Ina Fried

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Asus Pulling Back on Windows RT, Chairman Says

Asus’s Jonney Shih has made some crazy bets over the years — teeny-tiny laptops, phones that turn into tablets, and even a seven-inch tablet that can be held to the ear to make phone calls.


But, so far, the only bet that Shih said hasn’t panned out was the company’s move to build products based on Windows RT, the slimmed-down version of Windows 8 that runs on ARM-based processors.

“The result is not very promising,” the Asus chairman told AllThingsD, noting both Microsoft’s well-publicized issues with the Surface RT as well as Asus’s own VivoTab RT.

While not completely ruling out future Windows RT products, Shih said that, when it comes to Windows, he is putting all of his time and energy into devices that use Intel chips.

People still use a lot of classic Windows apps, Shih said.

Microsoft made other mistakes too, he said, noting that one of the most popular apps for Windows 8 is a program to bring back the classic Start menu. (With Windows 8.1, Microsoft is itself bringing back the Start button to the Windows desktop.)

But Shih isn’t giving up on Windows products. The company recently introduced the Transformer Book Trio, which runs both Windows and Android, and the company is evaluating building smaller 10-inch and eight-inch Windows tablets.

“My personal opinion is the 10-inch may make more sense,” Shih said.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus