT tablets and other Windows RT tablets shipped in the first quarter of 2013. Second quarter numbers are expected from IDC later this week.

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said Microsoft should "abandon Surface RT and simply focus on Surface Pro and Windows 8 tablets, but make them less expensive and upgrade the features to be more competitive."

"With several companies now abandoning the RT platform, I see no momentum in the market to keep it going long term," Gold added.

Microsoft could choose to keep Surface RT alive indefinitely, but that would rob resources and funds from other projects that have a better chance at success, he added.

 

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