Dell has currently
stopped selling its XPS 10 Windows RT tabletand it’s not clear yet if Dell has permanently dropped the device or if it will announce a new model next month.
That leaves Microsoft as the only company making a RT device.
What the heck does that mean for Microsoft and Windows 8?
Windows RT is a different version of Windows 8. It only works on cheaper tablets and was designed to compete with the iPad and Android tablets like the Nexus 7.
But people haven’t been buying many Windows RT devices, so manufacturers have stopped making them. Dell is the last manufacturer to pull out.
It’s most likely that Dell sold out of its tablet after putting it on a fire sale in May, slashing prices by $US150 to $US300.
A new model seems unlikely though, as, by nearly any measure RT tablets have been a flop. Microsoft itself took a $US900 million write-off on its own Surface RT, and slashed prices to $US350 from $US499 to get people to buy them.
Microsoft is releasing a new version of RT on October 22 and the company’s hardware boss Julie Larson-Green continuously insists that Microsoft isn’t giving up on RT.
There’s one possibility that could get Dell to try again with RT. As part of the deal to take Dell private, Microsoft loaned Dell $US2 billion to help finance the deal. That puts Dell in bed with Microsoft in a very close way.
Meanwhile, Dell is holding a launch event in New York on Oct. 2 to announce its new lineup of tablets. This should include details on a new 8-inch Windows 8 Venue tablet running the new Intel Atom processor code-named Bay Trail.
We’ve reached out to Dell for comment and haven’t heard back. Dell has offered no comment to other publications on its plans for a new RT tablet, merely saying we’ll find out Dell’s lineup in October.