Toshiba bows out of Windows RT tablet race

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.

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TOPICS: Tablets, Windows
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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

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15 comments
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  • And So Another Domino Falls

    If Microsoft sells its Surface products at a loss, and no OEMs are left with an appetite to join in, that's a lose-lose situation for Windows 8. Won't that be fun?
    ldo17
    • They legayl aren't allowed to sell it at a loss.

      So I'm not sure why people are trying to push that line of FUD.

      And the key sentence here is - "Microsoft SUPPOSEDLY envied Apple's ability to control the supply chain and MAY be hogging parts for its own forthcoming Surface RT tablets."

      That wouldn't even fall under "speculation"
      William Farrel
      • Re: aren't allowed to sell it at a loss.

        Sure they are. They sell the XBox at a loss, don't they? And try to make it up on games. And they still haven't made up the $5 billion loss they incurred just in the first 5 years.

        Surface will just be another cash hole like that.
        ldo17
  • And So Another Domino Falls

    If Microsoft sells its Surface products at a loss, and no OEMs are left with an appetite to join in, that's a lose-lose situation for Windows 8. Won't that be fun?
    ldo17
    • No, no other domina falls, my friend

      ldo17, it seems you have some frustration and hate Microsoft by definition (so no real arguments). Toshiba and HP have publicly announced multiple times they will produce Windows 8 tablets (yes, please read this line again). The thing is HP doesn't plan to build Windows RT tablets for the moment, while Toshiba probably still wants to make them, but at a later time (for the reason mentioned here in this article or for another reason, dunno). Acer for example also plans Windows RT tablets, in Q1 2013. There are 5 companies who will release a Windows RT tablet at/around launch: MS, Asus, Lenovo, Samsung and Dell. Acer follows a few months later and probably also other companies like HTC (yes, they also want to make one). Add to this many more x86 Windows 8 tablets, ultyrabooks, convertibles, laptops, desktops, all-in-one PC (AIOs) and then please explain me how you see this as a "fall", just because not every company makes a Windows RT tablet at launch time (by the way, MS limits the amount of Windows RT manufacturers at launch to yes, 6!). Come on, man, grow up.
      Padre Pedro
    • Yes it will be fun

      Regardless of the shilling up above.
      CaviarBlack
      • Or your shilling

        right CaviarBlackEye

        LOL!

        :)
        William Farrel
  • No coherent strategy Ballmy!

    It looks to me like the "worst CEO of Top 500" who took the helm at MS after Bill went to save the world from malaria is now in a worse position than he was last year (if that's even possible...), when the board chopped off his annual bonus for failing to make WP7 even slightly relevant. I initially thought it was a mistake for Nokia to bet its future solely on WinPho, abruptly abandoning an OS that still had (at that time) the largest marketshare of 'em all, but now I see that the disease has spread from a former employee to the former employer. Betting so much of its future on a hybrid that's supposed to unite the PC/tablet worlds is in IMHO a mistake MS will pay dearly. They haven't learned the Vista lessons ("it's the best $6 billion we've ever spent" - Billy G.) and that'll cost them an ARM and a leg... Don't get me wrong, I'm not summoning the funeral fanfare for the Redmonds just yet, with $60 billion in cash I'm sure they can weather just about any storm, but time is running short. If W8 is succeeding so fast in alienating former partners by locking them out (see the Valve conundrum) it'll flop before you can even murmur "throw Ballmer out". In the tablet race MS is the underdog, with the latest estimates putting Apple at 70%, so they need as much third-party support as they can possibly get - yet not only do they keep doing things the opposite way, but nature doesn't seem to be on their side either... Acer is bashing them for Surface, Valve is bashing them for Store, Toshiba drops out of the race because of component shortages, LG gave up its WinPho efforts as did Fujitsu (which last year around the same time was the first to launch a WP 7.5 model and we've heard nothing ever since...), HP skipping the W8 launch party (cautious probably after getting themselves burned with Palm) - it kinda looks like a boring rerun of the botched WP7 launch from Nov 2010... or a perfect storm that will show once more MS doesn't have a true captain and the ship drifts safely only because of a few good mateys. For the sake of competition, I truly and honestly want MS to become a worthy competitor, but the overall competing strategy is piss-poor at best. Suffice it to say that they had a great opportunity with Games for Windows Live and they blew it. Nuff said.
    Semper Fidelis
  • Skip over gossips

    Toshiba 'absence' in Win RT party is not due to their lack interest or faith in Win RT, but simply due to market dynamics. That said Toshiba will be in the Win RT market by January 2012.

    Also that Surface selling for $200 is the worst rumor by any standards... some bloggers has gone too cheap...
    owllnet
    • by January 2012?

      by January 2012?
      Dameadows
      • Re: by January 2012?

        Looks like the bot has been forgetting a few Patch Tuesdays. :)
        ldo17
  • This doesn't pass the smell test.

    You don't cancel an, ostensibly, production-ready device because of "delayed components" unless you're device is uncompetitive. So Toshiba must think their ARM tablet sucks compared to the Surface.
    matthew_maurice
    • Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

      Nyaa, that could happen. They might have designed it around some razzle-dazzle display technology that was supposed to be ready by now, but which still has yield problems; or maybe they designed in a Toshiba-built ARM SOC that is running late. The best laid plans...
      Robert Hahn
  • only lover left to weigh in

    what a bunch of punks
    droidfromsd
  • Windows 8

    Excellent Software
    LaptopRepairDat