Is Surface To Blame For HP Dropping Windows RT Tablet?
June 30, 2012

Is Surface To Blame For HP Dropping Windows RT Tablet?

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is scrapping plans to create ARM-based tablets running a Windows 8 variant known as Windows RT and will instead focus on Intel-based Windows 8 tablets scheduled to come out this fall, Slashgear and other media outlets reported Friday.

According to an article by the website's Rue Liu, HP officials said that the decision comes as result of customer feedback, "which indicated that the ecosystem of x86 applications would offer the best customer experience."

While the company has denied that the announcement that Microsoft would be releasing their own tablet (the Surface) did not impact the decision. Sources told Liu that the HP was not willing to directly challenge the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant directly, especially with an unproven product.

Microsoft's decision to enter the tablet market has "led to no small amount of anguish" at HP and other partners developing Windows 8 tablets, said CNET reporter David Hamilton. One issue, he said, is that Microsoft allegedly had seen other companies Windows 8 tablet designs prior to beginning research and development on Surface.

"An HP representative denied to Bloomberg that the company was shunning Windows RT out of pique at Microsoft, saying the decision was made before Microsoft announced its Surface tablets," Hamilton noted.

Meanwhile, Kevin Parrish of Tom's Hardware added, "If rumors are true, then Microsoft may have just created a few enemies with the introduction of the Surface tablet last week." Apparently, sources have said that multiple Microsoft partners are considering dropping Windows 8 and switching to Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean'.

In related news, Paul McDougall of InformationWeek reported earlier this week that a Microsoft executive had told him that the tech giant had no plans to develop their own brand of smartphones.

When asked if the company planned to adapt their tablet-computer strategy to the mobile phone market, Windows Phone Senior Marketing Manager Greg Sullivan said, "No, we do not." He added that they had a "strong ecosystem of partners," including HTC, Nokia, and Samsung, that they were "very satisfied with," thus denying published reports that the company was considering developing a mobile handset.

"Sullivan's outright denial of plans to build a phone is significant in that Microsoft officials almost always issue a standard 'no comment' when asked about industry rumors," McDougall said. "Still, Microsoft could end up in the phone business if it ultimately acquires close partner Nokia. Some analysts believe Redmond will make such a move given the mobile market's strategic importance and the fact that Nokia, with its stock trading at just above $2 per share, would be a relative bargain for cash-rich Microsoft."