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Samsung U.S. Shuns Windows RT: Report

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Another setback for Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and its new Windows 8 operating systems, according to a published media report. This time, another blow for Windows RT.

Samsung says it's not interested in marketing or selling Windows RT devices in the United States. While customers in other countries might see Samsung's ATIV tablets running Windows RT, shoppers here won't be getting the chance to do so in the near future.

The Korean electronics giant has confirmed that it will continue to wait and see whether it should begin selling any Windows RT devices. In an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Samsung PC/tablet executive Mike Abary told CNET that its ATIV tablet, powered by a Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) processor, was not coming to the United States.

Windows RT is a somewhat stripped-down version of Microsoft's Windows 8 computing platform. RT is designed to run only on ARM (ARMH)-based processors, while the full-featured Windows 8 is made for Intel (INTC - Get Report)-based chips.

Abary said his company believes it would cost too much (and probably take too much time and effort) to educate buyers on the differences between Windows RT and Windows 8. The exact quote is: "When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was."

He added that the company was concerned with discussions it had with retail partners - and the reportedly lukewarm reception RT has received so far, as factors in the company's decision. Also, the fact that Samsung wasn't willing to compromise on parts quality to maintain a price difference between RT and W8 models.

But, Samsung hasn't abandoned all of the new Windows operating systems just yet. It's been selling a Windows 8 tablet here for two months. Samsung's ATIV Smart PC is available in AT&T (T - Get Report) retail stores, and, although delayed, an ATIV smartphone, running Microsoft's Windows 8 phone is about to be released with Verizon Wireless (VZ - Get Report).

Neither Samsung nor Microsoft has yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment on this story.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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