ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih said this week that his company had no plans to design or manufacture any more Windows RT devices. The reason? They sell poorly because people still use lots of classic Windows desktop applications, which don’t work with Windows RT.
“The result is not very promising,” Mr. Shih told All Things D’s Ina Fried in a recent interview, referring to poor sales of Windows RT devices. He noted further that of all the bizarre and odd-ball products his company has built—including “teeny-tiny laptops, phones that turn into tablets, and even a seven-inch tablet that can be held to the ear to make phone calls”—only Windows RT has been an actual failure.
What’s interesting about Shih’s comments is that ASUS currently makes the only non-Microsoft Windows RT device worth considering, the highly regarded VivoTab RT. Actually, ASUS makes one of the only non-Microsoft RT devices, period. Most PC makers have already opted to skip this software product in lieu of the more compatible Windows 8, which runs on traditional PC hardware, not on the ARM platform as does Windows RT.
Some PC makers that did launch RT devices regretted that decision, as well, pulling their products from the market ahead of ASUS. For example, Lenovo this month stopped selling the Windows RT-based IdeaPad Yoga 11, replacing it with an 11S model that runs Windows 8.
Of course, Windows 8 isn’t perfect either, Shih added. He said that one of the most popular applications for Windows 8 is a program to bring back the classic Start menu.
Finally, Shih also noted that although mini-tablets are all the rage these days, he believes that full-sized devices will ultimately prove more popular. “My personal opinion is the 10" [form factor] may make more sense,” he said.