updated 05:17 pm EDT, Sat August 10, 2013
Taiwanese computer maker to drop struggling platform
Asus has told The Wall Street Journal that it will no longer make tablets to run Microsoft's Windows RT operating system. The announcement came on Friday, but it has been expected for some time, since Windows RT and the devices that run the operating system have been sorely underperforming since Microsoft rolled out the platform last October. In revealing the policy change, Asus CEO Jerry Shen said that the company had taken a writedown on its Windows RT tablets, though he did not say how large of a writedown.
Asus' writedown would be the second known one involving Windows RT in the past month. Microsoft also was forced to write off $900 million following the failure of its Surface RT tablet. That device is believed to have sold only in the hundreds of thousands of units, and Microsoft has made only $853 million off the entire Surface line, mostly from the Surface Pro.
Windows RT was meant to give Microsoft a foothold in the exploding market for mobile devices running on ARM chips. Instead the platform, which cannot run legacy Windows apps like Windows 8 can, confused consumers and reportedly angered Microsoft's manufacturing partners. The Redmond software giant has continued to express confidence in the future of the operating system, but Asus' departure is just the latest in a line of manufacturers abandoning the sinking platform.
In July, Lenovo dropped the IdeaPad Yoga 11 from its list of offered products. HTC has also killed plans for a 12-inch Windows RT tablet in light of soft consumer interest. Samsung, too, has pulled its ATIV Tab from sale in multiple countries, citing weak demand.