Plummeting Windows RT tablet prices point to potential flop

Windows RT Tablet Demand

Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows RT platform for tablets has not been well received. The media was very critical in early looks at the new operating system, and reviews of Microsoft’s Surface tablet almost unanimously found that the stunning hardware was being held back by mediocre software. Consumer response to products doesn’t always mirror the sentiment of reviewers but in the case of Windows RT, it looks as though the mass market hasn’t shown much interest in Microsoft’s most recent tablet play.

Reporting for IDG News Service, Agam Shah took a look at various Windows RT tablets being sold by online retailers and found that prices are starting to plummet. According to a number of analysts interviewed by Shah, this is a fairly clear sign that Windows RT is failing.

Among the Windows RT tablets seeing substantial price cuts are Asus’ VivoTab RT, which is now $382 at Amazon after launching at $599.99; Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 11, which launched at $799.99 but now costs between $499.99 at Amazon and $599.99 on sale from TigerDriect; and Dell’s (DELL) XPS 10, which is now $449.99 after launching at $499.99.

“I think you’re seeing discounting based on user demand. I never thought RT was going to be that successful,” J. Gold Associates analyst Jack Gold told IDG in a statement that mirrors the sentiment of several analysts.

Not everyone thinks the price cuts point to imminent failure, however. “A lot of it is pre-positioning for the summer season,” IDC research director David Daoud said. “Do price reductions stimulate demand? Sure they, do, in the right time.”

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