Surface 2 no longer has the ‘RT’ branding in an attempt to avoid ‘customer confusion’


Microsoft's Windows RT 8.1 Surface 2 device

Microsoft recently announced the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, a set of devices that succeed the Surface RT and Surface Pro. However, did you know that Microsoft dropped the ‘RT’ name in the new Surface 2 in an attempt to avoid “customer confusion?”

“We think that there was some confusion in the market last year on the difference between Surface RT and Surface Pro. We want to help make it easier for people, and these are two different products designed for two different people,” Microsoft’s product marketing manager for Surface, Jack Cowett, stated.

According to this logic, removing the ‘RT’ name will also remove the confusion between the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. As most of you already know, the Surface 2 runs Windows RT 8.1 while the Surface Pro 2 runs Windows 8.1 Pro.

During the Dell World conference back in December of 2012, Dell told Microsoft that using the name “Windows RT” was a bad idea because it would cause widespread confusion, due to its incompatibility with common desktop applications. Perhaps now Microsoft has realized this and is slowly moving away from the Windows RT name.

In my opinion, having the Windows RT 8.1 Surface device labeled as “Surface 2” is confusing in itself. When you think about it, the Surface 2 should like it would be a full-fledged Windows 8.1 device. I can already see the confusion building up over the difference between the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.

The question now is, will Microsoft better explain the differences between the two operating systems and the two Surface devices? Or is Microsoft hoping that a simple name change will clear the air? Let’s hope we don’t see the same mistake again.