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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest" 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-not-want dept.
DroidJason1 writes Microsoft has attempted to compete in the small-screen tablet market with Windows 8.1 and Windows RT, but it looks like the growing adoption of small-screen Android tablets are just too much for Lenovo to handle. Lenovo has slammed the brakes on sales of small screen Windows tablets in the United States, citing a lack of interest from consumers. In fact, Lenovo has stopped selling the 8-inch ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. Fortunately, these small-screen Windows tablets have seen some success in Brazil, China, and Japan, so Lenovo will focus on efforts there. Microsoft also recently scrapped plans for the rumored Surface Mini.
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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

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  • Same here (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18, 2014 @04:43AM (#47481025)
    I halted buying of Windows 8x machines through lack of interest as well. That and disgust at how diabolical the UI is.
    • Re:Same here (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zuriel (1760072) on Friday July 18, 2014 @08:21AM (#47481867)

      The thing that bothers me the most about Windows 8 is that Microsoft didn't include the Metro UI because they thought it was better than the old UI.

      Everyone can point at an OS which changed its UI in a way they don't like. The thing is, those changes usually happen because the developers genuinely believe that the new UI is better than the old one. Sometimes the developers are right, sometimes they're not. They might make a mistake, but they're trying to improve their product.

      Windows 8's Metro UI, on the other hand, isn't there because anyone at Microsoft thought Windows 8 users would like it. That's what bugs me. It's there to build familiarity with that UI, in the hopes that people will go out and buy Windows phones. That's why you can't just turn it off - Microsoft management wants Metro in your face so you'll then go and buy a phone or tablet with that familiar UI that you already know how to use.

      It's about using dominance over one market to elbow their way into a different market.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        It's about using dominance over one market to elbow their way into a different market.

        And to guarantee everyone will want to upgrade to Windows 9. Planned obsolescence never looked so clever.
        • by MightyYar (622222)

          That would be diabolical - like people who claim that "New Coke" was just marketing. They can sell Win 7 and Win 8 at the same time, get a bunch of pent up demand for 9, and then release something usable to rave reviews and have a blockbuster quarter. :)

      • Well, at least some people on the MS shell team thought it was better because it would allow them to develop two different shells for regular and advanced users. See: http://www.reddit.com/r/techno... [reddit.com] and http://www.reddit.com/user/pwn... [reddit.com]
      • How do you know that Metro is there to get people to familiarize themselves with the UI so they can buy Windows phones? Unless I see a leaked memo or something, to me it makes more sense to assume (not saying I know) that MS wanted to create their own approach to touch screens that can coexist with a full-blown OS, so they can offer hybrid devices -- touch-only in one situations, full-blown laptop in another -- and make money from the market segment that thinks hybrid is the way to go.

        • by bingoUV (1066850)

          Do you think the post you two replied to was made by someone rather than triggered by cosmic rays and solar flares ? Probably common sense? Same common sense helps people know the real reason for metro UI.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      I bought a Windows 8 laptop, pulled the HDD, tossed it back in the box, pugged in an SSD, and installed Mint.

    • I halted buying of Windows 8x machines through lack of interest as well. That and disgust at how diabolical the UI is.

      I bought a Windows 8 laptop as well - a rather large Dell Inspiron 17. One w/ a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 1TB of hard disk. Installed Classic shell & tried it out. Problem was that even when I went into the desktop and was working on an application there, the Charms bar would just pop out of nowhere. Also, despite being the latest & greatest, from the Metro screen, there was no way of starting multiple desktops, each w/ 1-2 apps, so that I could avoid clutter. Oh, and also, the trackpad was getting

  • by Anonymous Coward

    No way to touch the little boxes on the desktop so no way to use one of those with a typical made-for-desktop+mouse program. Dell has an 8 with a stylus. It should COME with a stylus. Period. It only then could be used. But these are on-the-cheap and Dell can make a nice profit on upselling you a stylus ($1 to make and $40 to buy).

  • Atom = worthless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18, 2014 @05:25AM (#47481111)

    The reason why I don't have one is because of the processor. I'm still clinging to my 5 year old x200T despite the fact that it runs hot, is heavy, and has a 35w TDP processor (more than modern mobile GPU/CPU/APUs use combined) because when push comes to shove, content creation on an atom processor is a joke.

    They could have been the cheap alternative to a cintaq, or the road-warrior-note-taker's dream, but I wouldn't try to run any scripts or plugins. I wonder if it'll even run the latest version of onenote smoothly. (not that you would want to use the current version's tragedy of an interface)

    That's not even getting into the fact that windows 8 officially dropped digitizer/pen support (I tried to find the press release to this, but I think they pulled it when they announced the surface, this is the best I could find) microsoft.com [microsoft.com]

    A gimped device, with half-assed pen support, of course they don't sell.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by NJRoadfan (1254248)
      Have you tried any of the new Bay Trail Atom models?
    • I have to disagree about the Atom part, at least. I (briefly) had a Win8.1 tablet from Asus that had one of the later (but not the latest) Atom processors. It ran surprisingly well. I wouldn't have tried any video production on it, but for running Office-like software and games of Hearthstone it did fine. Also surprising: the Metro interface (which I thought I'd like on a tablet although I avoid it like the plague on a desktop) was okay at best. Still, I was getting used to it.

      The only reason I sent it

  • by demon driver (1046738) on Friday July 18, 2014 @05:28AM (#47481121) Journal

    That those less usable tablets have had "some success in Brazil, China, and Japan"? Do you hate the Brazilians, the Chinese, the Japanese?

    • by paiute (550198) on Friday July 18, 2014 @06:04AM (#47481213)

      That those less usable tablets have had "some success in Brazil, China, and Japan"? Do you hate the Brazilians, the Chinese, the Japanese?

      Studies have shown that these three countries have a high number of tables with uneven legs.

    • by luctimm (3631263)
      Well, I'm brazilian, I live in Brazil and many local "specialized" blogs and websites are always saying that Windows 8/8.1 is "da best Windows eva". Reality says otherwise, and in general, everyone hates it. In fact we have a lot of marketing for 7 and 8 inches tablets, but all of them runs Android. I'm not sure where Lenovo got this conclusion from, but end-users do not use Windows 8 in either computers or 8/10 inches tablets.
  • With Surface, it seems Microsoft is a bigger threat to Lenovo than Dell, HP, IBM, etc.

    With that in mind, I can't imagine why they'd support any Windows platforms.

    • by MrDoh! (71235)
      Yeah, the second MS announced their Surface devices, the first thing I thought of was "well, that's every single PC maker now in competition with MS, and MS doesn't play well with others if history is anything to go by" Got a Dell Venue Pro when it first came out cheap, to have a play. And after a few bios upgrades, 8.1 upgrade, constant windows updates, driver upgrades, it's almost workable. Pick it up, let it install the updates, and in 10minutes or so after powering up and eventually locking onto the
    • by Jody Bruchon (3404363) on Friday July 18, 2014 @07:10AM (#47481445)
      The Surface line is no threat. I'm typing this on an Asus Vivobook S200E ultraportable (i3-3217U, 4GB, 11.6", aluminum chassis, USB 3.0, $430 new + $80 more for a nice SATA-III SSD to upgrade with; basically what I call a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air") that makes a Surface Pro look like total garbage and is almost the same physical size. Laptops continue to be the king of "I actually have work to get done" portable computing larger than a smartphone. Tablets trying to be laptops are just plain junk, especially when you drop the "Pro" and just get a Surface that can't run anything useful at all other than a browser.

      I'm waiting for the Surface thing to fade away. I'm surprised it sticks around at all; it's about time for an HP TouchPad-style fire sale. *stares at watch*
      • by jon3k (691256)
        Macbook display quality is about a thousand times better, and there's literally no comparison in the trackpads and keyboards either. What you have is a vastly inferior Macbook Air,, but at a great price. I'm sure for the money it's a great little laptop, but the Air is a far superior machine.
        • by redback (15527)

          i agree about the keyboard and trackpad.

          apple keyboards are horrid, and all trackpads suck so it doesnt matter.

          • by jon3k (691256)
            Actually Apple is the only company that makes a trackpad that isn't garbage. Nothing else is even close. And apple keyboards are great. And this is from a guy who uses a RealForce topre keyboard at home and a Cherry (Brand) with red switches at work. I type in the 120-130 wpm range and as far as laptop keyboards go, Apple makes a really great keyboard for a 13" laptop. The key travel and rebound is great, and the keys are pretty accepting off off center strikes.
      • by Teckla (630646)

        I'm typing this on an Asus Vivobook S200E ultraportable (i3-3217U, 4GB, 11.6", aluminum chassis, USB 3.0, $430 new + $80 more for a nice SATA-III SSD to upgrade with; basically what I call a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air")

        I only took a quick glance, but it looks like the MacBook Air is half the weight, has a better CPU, better graphics, more USB 3.0 ports, much better battery life, lots of useful built-in apps, etc.

        Exactly how did you compute that your Asus Vivobook S200E "ultraportable" is a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air"?

        • You're looking at the Early 2014 Haswell 11" Macbook Air. The S200E has been out for over a year now; you're not even comparing apples to apples. I'm going to roll with the mid-2013 Air [macworld.com] even though that's still newer than the S200E and thus is still not quite fair.

          How is my S200E better than a mid-2013 Macbook Air?
          Price: $510 ($430 for the S200E + $80 for a 120GB SSD) vs. $899 = I paid $389 less. I can buy another S200E base unit for that price today.
          Physical attributes: S200E is thicker and heavier
          • by exomondo (1725132)

            This truly is a better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air.

            But you just outlined how a MacBook Air doesn't suit your needs, so for that reason you went with something different that explicitly is not a MacBook Air because a MacBook Air is by definition not what you want. Doesn't your statement apply equally to pretty much every single product that isn't an S200E? Unless of course you understood the MacBook Air to be something other than what it actually is.

        • Eh. The System76 Darter Ultratouch is a better Macbook Air than the Macbook Air. About the same size, weight, but the Darter has a touch screen, is more powerful, and is cheaper.
          • Hey, that's an interesting unit. Thanks for bringing it up. It's not quite as thin as an Air but damn if it doesn't tear the Air apart in almost every respect.
    • Yeah, I'm actually kind of surprised that companies like Lenovo, Dell, and HP haven't made any kind of overt move toward doing what Apple does-- taking a FOSS OS and building their own distro/OS off of it, customized to their marketing needs. If I were running one of these companies, the announcement of the Surface would have been a real shot-across-the-bow that would have me rethinking my whole relationship with Microsoft.

      Luckily the Surface was kind of a flop too. If it were not a flop, though, I would expect Microsoft to eventually move toward making laptop/desktop models, as they saw a marketing opportunity, and maybe network/server hardware. With Microsoft producing the Surface and buying Nokia, also selling the XBox, it's looking increasingly like Microsoft wants to go the Apple route of selling integrated hardware/software solutions instead of selling a commodity OS to run on other vendors' hardware.

      A couple years ago, I actually predicted that we'd see something like a Dell/Microsoft merger within 10 years, which would then have a vertical market containing everything that businesses need for computing. Between those two companies, you have phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, switches, routers, servers, and the software to run it all. We've seen no movement toward that, and I personally think it's a bad idea, but I think that's where Microsoft wants to go.

      • by Rob Y. (110975)

        Easy. Because they all still have big businesses selling Windows desktops and laptops - and don't dare piss Microsoft off too much. That plus the fact that Linux lacks 3rd party app support - but so does the Mac to some extent. Essentially, though, there's not a big enough market for such a thing - certainly not big enough to invest in the capability to offer phone support. Between Windows desktops/laptops, Macs, iPhones/iPads, Android phones and tablets and Chromebooks, there's a lot of competition out

        • Because they all still have big businesses selling Windows desktops and laptops - and don't dare piss Microsoft off too much.

          Yeah, that's kind of my point. They've spent decades being Microsoft's bitch, afraid to piss Microsoft off. And then finally Microsoft starts competing with them directly? If I were in their shoes, I'd be looking for some kind of leverage to balance the power out again. I'd grab Shuttleworth and some of the CEOs of my competitors, saying, "we need to collaborate on a viable alternative before we're totally fucked."

          Especially as FOSS has grown and more applications have been pushed to the web, the 3rd p

          • by exomondo (1725132)

            Especially as FOSS has grown and more applications have been pushed to the web, the 3rd party app lock-in isn't what it once was.

            But that's why people care less and less about what operating system they run, it doesn't matter that much anymore, just look at the surge in Chromebook popularity. The other thing is the FOSS apps are - by their nature - portable to closed proprietary platforms like OS X and Windows meaning if vendors did make a move to a free operating system and an investment in FOSS programs then they're just shutting out their customers from the proprietary software vendors. People don't buy a computer and then go "ok

            • sure you could have yet another Linux distribution but what would that achieve?

              Just to have something pre-installed on the computer that the manufacturer has enough control over to make sure there are drivers for whatever hardware is attached. You're right that people care less and less about the OS itself, but there still needs to be an OS.

              And again, it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense to say, "Suggesting that people use Linux is dumb. They can just use Android or buy a Chromebook!" That's still Linux. If I want all the functionality of Chrome OS and a couple other more con

              • by exomondo (1725132)

                If I want all the functionality of Chrome OS and a couple other more conventional applications (e.g. GIMP, LibreOffice), then it makes more sense to just install something more like Ubuntu.

                I guess I'm thinking that there aren't many people like that, they either want to run their specific OS X or Windows applications or - as you said - the applications they need have been pushed to the web like Google Docs/Office365 and Pixlr Editor.

                And again, it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense to say, "Suggesting that people use Linux is dumb. They can just use Android or buy a Chromebook!" That's still Linux. If I want all the functionality of Chrome OS and a couple other more conventional applications (e.g. GIMP, LibreOffice), then it makes more sense to just install something more like Ubuntu.

                Yeah that's why I didn't say that. We've had decades of being able to install other linux distros but ultimately there is no compelling reason to do so for the general populace because even when Windows changes Linux distros are still an unfamiliar environment but

                • We've had decades of being able to install other linux distros but ultimately there is no compelling reason to do so for the general populace because even when Windows changes Linux distros are still an unfamiliar environment but they don't run all your programs...

                  Which is a problem that isn't at all solved by using ChromeOS or Android.

                  • by exomondo (1725132)
                    Right so the people who don't need application compatibility will go ChromeOS or Android or iOS and those who do will stick with Windows or OS X. Those who want a system with a pre-installed desktop Linux distro (that isn't ChromeOS) will remain the tiny niche segment that they currently are.
                    • I don't know why you have this weird agenda of insisting that any Linux on the desktop (that isn't ChromeOS) needs to remain a niche. You yourself cited FOSS desktop applications as something that people use, and that it doesn't matter what OS they use. It seems like either you're emotionally invested in being anti-Linux or you're just being difficult for the sake of it.

                      You have GIMP, LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Skype, Dropbox, VLC, Spotify, and an ever-increasing number of games offered t

                    • by exomondo (1725132)

                      I don't know why you have this weird agenda of insisting that any Linux on the desktop (that isn't ChromeOS) needs to remain a niche.

                      It doesn't have to remain niche, but people won't change just for the sake of it, it needs to give people a reason to change.

                      You yourself cited FOSS desktop applications as something that people use, and that it doesn't matter what OS they use.

                      Right, but why would somebody switch from the incumbent operating systems?

                      It seems like either you're emotionally invested in being anti-Linux or you're just being difficult for the sake of it.

                      No, I'm not anti-Linux at all, you seem to not understand that you supplant an incumbent by differentiating in some way that consumers are going to say "wow that's so much better than what I have now". For example the iPhone vs Blackberry or the iPad vs the old Windows tablets. I'm a realist, I can see that that

        • >> That plus the fact that Linux lacks 3rd party app support

          No.
          3rd party apps lack linux support.

  • by satuon (1822492) on Friday July 18, 2014 @06:18AM (#47481247)

    It seems that adding Metro UI to Windows 8 has resulted in their tablets and phones going from 1% to 2%. Was the whole exercise worth it?

  • How well do they run Linux and when will they be selling them at 80% off?

  • by DrXym (126579) on Friday July 18, 2014 @06:50AM (#47481341)
    It's a really good device packing an i5 CPU, lots of storage and quite a bit cheaper than a comparable Surface 3 (e.g. the price includes a decent keyboard attachment).

    I think some of the smaller Miix and similar devices are less useful for some clear reasons:

    1. Metro doesn't have as many apps as it should. The situation is getting better it must be said but it's nowhere near as comparable to Android / iPad. This in itself must be a major reason people are turned off these devices
    2. The screen is too small to use as a desktop and the form factor is all wrong. Yeah you could poke away with a stylus or something but most desktop apps are designed for and expect a keyboard and mouse. These tablets should really come with a keyboard and stand.
    3. They don't have much performance or storage. They're packed with some low power atom processor and the 32GB is half eaten up with Windows OS and crapware.
    4. The cost similar to Android devices like the Nexus 7 which come with better screens, more apps and are better designed for that size
    5. Windows 8 has gotten a bad rap although 8.1 with the service update is actually quite good (except for the missing start menu)

    I think Windows tablet / hybrids or 10, 11 or 12 sizes are far more viable, particularly for people who have to actually do work on the go but appreciate being able to flip their sideways and use them as a tablet for some mindless browsing or whatever.

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      I don't think Windows would dethrone either iOS or Android by copying them. People are not gonna buy Microsoft just b'cos they're like Android.

      Microsoft had a unique selling point that they could offer a tablet that could potentially run the vast legacy of Windows apps to date. So let's say someone bought something like a Visio, or a Acrobat that they would have liked to have been able to use w/ their tablet, either the same way (w/ an attached or wireless keyboard) or an enhanced tablet experience

  • It's because (Score:2, Informative)

    by kilodelta (843627)
    Windows 8 is a flaming piece of excrement. Even Microsoft sort of admits it by the rumor that support for Windows 7 ends in six months. That's to try to push people to upgrade to Windows 8. It's gonna be egg on their faces because this is now at least 4 times MS has done this to a user community.

    And I've seen the sneak shots for Windows 9. The Start button is back bitches!
    • by amiga3D (567632)

      So what? It's Microsoft, people will whine and cry about it then bend over for another screwing when Windows 9 or whatever comes next.

  • From one of the linked articles: "But it was also riddled with charging, screen, connectivity and battery issues." Yes, I also have a lack of interest in those.
    • by afidel (530433)

      Not to mention it's $200 more expensive than the Dell Venue 8 Pro, it's not a Surface competitor so it needs to be targeted at the price range of the Venue and the 7-8" Android tablets, not at the ipad mini.

  • My company's VPN was incompatible with Android and I didn't want to spend much on a piece of gear for work, so I picked up the Lenovo Miix 2 for about $200 this year. Paired with a bluetooth keyboard, it's been an awesome companion - I gave up my bulky company laptop months ago and haven't looked back. (My primary workstation is the typical multi-monitor dev monster; I just remote in to that from the Miix.)

  • Win8 tablets suck (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nimey (114278) on Friday July 18, 2014 @08:48AM (#47482055) Homepage Journal

    Speaking from personal experience in a smallish IT shop, non-RT Windows 8 tablets suck. Mainly this is because Microsoft hasn't figured out how to make updates really easy like on Android and iOS - it's basically the same updating experience as on a Win8 desktop, so every Patch Tuesday you've got several individual patches to download and install. Contrast this to how Android and iOS do it: downloading and installing one big update in the background and then prompting the user to reboot.

    The problem is that our users don't install the updates. For example, I have three with Win8 tablets (only 3, thank $DEITY) purchased about a year ago. To modernize them, I had to download and install about 130 updates, reboot, go to the Store and tell it to install the upgrade to 8.1, reboot, install another 36 updates, reboot, and then upgrade a few desktop-type programs individually, reboot, and then I'm finally done. Yes, these tablets are on Active Directory, and no, I don't know why they're not getting updates from our WSUS server; my guess is that the tablets are used just a few hours a month for several minutes at a time. Anyway, the point is that keeping Windows 8 updated on a tablet is far more tedious and annoying than on a proper tablet OS.

  • The biggest problem with Windows 8.1 tablets is the total lack of decent apps. Not "applications", which they have plenty of, but "apps" that make content consumption easier.

    I've got a Surface Pro 2. It's a pretty good ultrabook, even if the keyboard is a bit flimsy for that application, but it's a complete failure as a tablet. For casual browsing on the couch, it's miserable. There are no decent apps, and the desktop versions of most applications don't appreciate being occasionally resized for a keyboa

  • It's neither fish nor fowl. It's too small to use for more than 5 minutes and it's too big to be easily portable unless you're a woman with a handbag. The only plausible good use to put to an 8" tablet is an industry or business specific app designed for a single purpose. Think, ticket sales, restaurant management, TSA security checks, mobile cash register, that sort of thing. Where the app is designed to one thing.

  • They should send them to the cast of 'under the dome', that's the only place where you see people using them.

  • Why fortunately? Is this a Microsoft press release? Windows tablets are crap. I've played with one recently, and Windows without a keyboard is indescribably awkward: all use cases I was trying (starting notepad, type something in it, browsing apps, looking for the configuration screens/system info) go forward in snail speed. That's less than turtle. Even the salesperson standing next to me had nothing to say in defense.
  • I was looking forward to buy the Lenovo Miix 2 8" with 64 GB and WWAN.
    But Lenovo decided that people in my market (Germany) don't need it.

    So I bought a Dell Venue 8 Pro 64GB/WWAN.

    To those who say that the modern UI sucks: On laptops and desktops, I absolutely agree with you. But on a device with real touch support it works, if you're willing to give it a chance. It doesn't work if you immediately start installing desktop apps.

    To those that say 8" is a bad size: I disagree. In my opinion, a 10" or 11" tablet

    • Modern UI sucks on the Venue 8 pro as well. The main problem is that desktop apps dont talk to metro apps. So clicking OneNote in desktop is different than clicking OneNote on Metro. They act as if they are 2 separate apps glued together by OneDrive. ON a single system that is plain retarded. Metro is pointless and uselss. Even on the 8" screen i would rather deal with KNOWN desktop apps with the pen than shitty metro apps with my finger..
    • by EvilSS (557649)
      I have to agree. I have the same tablet (minus the WWAN, WiFi only) and I love it. The apps (not the desktop applications, but the windows 8.1 store "apps") are lacking when compared to other tablets, but having a tablet that can also run any x86 Windows app and gets decent battery life rocks. The price was great and the baytrail atom processor keeps up with most light duty web/office work without issue. I was kind of shocked how well it works considering the price point for them.
  • I bought my Dell Venue 8 Pro for one reason only, to act as a shim when i get roadblocked by something 'on mobile'. Its a full x86 machine that presents as a regular computer to the web. If not for that i would have NEVER bought it.
  • From what I have gathered when talking with people the big point of getting a x86 tablet is to be able to connect peripherals and devices when you need them but avoid the space when you don't.
    Some people I know prefer to use better external small keyboards and don't want to lug around on a laptop keyboard they don't use. The "keyboard covers" that have been offered are worse than most laptop keyboards.
    People also want to connect devices such as their DSLR camera for doing some light image editing on the go,

  • Lenovo is NOT backing out of the small-screen Windows 8.1 tablet business. They have clarified their stance today. See here: http://www.winbeta.org/news/le... [winbeta.org]

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