Dell urged Microsoft to avoid using 'Windows' brand for Surface RT

By on December 18, 2012, 7:30 AM

It was recently revealed during the Dell World conference in Austin, Texas, that Dell executive Jeffrey Clarke urged Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to not use the Windows name as branding for Redmond’s Windows RT operating system. The two allegedly met earlier in the year before Microsoft officially went with the Windows RT name.

According to the Australian Financial Review, Clarke felt the new operating system needed a fresh and new name. Of course as we all know, that advice fell on deaf ears as Microsoft did in fact go with the Windows branding for their ARM-based OS.

Ballmer reportedly insisted that the Windows brand was simply too important to pass on. As such, Microsoft kept the branding for Window RT tablets which has led to significant confusion among consumers between the tablet OS and the full Windows 8 computer OS. The problem, it seems, is that Windows RT has a full desktop mode despite the fact that it can’t run legacy applications.

Either way, Dell is still planning to release their own Windows RT tablet in the near future. The Dell XPS 10 will have a starting price of $499 and will be powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Other specifications include a 10-1.inch display operating at 1,366 x 768, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing shooter and either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. The slate is expected to ship by the end of this month or sometime in early January.

User Comments: 6

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treeski treeski said:

"...Microsoft kept the branding for Window RT tablets which has led to significant confusion among consumers between the tablet OS and the full Windows 8 computer OS."

Just curious, but have there been reports or studies done about this on average consumers?

psycros psycros said:

What does "RT" even mean? Really Terrible? Retrograde Technology? Rejected Touchscreen? ReTarded? At least their not calling it "Windows 8 RT": you think there's confusion <I>now</I>? In any case, the Windows label isn't the problem - <I>Metro</I> is the problem. If it had been exclusive to Surface then nobody would have had any problems with Windows 8 except for the losses of the start button and maybe Aero. Of course, if Microsoft had been smart enough to keep the two incompatible UIs separate, they probably wouldn't have made <b>those</b> mistakes either. All told, Microsoft seems to doing a great job of promoting their competition.

Divvet said:

RT = Run TIme.

Guest said:

RT --> metRo Troll or supeR Troll or ballmeR's Troll :D

of course it is Really Trolling :D

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Really dumb move on MS's part not to take Dell's advice on this. People hear "Windows" and to them, it means the OS they've been using since 1985. Then this shows up and all people can say is, "THIS is Windows??"


I was a little excited when I heard about Windows 8, I thought they were going to make ONE operating system for computers, tablets, AND smart phones. Of course I was pessimistic and expected it to flop, which, it has. This is a failure of an OS as far as I'm concerned...

I don't really care that they called it "Windows". They did the same thing with Windows CE for PDA's 10 years ago. But at least every ad for a PDA said "CE" in it. Now, there are advertisements for "Windows" tablets but they neglect to say that its "RT". This is a huge and likely intentional oversight that will cause distrust to the Windows name, and Microsoft as a whole.

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