Why Samsung is bailing on Windows RT

Company says it doesn't want to waste money on marketing Microsoft should be doing

Striking another blow to the future prospects of Windows RT, Samsung has revealed that it's dropped plans to create tablets for the OS, at least for the foreseeable future. The company's rationale wasn't simply along the lines of "Windows RT is bad, mmm-kay?" but rather "Microsoft has done a shoddy job pimping Windows RT, and we don't want to waste marketing dollars doing it on the company's behalf."

The news that Samsung was going to hold off on building Windows RT tablets for the U.S. market came out of CES, where Mike Abary, a senior VP at Samsung, told Cnet the following:

There wasn't really a very clear positioning of what Windows RT meant in the marketplace, what it stood for relative to Windows 8. ... 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. And that heavy lifting was going to require pretty heavy investment.

That criticism of Microsoft's Windows 8 marketing failures isn't new: At Microsoft's Build 2012 event, CEO Steve Ballmer drew a roar of approval from the developer audience when he said the company would do a better job marketing Windows 8 to the public. The fates of both Windows 8 and Windows RT depend heavily on the availability of applications, considering the software available on rival Android and iOS platforms. That could explain in part why Samsung's retail partners didn't expect RT tablets would fare well, not to mention the fact that Window RT tablets haven't sold well as it is.

Samsung's move isn't entirely surprising (except, perhaps, to Microsoft): The company's doing well with Android as it is, so why sink money into building a tablet that requires a costlier OS license, hasn't been well marketed, and lacks apps?

Notably, Samsung isn't the first hardware company to bail on Windows RT: Hewlett-Packard backed off on the OS last year, soon after Microsoft unveiled its Surface tablet.

This story, "Why Samsung is bailing on Windows RT," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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