Monday, June 3, 2013

Microsoft to DISCONTINUE Windows 8 RT Tablets

Microsoft continues to prove it is, if not the worst, certainly among the most poorly managed companies in the world.

Two examples today.

Microsoft is about to slash the price it charges tablet makers to put Windows 8 RT on their products, which in turn would be passed down to consumers in the form of price cuts. However, the price cuts Microsoft is promising tablet makers isn't to permanently lower prices, it's to dump off their remaining stock and bid goodbye to Windows 8 RT forever.

However, those price cuts have been a regular thing for months already, even without the discount from Microsoft.

For example, Dell slashed the price of their 32 GB XPS Windows 8 RT tablet from $500 to $450, only to slash it again last month to $299.

Asus nearly cut the price of their VivoTab RT in half, from $599 to $382. Newegg now lists the item as "discontinued".

Even 4 years from analysts project a dismal future for Windows tablets

Other tablet makers have refused to launch Windows 8 RT tablets or watched sales of their tablets wilt so poorly they have been reluctant to offer any other Windows 8 RT products. Acer, HP, Samsung, Toshiba, Motorola, and others are on the sidelines, either having already experienced their own Windows 8 RT flops or learned from their competitor's failures.

The only tablet makers who have still announced - make that not yet canceled - plans to sell Windows 8 RT tablets are HTC and Dell, both who have promised 7" versions, and Microsoft, who are refusing to lower prices of their Surface tablet. Whether those 7" versions ever ship remains to be seen. Dell cannot stay in the Windows 8 RT tablet business long selling $500 tablets for $299.

Microsoft created this problem by launching Windows 8 in several versions, similar to what they did with XP, Vista, and 7, but far worse. Windows 8 RT is an intentionally crippled version of Windows 8 that does not come with Windows Media Player, nor can it even run the thousands of apps for Windows 8. Let me repeat that, Windows 8 RT is incompatible with every app designed for Windows 8. Nor can it run any legacy Windows software from XP, Vista, or 7. Microsoft has done an amazingly poor job of communicating this to consumers, which results in a very high return rate of Windows 8 RT tablets once buyers get it home only to find out it's not compatible with their software on their home PC's.

That's because Windows 8 RT runs on lower priced CPU's that cannot run software that the CPU's in all laptops and desktops use. The average consumer doesn't know this - and doesn't care, they only want to run their Windows software.

So as Microsoft quickly scraps yet another product in a seemingly endless parade of failure (see: Kin, Zune, Windows CE, Tablet PC's, Ultra-Portable PC's, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows 8, etc., etc.), they will continue to sell their Windows 8 Pro tablets - the tablets that start at $1000, have half of their hard drive gobbled up by the OS, and which the main selling point to date is that they make a fun "click" sound when you use a keyboard - which costs an additional $130. (For the price of one Windows 8 Pro tablet you can buy an iPad, an iPad mini, an iPhone, or the Android versions of each - and have money left over for dinner)

And don't even get me started on the Xbox One, the successor to the Xbox 360. It's a new video game system that doesn't play games that look or behave any differently than it's 7 year old predecessor - but it will cost consumers additional fees to play (and even sell) used games.  The main feature of that system? Microsoft is betting customers will pay $500 or more for the Xbox One, plus $100 per year to connect online, only to plug their already existing cable box in to in order to watch the TV channels they already receive without the Xbox One. That sounds genius, doesn't it?

Can you count the customers in the Microsoft Store?