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Asus ditches Windows RT because of weak sales

Asus has announced it'll no longer make tablets running Microsoft's beleaguered operating system.

Things are just getting worse for Microsoft's tablet software. Asus has announced it'll no longer make Windows RT tablets, citing weak sales as the reason.

"It's not only our opinion, the industry sentiment is also that Windows RT has not been successful," Asus chief executive Jerry Shen told The Wall Street Journal. The company hasn't completely severed its ties with Microsoft though. It will still make Windows 8 devices using Intel's chips.

Shen said Asus favours Windows 8 over Windows RT because the former offers backwards compatibility. Speaking after Asus' post-earnings conference, he said the company took a write-down on its Windows RT tablets in the second quarter (ie they made Asus less money than it'd predicted). But Shen wouldn't say by how much.

Asus chairman Jonney Shih said last week that "the result [of RT devices] is not very promising", so maybe it's not a huge surprise the company has dropped the OS.

Asus isn't the only company that's had issues with Windows RT. Acer boss JT Wang called it "very immature" just a couple of months ago, and then said he's not so sure it's "so influential anymore". Ouch. Samsung also canned its planned Windows RT tablet, the Ativ Tab, because Microsoft had failed to explain the operating system adequately.

Windows RT is the stripped-down version you'll find on tablets and devices based on ARM chips.

Microsoft hasn't helped itself by launching its own Surface RT tablet, to effectively compete with its hardware partners. Though that hasn't been selling well either, with the company losing a mammoth $900m on the device. Steve Ballmer himself even admitted recently that the company had made too many of them.

In July, Microsoft lowered the price of the Surface RT. But us Brits missed out on the Surface Pro's recent price slash.

Is Asus right to stop making Windows RT tablets? Where next for the beleaguered operating system? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.