Microsoft Says Surface RT Branding Confused Customers

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AndreRio

people got confused?! what a lie!
they just don't want people to know that they are buying a rt tablet...!

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legionera

What part of your assumes that a multimillion company, like Microsoft, with employees with huge brains and tons of marketing experience, would risk to get a bad name by purposefully give confusing names to their products?

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dbqfan

I think Windows 8 is the problem. People just do not want anything to do with Windows 8 in an form or disguise. Windows 8 was a huge blunder for Microsoft and it is destroying PC sales.

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burntham77

Windows RT isn't a bad product by itself, but with the x86 version of Windows 8 being as fast as it is, combined with low cost, low power Atom CPUs, RT is just not needed. They really should toss it out and just give us a low end Surface with x86 Windows 8 and an Atom CPU. Done and done. I'd buy one.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Microsoft LOVES calling its customers stupid. Absolutely loves it.

The douchebags running the company into the ground think tech is more about "training" customers to want what you sell than it is about building a better mouse trap.

Too bad they are all too rich and too arrogant to pull their heads out of their asses and be guided by a little common sense.

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maxeeemum

This is pretty funny but the way I see it is the problem with selling "Surface" is two fold. First is the M$ assumption that "PC users think like Apple sheep."

The other being in the product description. The words "Microsoft Tablet/PC" and "Windows 8" are a deterrent in itself.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Yes. +1

When I see "Windows 8," my immediate reaction is "Do not buy." There is nothing they can do about the poison they've put in the well.

I would sooner buy an iPad, and I hate those things.

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Keith E. Whisman

Microsoft went with the Windows RT name with the hopes that millions of people would see the name Windows and buy their tablet thinking it was a tablet with a full version of Windows on it so they won't have to learn to walk all over again as it were. People like my mom and dad would have happily bought Windows RT tablets thinking they were getting Windows tablets and then disappointed when they got home. Most people don't take the time to do any research, they aren't nerds like we are. They buy a desktop or laptop and it has Windows or Mac OS on it and they go from there. I myself could not recommend any of the surface tablets, I would recommend the iPad though. Even for the full X86 Windows experience you don't get very much storage available for apps and media. For a tablet I would go with a tablet OS like iOS or Android. Sorry MS, but Windows RT ARM just plain sucks.

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nealtse

I wasn't confused by the branding personally. I saw it for what it was, the worst of both worlds between a tablet, and a full OS slate.

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Shalbatana

wait, you're telling me that MS realizes that people were confused over the fact that RT was different than non RT...

so to solve the problem they're removing the "RT"?

Does anyone else see the irony in this? There's going to be even more confusion now.

1) everyone who bought an rt before and is willing to give surface another chance will be buying the same incompatible arm based tablet again under a different name.

2) surface and surface pro make a distinction where Surface, and surface RT did not?

3) the previous regular "surface" WAS able to run x86 software. Now IT WON"T! But it will, because it's not called that anymore, it's called the "pro". That's not confusing.

Said it before and I'll say it again: someone at MS marketing and promotions has their head in the sand.

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jason2393

I think the Surface Pro was always called the Surface Pro, and that's the one that was (and still is) able to run x86 apps. The only change in the naming scheme is changing Surface RT to Surface.

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Shalbatana

yeah I think you're right. I never paid that much to the tablet naming conventions. Still, that's not going to make it less confusing.

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legionera

How come no one is experiencing difficulties distinguishing iPhone 5S from 5C (or one android phone from another - srsly they all perform and look the same)but when it comes changes like RT from Pro and Surface from Surface pro that is considered confusing? This is just so much exaggerated that it looks more like a media thing than an actual consumer problem.

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Paper Jam

The 5s and 5c are both ARM based devices running apps from one app store. Android phones run ARM based apps from Android app stores. ARM based. The confusion isn't Surface RT with Surface 2 and Surface Pro with Surface 2 Pro. It's all a huge mess. How can you not see the difference between platforms? RT looks like desktop Windows. iOS doesn't look like OSX. Android doesn't look like Linux. MS calls it "Windows RT 8.1" alongside "Windows 8.1". The operative word is "Windows". They call RT Windows even though it won't run Windows software, even though desktop Windows will. Surface 2 = not actually Windows, but Surface 2 Pro is Windows, except they both call themselves Windows. See how the new Windows is completely and utterly different from Android and iOS? Android is always Android, iOS is always iOS, but Windows is only Windows when it isn't RT. When it is RT it is still called Windows even though it is ARM based and only runs software from Windows' ARM based market. Why not make a dedicated mobile platform for phones and tablets with a dedicated name? Why?

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legionera

So, the regular customer is supposed to know all about ARM and to do his research about it, but if something has the Window's logo on it, he has to act the fool and pretend that he is confused and not doing any research?! This is what I don't understand. Why we blame the company if the customer hasn't done his homework before buying?

I could only speculate that the idea behind having Windows in the name is actually to promote the product. The name is the actual advertisement and stands apart from the other devices as part of the Microsoft's line. For example, Zune was like out of nowhere and did not have anything to connect it to Microsoft. But that is just an assumption.

The desktop UI of RT is just a file explorer.

(I meant that the Android versions do not have much of a difference between each other. That's another jar of troubles, just ignore it.)

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ShyLinuxGuy

I've predicted this issue way before Microsoft did. Most people don't know what x86 and ARM are, let alone what a CPU does. They will get enlightened when they are wondering why they can't install or run their favorite x86-based app. They'll go ask someone more technically inclined and they'll get the answer, and they'll be confused because they'll be thinking that because it is Windows, it can run anything for Windows. Microsoft will look evil in the novices' eyes because their software 'won't work' with their new device.

Why does MS feel they have to release an entire ecosystem based on ARM? If it were to succeed, all of the popular x86 Windows apps would have to be recompiled or rewritten to run on that platform. Not gonna happen. Apple made their transition between Mac OS 9 (and below) and OS X relatively smooth, where many older programs ran under OS X with no issue, even though they were two totally different platforms.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Guess the smart thing would have been to build a tablet that didn't suck?

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ZayLay

It wasn't Surface RT that was the problem, it was Windows RT. It should have been called Tiles 1.0. What the hell does RT even stand for? I can't believe how many people ask me that and I have to shrug and say "ReTarted" version?

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vrmlbasic

Why even have an ARM-based tablet at all? That's my question for M$.

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Paper Jam

It really looks to me like if MS wants ARM based tablets they should base them on WP8 and take a step back from this whole unified OS approach. Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro looks worse than the first attempt, to me at least. Apple seems to have been successful keeping iOS and OSX separate. Maybe they are on to something?

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majeedbelle

I agree. Microsoft is trying force Windows 8 onto essentially 3 different platforms if you count the Xbone.

They need to have three different operating systems with some interoperability between the three.

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aarcane

There's no reason they couldn't run x86 apps in a slower, "Interpreted" mode. It was a business decision, and they apparently chose wrong. Similarly, there's no excuse for not running ARM based apps on x86 in interpreted mode also.

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jason2393

Unless I'm mistaken, the x86 Surface Pro does run all the apps the ARM Surface runs.

Wouldn't emulating x86 on ARM require performance penalties so severe that apps wouldn't be worth running?

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jason2393

I'm not sure how this will help with consumer confusion... The names are more similar to each other than they were before... And was the hardware the thing that prevented Surface sales?

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Paper Jam

+1 The new naming scheme looks worse to me.