Windows RT not too long ago was being heralded as the OS that would bridge the tablet and PC divide though that obviously did not happen. And there seem no respite in sight either as all signals point out to the particular Windows version being headed to the gallows. This has also been echoed by Julie Larson-Green the Executive Vice President at Microsoft while speaking at the UBS Global Tech Conference. What he said in explicit terms is that Microsoft is not going to have all three OS, that is Windows Phone, Windows RT and the full scale Windows in future. Windows RT started off well enough and made its debut with the Microsoft Surface device. This was followed by tablets from Samsung, Lenovo, ASUS and Dell also running the Windows RT though all of that has since come to a halt, leaving just Microsoft and Nokia yet using Windows RT. As further proof of things not being well enough with the RT version, it has caused Microsoft to write off a staggering $900 million to account for unsold first gen Surface tablets.
However, the RT has not proved to be a bane for just Microsoft who made the tablets but for the chip makers as well whose processors had made up the core of the tablet devices running Windows RT. This includes Qualcomm, ARM and NVIDIA. Their chips are made to run specifically on the ARM architecture which is what the Windows RT version is compliant with. The Surface 2 tablets for example are made by NVIDIA using the Tegra 4 ARM based chips. Qualcomm have their Snapdragon 800 chip which is also ARM based and has been used to power the Nokia 2520 tablet.
It is not just the one or two tablet projects that the RT and its supporting chipmakers had been banking on for their business. They had plans to take on the PC market piggybacking the OS, thereby making serious inroads into the turn now ruled by the Intel x86 series of chips. There is also the issue of Intel having come up with the Haswell series of chips that are more efficient in performance and battery consumption, making them favored by tablet makers such as Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba and such who have naturally not taken to the ARM chips for their tablet devices.
That RT is not doing well was felt when ARM CEO Warren East had mentioned at the Mobile World Congress in February that RT was not doing as good as it had been hoped to do. Luis Pineda, the senior VP of product management at Qualcomm had spoken positively about RT in May when they were making chips to be used on the Dell tablets that were running on RT.
NVIDIA however had accepted the failure of RT at the very first stages. Jen-Hsun Huang its CEO stated the company had suffered loss to the tune of $300 million due the poor sales of the RT based devices. The NVIDIA Tegra chip is used on the Surface 2 tablets and the company he mentioned did not expect good returns from that investment.
With the end of RT close at hand not only Microsoft but these associated chip making companies face the consequences of their investment not returning results they had hoped.