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Asus breaks Microsoft's heart by ditching unwanted Windows RT tablets

Asus has pulled the plug on its line of tablets running Windows RT because they just aren't selling, CEO Jerry Shen has told The Wall Street Journal.

"It's not only our opinion, the industry sentiment is also that Windows RT has not been successful," Shen was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

It's another blow for Microsoft's first ARM-optimised mobile device platform, which the software giant introduced last year and which runs on Redmond's own Surface RT tablet.

Microsoft slashed prices for the Surface RT last month due to an inability to move units and ended up taking a $900 million (£581 million) "inventory adjustment" charge associated with the Surface RT in its last fiscal quarter.

It turns out that Asus was also dinged in the pocketbook by its own Windows RT tablet, the VivoTab RT, taking a second-quarter writedown associated with the product for an unspecified amount, according to the Journal.

Last week, Asus chairman Jonney Shih hinted that something like this was coming when he called the future prospects for Windows RT devices "not very promising," the paper noted. But Shen's revelation "was the first time Asustek explicitly said it won't produce Windows RT devices anymore."

Shen told the Journal that Asus will now exclusively focus on making Windows 8 tablets powered by Intel's chips, citing the x86 architecture's possession of "backward compatibility that Windows RT lacks."

Asus, meanwhile, has enjoyed greater success with ARM-powered tablets running Google's Android mobile operation system — including the first two editions of the Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet, which the Taiwanese computer maker manufactures for the search giant.