Toshiba bows out of Windows RT tablet race

Summary:The company cites a delay in receiving components as the reason it won't join the fray against Microsoft's own tablets.


While Microsoft is touting the list of manufacturing partners planning on selling Windows RT tablets -- including Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung -- one company has decided to scrap its plans to compete against Microsoft itself with new slates.

Toshiba released a statement, provided to our sister site CNET, that it was canceling its Windows RT models thanks to "delayed components that would make a timely launch impossible." This is hardly surprising news, as Microsoft supposedly envied Apple's ability to control the supply chain and may be hogging parts for its own forthcoming Surface RT tablets. 

Then again, with other major PC companies still in the game -- HP was an early exception -- Toshiba may also be cutting its losses rather than compete against the flood of Windows RT tablets that are on the way. The competition may be even tougher, if Microsoft can price its Surface models as eye-poppingly aggressively as rumors have it .

Toshiba says it hasn't abandoned Windows 8 tablets altogether, as the company still plans to build versions around Intel's chipsets (as HP expects to as well). Pricing pressure may not be as intense as with the lower-end Windows RT tablets, which will have to compete the iPad as well as the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire. Higher-end Windows 8 slates may compete instead against Ultrabooks, and include hybrid laptop/tablet designs.

Topics: Tablets, Windows


Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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