Despite Weak Sales, Dell Won't Kill Its Windows RT Tablet

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By nearly every account, Microsoft's Windows RT operating system is, so far, somewhere between a disappointment and a bomb.

Now Dell execs have publicly said that sales of the Dell RT tablet, the XPS 10, have been weak.

"Demand is not where I would like it to be at this point in time," Neil Hand, head of Dell's tablet and high-end PC business, told CNET. "The amount of market information about it is not good enough, and the market sentiment is still pretty negative."

RT is the version of Windows 8 that does not include a Windows 7-like desktop and cannot run older Windows software. It can only run apps built for Windows 8. However, RT tablets work on ARM processors and typically have a longer batter life than Windows 8 PCs.

Hand's comments echo other reports on poor RT sales. Despite a lot of hype, Microsoft itself only sold about 1 million Surface RT tablets, according to a report that circulated in March. Rumor has it that RT could already be on its death bed with Microsoft thinking of pulling the plug on it. That's unlikely to happen anytime soon, though.

Meanwhile, Dell remains committed to the XPS 10, and RT in general, Hand says.

Hand also said that Dell currently has no plans for an Android tablet. So for Dell, it's Windows or nothing in the tablet market, it seems. That's not surprising. Michael Dell is currently trying to take his company public in a deal that would involve a $2 billion loan from Microsoft to Dell.

RT's best chance for success could rest in the next version of Windows, code-named Windows Blue. Microsoft is working on Blue now and it is expected to be a big improvement over the current versions of Windows 8 and RT. Microsoft will have more details in June at its annual developers conference.



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