Windows RT is strange. It’s Windows 8, but not really. It lacks many of the features that consumers have come to expect from Windows over the years, and that translates to confusion among consumers. That confusion just killed one Windows RT product chances in the U.S.
Samsung’s SVP, Mike Abary, told CNET that the comapny won’t be bringing its Windows RT-powered ATIV Tab to the U.S. despite showing off said tablet at Qualcomm’s keynote during the show. The reason for this decision is two-fold. For one, Samsung’s retail partners say there’s no demand for Windows RT devices. The second, and more important, reason is that Samsung thinks it would cost too much “to educate the consumer on what Windows RT was.”
That latter reason is the real problem facing Windows RT in the U.S. and elsewhere. Microsoft envisioned Windows RT as being the Windows 8 that runs on cheaper devices. The problem is that Windows RT is a gimped version of Windows 8, and people don’t necessarily understand the reason for that. Samsung could say Windows RT devices are cheaper due to their ARM processors, but people would still question why Windows 8 proper can’t run on ARM processors. Why should they pay $600 for an inferior version of Windows when they can pay $200 more for the real deal and better hardware to boot.
It’s this very same reason that the Surface RT has not been performing so well in the U.S. Everybody seems to be waiting for the Surface Pro as it features the full Windows 8 experience. Windows RT can’t provide the kind of experience that consumers expect from Windows.
That being said, Samsung hasn’t given up on Windows RT. The company is taking a wait and see approach to find out if Windows RT can gain traction in the U.S. market. While it waits, the company will try its luck with its new Windows 8 ATIV Smart PC Pro tablets.