Nobody really wants Windows RT. That much was obvious when manufacturers started to pull their Windows RT tablets from store shelves. Now Microsoft is trying to increase interest in RT with a new pricing strategy.
Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is lowering the price of Windows RT licenses. The hope is that manufacturers will pass their savings onto consumers in the form of low-cost Windows RT tablets. It could definitely work, but Microsoft will first have to convince manufacturers that Windows RT is worth it.
It’s been a bit of a problem for Microsoft lately as Samsung confirmed earlier this year that it would not be bringing its Windows RT tablet to the U.S. despite showing it off at CES. A few months later, the company pulled its Windows RT tablet out of Germany citing weak demand. Other PC makers have also ditched Windows RT to work on Windows 8 Pro tablets, laptops and hybrids instead.
So, will the price drop encourage those who have ditched Windows RT to come back? The report indicates that those who were burned on Windows RT before are now taking a wait-and-see approach.
These manufacturers will then want to closely watch Acer in the coming months as it’s set to introduce its first 8-inch low-cost ($379) Windows 8 tablet shortly. It’s the first such device after Microsoft lowered the minimum requirements for Windows 8 devices allowing manufacturers to make tablets with lower resolutions, and by extension, smaller screens. It’s not Windows RT, but its success could at least convince manufacturers to create smaller (and cheaper) Windows 8 and Windows RT devices.
Will smaller tablets be the saving grace for Windows RT? It’s hard to say. Even at a cheaper price, it’s hard to justify Windows RT over Windows 8 Pro. Microsoft should maybe just stick to Windows 8 Pro, and its upcoming Windows 8.1 update, and relegate Windows RT to the mound of good, but ultimately flawed, ideas.