Breaking Analysis: Samsung Avoids RT on Windows Ativ Tablets, Consumer Education Too Costly

Samsung announced its line of Windows Ativ tablets this past fall, but the company says they won’t be bringing the RT version to the U.S. anytime soon. According to Samsung executive Mike Abary, the high cost of educating the consumer is one of the reasons they’re holding back from Windows RT. SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto added that Samsung politely said they looked at the demand for Windows RT and found that there wasn’t enough to warrant heavy investment in consumer education. Essentially, they were saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Samsung made a comment that there was still a lot of heavy lifting that needed to be done to educate the customer on what Windows RT was. Casaretto interpreted this as a long road ahead for Samsung. He said, “The notion of telling people what Windows RT was, that it was a simplified touch-only operating system. That message is not really getting across. It’s lending credence to what someone said was a misstep in going to market with that naming convention.”

Casaretto believes that Microsoft needs to improve the message about Windows RT and fine-tune it. He suggested that they spotlight front and center on the touch screen experience in their commercials and ads, emphasize that it is a product different from Windows 8 but yet similiar to the iOS/iPad experience that consumers are looking for.

JD Howard, Vice President of business operations & worldwide business development at Lenovo’s Mobile Internet and Digital Home business group, told ZDNet Asia in an interview Wednesday that as a device manufacturer, the company will go where the market leads, in terms of deciding which operating system it will use on its future handsets. Lenovo’s latest portfolio was unveiled this week at CES. It consists of six Android-based phones, including Lenovo’s flagship K900 smartphone and the enterprise-ready IdeaPhone P770. Casaretto speculated that Lenovo will continue to use Android in its coming handsets, but also stated that the field could be getting crowded. He hinted that anything could happen when companies want to differentiate themselves and try to evolve and produce the next level smartphone.

We ran a story earlier this week about Microsoft’s investigation into reports that the Windows RT operating system had been jailbroken to allow for the execution of unsigned ARM desktop applications. In our initial story, only very tech-savvy users were able to reproduce the hacker’s method. However, now a tool exists that does most of the hacking work. Casaretto predicted that Microsoft is most likely assessing how much effort it would take to release a patch versus how much risk it would be to leave it as is. He alluded that most consumers are not tech-savvy enough or even interested enough to try to exploit this jailbreak, even with the hacking tool. See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and John Casaretto on the Morning NewsDesk Show.