Surface RT branding was a mess, Microsoft brass confesses

surface rt branding was a mess microsoft brass confesses with windows
Consumers couldn't understand how Microsoft's Surface RT tablet, pictured here, was different from the Surface Pro.

A year after Microsoft shipped Windows 8 and its lightweight younger brother, Windows RT, very few people still know exactly what RT is: Can it run desktop apps? Can you buy it in a retail store and install it on your old laptop? Does it look like Windows?

Geeks might know the answers (no, no, and yes) but mainstream consumers never seemed to catch on. And finally, Microsoft is ready to confess that it dropped the ball on branding RT.

In an interview with the Australian tech magazine ARN, Surface product manager Jack Cowett admits the messaging around the Surface RT – the first hardware to run Windows RT – simply didn’t work.

“We think that there was some confusion in the market last year on the difference between Surface RT and Surface Pro,” Cowett told ARN. To address the issue, Microsoft dropped the “RT” in the next-gen Surface products, which are simply called the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. “We want to help make it easier for people, and these are two different products designed for two different people.”

Of course, that revelation might be coming  a bit late for Microsoft, which had to slash the price of Surface RT tablets by 30 percent to move them off shelves, and still ended up taking a $900 million loss for unsold tablets. Some vendors like Acer even publicly trashed Microsoft’s OS after watching their own hardware fail.

It’s no surprise then, that some critics are already dismissing Windows RT as dead. While we found many things to like about the Surface 2 in our hands-on time with it, Windows RT wasn’t one of them. If consumers still agree when it arrives on October 22, this year’s unsold stock may end up as museum pieces.

Product Review

Why get anything bigger? The new Mac Mini is all the desktop you need

Apple’s new Mac Mini doesn’t look much different from its predecessor, and it’s more expensive. Yet the changes under the hood make a case for its consideration as your new Mac. Can this entry-level machine hold its own?
Computing

Microsoft takes up to $330 off of Surface PC bundles in Black Friday promo

'Tis the season for savings at Microsoft. The Surface-maker is offering some nice Black Friday deals on its Surface Pro 6, Go, and Laptop 2 hardware. You'll also find deals on notebooks from HP, Dell, and Lenovo.
Computing

Best Buy’s pre-Black Friday deal takes $330 off the 2017 Surface Pro bundle

If you don't need the latest Surface Pro, Best Buy has a heavily discounted rendition of the 2017 model available in its pre-Black Friday sale. For just $1,000, you can get the tablet with a Core i5 CPU.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts in the process.
Computing

After a month of bugs, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is finally here

After more thoroughly investigating and resolving all bugs and related issues, Microsoft is announcing the Windows 10 October 2018 is again rolling out to consumers starting today, November 13. 
Computing

Changing file associations in Windows 10 is quick and easy with these steps

Learning how to change file associations can make editing certain file types much quicker than manually selecting your preferred application every time you open them. Just follow these short steps and you'll be on your way in no time.
Emerging Tech

New simulation shows how Elon Musk’s internet satellite network might work

Elon Musk has the dream of building a network for conveying internet traffic via thousands of satellites. A new simulation created by a computer scientist looks at how feasible the idea is.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement, or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Computing

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.
Computing

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as picking from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Computing

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.