Windows RT takes a hit as Samsung halts European sales of Ativ Tab tablets

Windows RT, Microsoft's first tablet-focused operating system, is not proving popular in Europe.

Windows RT, Microsoft's first tablet-focused operating system, is not proving to be a hit in Europe. Actually, demand on the old continent is so weak that Samsung will reportedly stop sales of its Windows RT tablet in Germany.

Ativ Tab sales will also be halted in several other, yet unspecified, European countries, a Samsung official told German tech news site Heise (via Engadget) at the CeBIT expo in Hanover.

The Ativ Tab runs on a dual-core 1.5GHz ARM processor with 2GB of RAM and has a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1366 pixels by 768 pixels at 155ppi, It also has a 5-megapixel camera on the back, and a 1.9-megapixel video-calling camera on the front. Pricing for the Ativ Tab starts at around $780.

Germany is the biggest economy in Europe, and weak demand for Windows RT there could indicate that sales of tablets running the OS are probably not stellar in other major markets on the continent.

This is not the first no-confidence from Samsung for Windows RT, despite the fact that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has called Samsung one of its key hardware partners. Back in January Samsung said it won't sell the Ativ Tab Windows RT tablet in the U.S., for the same reasons it's now pulling the sales from Europe--poor demand.

More weak demand for Windows RT

But the Ativ Tab is not the only Windows RT tablet to see weak demand. The Surface RT from Microsoft does not seem to have become a hit with consumers; Microsoft hasn't confirmed any sales figures since October 2012, when the tablet launched.

Actually, no other Windows RT tablet maker has released any sales figures, but DigiTimes says that Taiwan-based supply chain makers estimate that the Surface RT sold up to 700,000 units, while sales of all other Windows RT tablets from the likes of Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung are estimated at about 4000,000 units in total, which is well below initial estimates of up to 4 million units.

Samsung has blamed weak demand for Windows RT tablets on the fact that consumers don't understand the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8, the company told CNET earlier this year.

But that's not the only reason. With its $780 entry price, the Ativ Tab is considerably more expensive than other Windows RT tablets such as the Surface RT, which starts at $499 for the 32GB model or $599 with a Touch Cover included.

The fact that Windows RT tablets also are more expensive than budget full Windows 8 tablets like the Dell Latitude 10 ($499) and the 32GB Acer W510 ($549), won't help sell more Windows RT devices. And pricing is just one of the reasons why Windows RT is hurtling toward disaster.

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Tags MicrosoftWindowsSamsung Electronicshardware systemsWindows RTtabletssoftwareoperating systemsOffice Hardwaresamsung

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
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