Asus Ditches Windows RT, Opts for Windows 8.1

Dennis Faas's picture

PC manufacturer Asus appears to be moving away from plans to build devices running Microsoft's Windows RT operating system, a slimmed-down version of Windows 8.

According to Asus Chairman Jonney Shih, the firm is focusing on building tablet computers employing the Windows 8.1 platform.

In discussing consumers' reaction to Windows RT tablet PCs, Shih noted that "the result is not very promising."

Asus is only the most recent PC manufacturer to back away from Windows RT. Lenovo has also decided to cancel all plans for future Windows RT tablets, and that has meant abandoning the firm's IdeaPad Yoga 11. (Source:

Windows RT Devices Becoming Rare Birds

Aside from Microsoft's own Surface RT -- which recently received a $150 price cut -- there aren't that many new tablet devices running Windows RT.

A quick glance at Microsoft's online store shows only the Surface RT, though Dell continues to offer the RT-powered XPS 10 tablet on its own website.

The problem with Windows RT devices: users are forced to use Microsoft's own Windows Store for all of their download needs.

Because the Windows Store has far fewer apps than its main rivals (Google Play and Apple's App Store), consumers have shied away from RT-based devices. Right now there are about 100,000 apps on the Windows Store.

That's a significant improvement since the store's launch (when 20,000 or so apps were available), but it's still disappointing for users like Asus' Shih, who says there just aren't enough useful apps available through the Windows Store.

Consumers Not Impressed with New User Interface

Furthermore, Windows RT-based devices can only run applications using Windows 8's new, tile-based user interface (formerly known as 'Metro') -- even though many users of the full version of Windows 8 spend little time in the operating system's new interface.

"Frankly speaking, I spend less time in Metro and more time in the desktop, mostly for productivity," Shih said.

But by no means is Asus giving up on Windows products. Shih says the company is currently exploring the possibility of building new 8- and 10-inch tablets running Windows 8. (Source:

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