Dell drops Windows RT tablet

Another Windows RT tablet has bitten the dust. Dell's XPS 10 is now listed as unavailable on the company's website. Rather than pointing customers to a newer Windows RT device, Dell's site suggests the Latitude 10, which combines a Clover Trail Atom processor with the full-fat version of Windows 8.

At IDF earlier this month, we learned that Dell is working on at least one Bay Trail tablet. The device will have an 8" screen and should run Windows 8.1. This Venue-branded tablet is set to debut in early October, and it could be joined by other updated slates. Another Windows RT device might be among them, but I'd be very surprised if that happened. It feels like Windows RT is already a dead man walking.

Since its release last year, Windows RT has failed to attract customers. Asus, Lenovo, and Samsung have all stopped making tablets based on the OS. Acer and HP shunned Windows RT from the beginning, and with Dell apparently out of the picture, the future looks bleaker than ever. Microsoft seems to be the only one selling Windows RT tablets right now—and half of its lineup is made up of unsold inventory of the original Surface RT.

Last week, the head of Microsoft's OS division, Terry Myerson, suggested that Windows RT's future may lie with phablets. He said we should expect to see "many more" ARM-based Windows devices "as phones extend into tablets." But Windows Phone 8 hasn't exactly taken the smartphone market by storm, so it's hard to picture Windows RT having more success on super-sized handsets. It's also increasingly difficult to picture anyone other than Microsoft building an ARM-based Windows device. Thanks to Engadget for the tip.

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