Windows RT also lacks many IT management features and doesn't support the Outlook email client, but Microsoft is addressing those two issues in the 8.1 update of the OS, which is now in previews and slated for general availability later this year. This should make Surface RT, which is priced at US$499.99 and started shipping in October, more attractive for workplace use.
Meanwhile, the Surface Pro, which runs Windows 8 and uses x86 chips, is more powerful and can run legacy Windows applications, but it starts at $899 and reviewers have faulted its limited battery life. It started shipping in February.
According to IDC, Microsoft shipped 900,000 Surface tablets in the first quarter of the year, giving it a 1.8 percent market share. Apple led the pack with 19.5 million iPad shipments, a market share of almost 40 percent, followed by Samsung with 18 percent share, Asus (5.5 percent) and Amazon.com (3.7 percent). IDC noted that Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets from other hardware manufacturers have struggled to gain traction as well -- 1.8 million Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets shipped in the first quarter.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.