Nvidia CEO says Windows RT is disappointing

Jen-Hsun Huang notes that sales are lower than the company expected, and he's still waiting for Outlook.

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang speaks at GPU Technology Conference in March 2013.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang speaks today at Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference. Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Windows RT has turned out to be pretty "disappointing" so far, the chief executive of chipmaker Nvidia said today.

Jen-Hsun Huang, speaking during a meeting with analysts at Nvidia's conference for developers, noted that devices using the software -- such as Microsoft's Surface RT and Asus Vivo Tab RT -- aren't selling very well.

"Windows RT is disappointing to us because we expected to have sold more than we did," Huang said. "Everybody expected to have sold more than we did."

He said the next question is: How important is Windows RT to Microsoft and how much will it continue investing in the software? Huang argued that it's very important to the company as many devices use ARM-based chips like those underlying Windows RT tablets.

"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 ... because there are a large number of devices. ... They need to find a way to get into that ecosystem."

Huang said that it's likely Microsoft will "ultimately get it right" and that Windows RT will have a "good position" in the market someday. He noted that he hopes Microsoft will offer Outlook with Windows RT, something Huang believes will attract more users. Huang added that it's not technologically impossible to create Outlook for Windows RT.

"Outlook god, please," Huang said. "I know there are smart people up there who are going to unleash the dragons of Outlook onto millions of consumers who are just waiting with bated breath for a very, very thin PC with long battery life that is Outlook compatible."

We've contacted Microsoft and will update the report when we have more information.

Microsoft's Surface RT tablet Josh Miller/CNET
Windows RT is the first version of Microsoft's operating system to work on ARM-based chips, like those from Nvidia and Qualcomm. So far, the software has had many stumbles, including one ARM-based chipmaker, Texas Instruments, exiting the market. There haven't been as many devices released as hoped, and those introduced are thought to have weak sales.

Microsoft is believed to have sold 1.5 million Surface devices, with about 1 million of them the RT version. That total is about half what the company had initially expected, Bloomberg reported last week.

Samsung, one of the initial partners for Windows RT, scrapped plans to launch its device in the U.S., as CNET previously reported. It also has pared back international sales plans for its Windows RT device.

 

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