Toshiba has confirmed that it won’t be making an ARM-powered Windows RT tablet anytime soon.
The Japanese vendor explained the decision by saying that delayed components would “make a timely launch impossible”, but went onto reveal that it will look to build Windows 8 tablets on Intel and AMD processors going forward.
“We will continue to look into the possibility of Windows RT products in future while monitoring market conditions”, said Toshiba spokesman Eric Paulsen when responding to the news.
The firm was reportedly working with chipmaker Texas Instruments on a Windows RT tablet, and had been pencilled in as one of five vendors building Windows 8 tablets on ARM processors.
Questions over Toshiba’s involvement first arose last night when Microsoft announced the first Windows RT vendors as Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung – leaving no space for Toshiba.
The company is certainly not the first to back away from the Windows RT platform, as HP did exactly the same towards the end of June. Both firms appear to have shunned Windows RT over component availability, although there may have also been concern on how this version of Window 8 will integrate with previous versions of Microsoft's OS.
After all, Windows RT is the first version of Microsoft’s operating system to support ARM processors, and therefore will not be able to run the Intel x86/64 applications from previous versions of Windows.
Microsoft shipped Windows 8 to manufacturers earlier this month, and the first Windows 8 tablets are expected to debut alongside Microsoft’s Surface in late October. Windows 8 will go live to the general public on October 26.
Update: Texas Instruments has told TabTimes that it has been 'surprised' by Toshiba's decision. "While we were surprised by Toshiba’s decision, we continue to work on Windows RT. We have a long view on successes of Windows RT, and continue to be excited about our work in this space," said TI's David Marsiglia. "We are in discussions with other customers."
Creative Strategies principal Ben Bajarin was not as surprised by the move. "Toshiba follows a conservative path and is clearly approaching this market with a mindset very similar to how they approach the traditional PC market, so this is not surprising.
"This is also not necessarily a long term decision as if the market, position, and adoption of Windows RT takes hold then I would assume they would go that route as well. RT is very risky at this point as the bi-furcation of Windows is concerning for many."