Dell warned Microsoft that Windows 8 and Windows RT naming scheme is confusing


I’d like to start with a short breakdown of  the current Windows 8 offerings: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows RT. The first three are compatible with Intel chipsets while RT is only available on ARM-based devices. Windows RT can run a basic version of Office 2013 that comes preloaded with the operating system, but it cannot run traditional desktop applications based in the x86 architecture. The other three versions can run everything, however.

Confused? I hope not, because I did my best to explain it as clearly as possible. But if you are, don’t sweat it, you’re definitely not the only one still confused about it. Dell executive Jeffrey Clarke saw this coming earlier in the year, and went as far as informing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer of the potential confusion this would cause. Clarke informed Ballmer of the dangers of calling the tablet operating system Windows RT, because its incompatibility with other versions of Windows would only lead to confusion.

Ballmer’s response was that the Windows brand was too important to not be used in the name of the tablet operating system. As we all know now, this was a mistake on his (and the company’s) part as confusion regarding the new operating system is mostly due to Windows RT. Microsoft had to extend their return policies for their Surface tablet after users started to realize that their new device wouldn’t run any of their usual Windows applications, save for Office.

Windows RT arguably isn’t a bad operating system in itself, however, but the currently limited app selection is certainly not enough for most people to use it as their only device. Especially when they’re expecting something else entirely — a full Windows experience.

Know anybody still confused about Windows 8 and Windows RT? Do Microsoft a favor and tell them the difference!

[via BGR]

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  • jayesstee

    @Enrique: OK there you go then, from your link, if ‘NT’ = New Technology then ‘RT’ = Rubbish Technology.
    You’ve solved it for me. :=))

  • Enrique

    @jayesstee: Hahaha! Nice. A quick check on that though and it appears that it doesn’t mean anything officially. But it might mean something? Anyway, check this out if you want a little background on it.

  • jayesstee

    Any one know what the “RT” stands for? My guess is “Ruin (a) Tablet”.

  • Enrique

    @cpusrvc: That’s a great example! Just looked it up and can’t believe they went with that naming scheme too, should’ve called it something else entirely.

  • cpusrvc

    It isn’t the first time MS has had confusing product names. Don’t forget Outlook and Outlook Express. You’d think Express is a “light” version, but it is a totally different animal.

  • Enrique

    @Galahad: Yeah, it seems that many thought it was going to be the better option before it came out. I’ve never heard of that issue! Did he take it back and get it replaced?

  • Galahad

    I waited impatiently for the Surface to arrive just so I can tell all my iPad colleagues…see, better stuff comes to those who wait….but my son in Australia beat me to it because it launched earlier there. He was happy enough but soon found out all the limitations but still could live with it…except for this thing which happened, and I wonder if anybody else has experienced the same problem….in the dead of the night, he was woken up by a tiny sharp sound and he found the display of this closed Surface had mysteriously & spontaneously developed a crack ! He did say he had his cellphone on top of the Surface, but it wasn’t handling any calls at that time. Any possible physical explanation from anybody? Anyway, I sure won’t be buying any Surface now.

  • mukhi

    i gave up on MS since winRT seems to be a bag of hurt and win8 tab is too expensive. it’s better to talk less about surface tabs after the final price is revealed. not a full windows, native storage is too little to consider, office is half-hearted, low battery life – did MS really think about competition?