So is the Surface doing great, or doing awful? Honestly, depends on who you ask. We’ve been told so many varying stories about the Surface RT’s success (or perhaps lack thereof).

Now UBS analyst Brent Thrill has pipped up stating that Microsoft has only managed to sell 1 million Surface RT tablets last quarter. This is a revised figure from the 2 million originally stated.

Negative sales report from an analyst, nothing new right? Interestingly enough, Thrill isn’t neccessarily being negative outside of the reported low sale figure. According to the analyst, the Surface line is about building brand recognition at this point.

You don’t generally make a product a household name overnight in most cases. For Microsoft, it is about building up Windows RT and the Surface RT. They might not be runaway successes but they are laying groundwork.

The next part of the plan is about continuing aggressive marketing and expanding the Surface RT to other retail outlets across the globe. It’s also about releasing the Surface PRO, which should do quite nicely for those that were interested in the Surface but wanted x86 app support.

Whether you believe the 1 million sales figure or not, it does seem to indicate the continued trend of Windows RT doing less than great– especially when compared to its Intel and AMD-based Windows 8 brethern.

Can Windows RT Still Succeed?

Recently Bay wrote a great piece called β€œIs it Curtains for Windows 8 RT?”. The piece asks some serious questions about where Microsoft’s future with the Surface RT and Windows RT might lay.

Honestly, I don’t think Windows RT is dead. It just needs to find its focus. The Windows RT brand is here and has been established through devices like the Surface. The problem is that there isn’t enough substance to the market place just yet, and there aren’t enough compelling reasons to choose ARM over x86.

IF Microsoft wants RT to succeed, there is still a chance that next-generation RT devices (including a 2nd-gen Surface RT) can do well. Part of the success will be stepping BACK the hardware. Going with less aggressive ARM specs will allow Microsoft to hit a lower price point.

This is neccessary if they want to establish a true difference between x86 and RT. For Windows RT to do well, I think a $150-$250 price difference would certainly help. Continued developement of great Windows Store apps will also give next-generation Windows RT tablets renewed life.

Windows RT is only dead if Microsoft decides to abandon it early on. If they hang on, success will come– it just might take a little while.

What do you think, is there any real reason why you would want to choose devices like the Surface RT over their full x86 counterparts?



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  • Roark

    I’m a Windows RT developer to be having developed apps for x86 Windows with Visual Basic. I am tempted to get an Acer Iconia W510 or something like it that would support both Win RT and x86 apps.

    • Bay

      I think your comment is typical of many who have decided to punt on Windows 8 RT and wait for Surface Pro, Acer Iconia or others running full Windows 8. I cannot say I blame you.