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Asus abandons Windows RT, more bad news for Microsoft

Asus, a major Microsoft OEM partner, will hold off on producing more hardware to run Windows RT in the foreseeable future, a move which falls in line with consumer sentiments about the ARM-powered alternative OS in the media consumption sector.


“It’s not only our opinion, the industry sentiment is also that Windows RT has not been successful,” Asus CEO Jerry Shen, told WSJ.

Microsoft disrupted the Windows ecosystem when it decided to launch its own Surface hardware, and the slow growth of Windows RT only adds more tension to the once thriving partnership between Redmond and Asia in the PC business.  Asus, too, took a hit for supporting Windows RT, but what Asus lost may not be nowhere near as much as Microsoft’s $900 million writedown for its undersold and overstocked ARM-powered Surface RT tablet.

News that OEMs are becoming increasingly disgruntled about Windows RT is good news for Intel, as the Santa Clara-based chip maker has been trying to crack the mobile market with its own line of Atom processors.  With little success thus far, it appears like Intel’s push in the mobile market has gain a bit more steam if less OEMs are willing to back ARM-powered Windows hardware.

Some early adopters of Windows RT admit that the platform doesn’t lack in terms of innovations, rather what it does lack are the sheer number of apps to compete with other media consuming platforms like Android and iOS.  Moreover, hardware running Windows RT was initially more costly than its Android alternatives.  Microsoft, as well as Windows RT backers, has recently slashed prices on their hardware to perhaps gain some grounds, but that alone may not be enough to keep the runaway Windows RT train from hitting terminal velocity and eventually slamming into a brick wall.

The PC market is shrinking, and Microsoft’s effort to use Windows RT as a security blanket has failed catch on.  Windows 8 has also failed to convince consumers that it’s a worthwhile upgrade.  Uncertain times lie ahead for Microsoft as its Windows 8 ecosystem is continuing to garner more criticisms than success and adoption.

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