Samsung has canceled plans for a Windows RT tablet due to a belief the devices would be too expensive and that potential customers are still confused about the difference between the Windows RT and Windows 8 operating systems.
The Microsoft tablet Surface is unveiled during a news conference at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, California. AFP
While this year's International Consumer Electronics Show
(CES) proved to be a massive showcase for the Windows 8 operating system and the touch-interface possibilities it can bring to the struggling PC market, Windows RT, the operating system that powers the Microsoft Surface tablet, continued to come in for criticism, not least from Microsoft's own manufacturing and software partners.
Acer's president, JT Wang described the Microsoft Surface RT tablet's promotion and launch as confusing to customers. He told AllThingsD that: "The promotion of the product is really focused on the keyboard, and the users really don't know how to maximize the touch experience," he said. He also pointed out that when the iPad launched, no keyboard was mentioned and therefore there were no mixed messages. While the company's chief marketing offier, Micheal Birkin added, "There was just a lot of messaging coming out at the same time: Windows 8, Surface, RT."
Now Samsung has also rasied concerns about Microsoft's approach to publicizing its new products and revealed that is one of the reasons why it has decided to scrap its plans to launch a Windows RT tablet in the US. Speaking to CNET, Mike Abary, a Samsung executive in charge of the company's American PC and tablet businesses, said that it would require a lot of effort to educate potential customers as the difference between RT and the full Window 8 operating system and the tablets the two systems are capable of running. "There wasn't really a very clear positioning of what Windows RT meant in the marketplace, what it stood for relative to Windows 8, that was being done in an effective manner to the consumer. When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was," he said.
He also noted that the company had not been able to develop a product at the right price point without sacrificing quality or specifications such as internal memory. Of the decision, Abary said: "It's not something we're shelving permanently. It's still a viable option for us in the future, but right now might not be the right time."