In nearly every metric, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)‘s Windows RT has failed to make a meaningful impact on the market. Even beyond Microsoft’s struggles selling Surface RT, the Windows RT platform only grabbed an estimated 200,000 in worldwide shipments in the first quarter. That only registered a 0.4% unit market share. In terms of usage share, NetMarketShare estimates Windows RT at less than 0.00% share, which is not a typo.
Additionally, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)‘s newest Haswell chips eliminate one of Windows RT’s main advantages: battery life. Since Windows RT uses ARM Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:ARMH)-based chips, the devices initially enjoyed an advantage in power consumption. This year, Intel’s latest and greatest put up incredible improvements in this department, giving consumers one less reason to consider Windows RT.
Investors might think it’s time for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to reconsider Windows RT, but in reality the software giant can’t give up on the platform now.
In some ways, Windows RT is a way for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to diversify in the age of low-cost mobile computing. With today’s mobile devices continuing to see downward pricing pressure, there’s simply not much room for Microsoft and Intel to play together like they used to. For instance, Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead considers Windows RT as a “hedge against Intel,” which can be used to target lower price points.
You simply can’t reach $200 to $300 price points if Windows 8 and Intel chips are involved. The 8-inch Acer Iconia W3 is the first device in the important small-sized category, which runs Windows 8 and is powered by an Intel Atom processor. It retails for $379, but despite the high price, it’s poorly built. Acer had to cut corners elsewhere, like with the display.