Asus lost money on VivoTab RT, will stop making Windows RT tablets


— 9:19 AM on August 9, 2013

It's official: Asus is done with Windows RT tablets. The company's VivoTab RT convertible was one of the first devices available with the ARM-based Windows OS. Despite being a nice alternative to the Surface RT, the VivoTab apparently didn't sell well. Poor sales combined with "industry sentiment" against the OS have prompted Asus to cease making Windows RT tablets completely.

Asus Chairman Jerry Shih hinted at the move last month when he said Asus was focusing on Windows 8 devices based on Intel chips. Shih called Windows RT "not very promising," and Asus CEO Jerry Shen echoed that sentiment to the WSJ, saying the industry has deemed that Windows RT "has not been successful." I suppose that's more diplomatic than calling the OS a failure.

Shen revealed that Asus lost money on its Windows RT venture, though he didn't say how much. Microsoft wrote off nearly $1 billion in "Surface RT inventory adjustments," confirming that device's sales fell well short of expectations. Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung have all made Windows RT devices of their own, but we haven't heard about any updates to those machines.

We do know that Microsoft is working on a second-generation Surface RT, and it looks like Nvidia will be providing the SoC once again. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told CNet that the Tegra maker is "working really hard" on the next Surface tablet. The Tegra 3 anchored the Surface RT, so it seems likely the Tegra 4 will underpin the next-gen unit. Huang didn't reveal any specifics on that front, but he oddly pointed to Windows RT's lack of Outlook as a big problem, as if adding the email software would cure what ails the OS.

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