Microsoft insists that Windows RT has a grand and glorious future. But if the accumulated Web usage statistics from the past six months can be trusted (always a dicey proposition), the operating system doesn't even have a pulse. Adding insult to injury, Lenovo's Think PC and visual category manager says he doesn't believe Windows RT "is what businesses want."
Looks like consumers don't want it either.
I don't trust Net Marketshare's usage numbers, and neither should you. That said, it's hard to go below zero -- which is exactly where Windows RT's Internet usage share sits six months after it was released, according to Net Marketshare. Windows 8 pulls in a less than resounding 3.82 percent (I personally apologize for adding to that count), Windows 8 Touch rates an almost imperceptible and unmeasurable 0.02 percent, and Windows RT gets a big goose egg.
Mac fans will note that OS X 10 -- all versions in total -- runs 6.98 percent. Even lowly Vista draws 4.75 percent, considerably more than Windows 8.
Microsoft hasn't bothered to release any recent sales figures for Windows 8, much less Windows RT, but both products' fates seem pretty clear.
Patrick Budmar at PC World quotes Lenovo's Think PC and visual category manager Simon Kent as saying, "Even Microsoft has started to review the RT path they have gone down." That may come as a surprise to many folks in Redmond -- Microsoft corporate VP Michael Angiulo told Cnet two weeks ago that Windows RT on ARM "has a very bright future" -- but it's certainly a reasonable response.
Dell VP Neil Hand continues to say that Dell's going to ship more and better ARM-based Windows RT tablets. It looks like Dell's the odd man out, with all of the other Windows RT hardware manufacturers (except Microsoft, of course) headed for the hills. Amazing how much loyalty Microsoft's $2 billion loan to Dell can buy.
As best I can tell, there are four Windows RT tablets currently available in the United States:
- The Asus VivoTab RT isn't available at Newegg any more (only in "open box" condition), and on Amazon it's been slashed from $599 to $369.
- Dell will gladly sell you an XPS 10 32GB for $450. Amazon has them discounted from $510 to $400.
- Lenovo still lists the IdeaPad Yoga RT, marked down on Amazon from $700 to $600, but Lenovo's Kent's already spilled the beans on his company's support for Windows RT.
- Of course, Microsoft still lists its Surface RT starting at $499.
Put a fork in it.
This story, "Windows RT: Who loves ya, baby?," 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.