Nvidia CEO: Windows RT has been "disappointing," but will eventually succeed

Nvidia is the latest in a line of hardware makers who complain that Windows RT has so far been a bust. Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang has called RT sales "disappointing," although he adds that he expects that eventually Microsoft will figure out a way to make it succeed.

Huang made his comments to financial analysts during Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference. He complained that:

"Windows RT is disappointing to us, because we expected to have sold more than we did. I think everyone expected to have sold more than they did."

The success or failure of RT is very important to Nvidia, because its Tegra ARM chip powers the Microsoft Surface RT-based tablet. So it should be no surprise that Huang adds that even though RT sales have been sluggish, he expects that the platform will succeed, and that Microsoft is committed to the ARM architecture. CNet quotes him a saying in response to a question:

"Is Windows RT important to Microsoft? Is ARM important to Microsoft? I can't believe the answer could be 'I'm not sure.' It's too important."

He then added, according to Computerworld:

"They have to find a way to get into that ecosystem because it's so disruptive. I think it's of some importance to Microsoft to continue to invest in RT."

There are plenty of people, though, who feel that RT may not be able to be saved. Alex Gauna, an analyst at JMP Securities LLC told Bloomberg:

"It's pretty clear that things were bad entering the year, and at least for the moment they're getting worse. The path to a successful Surface, in the same way that they were successful with Xbox, is not very clear to me right now."

An IDC report estimates that that Windows RT will have a mere 1.9% of 2013 tablet market share. That will grow only to a 2.7% market share by 2017, IDC estimates. Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets for IDC, recommendds that Microsoft abandon RT and focus on full-blown Windows tablets:

"Microsoft's decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far. Consumers aren't buying Windows RT's value proposition, and long term we think Microsoft and its partners would be better served by focusing their attention on improving Windows 8. Such a focus could drive better share growth in the tablet category down the road."

In addition, Samsung has halted plans for selling an RT tablet in the U.S. And it appears that Acer might not release one, either.

So Huang's negative comments about RT reinforce what others have said about the operating system. It's not clear, though, whether he's right in his belief that Microsoft will eventually get it right.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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