The head of Dell’s PC business, Jeffrey Clarke told Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that the name “Windows RT” was pants.
He said that since the operating system did not run traditional Windows software the name would be confusing for users.
According to the Australian Financial Review Clarke, also told analysts what he thought of the name Windows RT.
He said he warned Ballmer not to use the Windows brand name on RT which is designed to run on ARM-based tablets, Windows RT runs only Windows Store, or Metro, apps.
Ballmer apparently shrugged and said that the Windows brand was too important not to be used in the new name. After all Microsoft made Windows, it could not be seen as making something else.
However it turns out that Clarke was right. There have been some consumers who’ve picked up the Surface RT tablet have been confused.
Vole has had to change its return policies for people who buy Surface RT only to find out that they can’t run standard Windows software on it.
The Financial Review makes the point that if Ballmer had listened to Dell, he could have avoided one of the major criticisms of its new operating system. That is that Windows RT looks so much like Windows 8 it’s too easy for a consumer to mistakenly buy a Windows RT device, not realising it’s not a regular Windows device.
It makes matters a little worse that Windows 8 is so different from Windows 7, and customers might think that RT just does not run their old software because of that rather than the reality that is running a different chip.
Microsoft is finding that customers do not want to be “educated” about the products they buy and they are not going to read any instruction manual. Instead they will just buy something else.