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Windows 8 isn’t selling as fast as earlier Microsoft operating systems. Many customers who have the software dislike it so much they use add-ons to mask features. Windows Phone 8 is the fastest-growing smartphone OS but has a tiny market share.

Both problems are solvable.

On the other hand, Windows RT looks beyond saving.

IDC estimates Windows RT sold around a million units by the end of March. That’s after six months on the market. In comparison, Apple sells well over a million iPads every week.

RT suffers from being almost-a-desktop-OS in a non-desktop device. And there’s that clumsy business of needing to switch to desktop mode to handle certain tasks.

Windows 8, that’s the full version not RT, works great on more powerful tablets and touchscreen PCs. If you must have Windows on a portable device, that’s the best way to go – even if it is expensive. HP’s Elitepad shows how this can work.

Although it has detractors, Windows Phone 8 is a fine smartphone OS.

Microsoft could have used Windows Phone 8 as its tablet OS. That’s what Apple did. The software running an iPad comes from the iPhone, not from the Macintosh.

It looks like the market has spoken and its response to RT is ‘no thanks’. This may change If reports of a 7-inch Windows tablet are correct and Microsoft delivers something compelling. Otherwise, RT is doomed.

One thought on “Windows RT on borrowed time

  1. RT mainly suffers from what would happen if Microsoft decided to actually make a new OS from the ground up; people won’t buy Windows if it doesn’t support what they currently use. Being an ARM based device means most software won’t work on it, unless specifically made for it.

    I think RT was a hedge-bet by Microsoft, if x86 started plummeting badly they had already done some work to get in on the shiny new platform, but the problem is people only use Microsoft because they use Microsoft, there is no conscious choice on most people’s part to go for Windows instead of Mac or Linux or BSD, etc.

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