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Microsoft should yank Windows RT for Windows RT's own good

Brad Chacos | July 22, 2013
In the wake of horrific Surface RT sales and manufacturers fleeing like rats, the best thing for Windows RT's long-term viability would be to pull Windows RT hardware from the shelves.

Meanwhile, reports of high Surface RT return rates abound. The headlines are filled with articles about billion-dollar Surface RT write-offs and manufacturers fleeing the OS. Nothing good is being said about Windows RT. The brand—and the very concept of using the modern UI as an exclusive computing interface—is being damaged irreparably, and for what? Windows RT tablets aren't selling, and from a strategic standpoint, Microsoft has nothing to gain by letting the horror show continue.

It's time to yank Windows RT. If Microsoft blazes the trail and lets the Surface RT fade away, third-party manufacturers will follow suit. And rather than being a disaster, a lack of available hardware would only give Windows RT room to grow, as odd as that may sound.

The vocal complaints about the OS's neutered nature would cease, as it wouldn't be in the limelight. But that doesn't mean Windows RT development would stop. Far from it! Since the modern UI is also found in Windows 8 proper, its wrinkles would continue to be smoothed out over time. More importantly, the Windows Store will continue to fill with apps that work on ARM and x86 processors alike, especially once a critical mass of PC users inevitably upgrade to Windows 8.

Time could heal Windows RT's early wounds. After the modern UI and the Windows Store have a few years to blossom, Microsoft could reintroduce Windows RT in a much more viable form than it is today—one less conducive to complaints and returns.

And, until then, Microsoft could stop swirling fruitless billions down the drain.

Sources have told PCWorld that the Surface RT isn't dead, nor should it be in the long run. But for its own good, Windows RT should definitely take a short-term break.


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