Surface RT was confusing: Microsoft

Microsoft dropped the 'RT' branding from its second generation Surface tablet to avoid consumer confusion

Microsoft dropped the 'RT' branding from its second generation Surface tablet to avoid consumer confusion, the company has revealed.

The move was made to combat consumer confusion between the scaled down, tablet-optimised operating system and its regular Windows 8.1 OS.

Microsoft's product marketing manager for Surface, Jack Cowett, said one of the reasons for removing the RT branding from the second generation Surface, now called Surface 2 rather than Surface RT, was to address consumer 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."

The Surface 2 includes a full HD screen, has updated internals, and has a new two-stage kickstand aimed to make it easier to use on your lap.

Cowett said the changes to the kickstand were a result of consumer feedback, which suggested the original Surface models were difficult to use as a laptop.

"We got quite a lot of really good feedback from the original Surface Pro, but one thing people said to us was, 'hey if you really want us to use this thing on your lap, you need to make it easier to use as a laptop', he said.

"We've added a second angle for the kickstand, so it's much more comfortable to use on your lap. It's a tiny change but it makes a huge difference."

Other new features of the Surface 2 tablet include a thinner and lighter design, improved battery life of up to 10 hours, and a new silver colour variant.

The front of the device retains its traditional black bezel, but silver trim is used around the rest of the device, including the back.

The Surface 2 will come pre-loaded with the Windows RT 8.1 operating system and includes a full version of Microsoft Office 2013 RT.

The Surface 2 tablet will be available in 32GB and 64GB models and will sell for $529 and $639 in Australia, respectively, from Tuesday, 22 October.

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1 Comment

20+ Year Experienced Tech

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RT was used for "run-time", in other words for the lack of support of legacy programs. This was due to the programming languages and processor architecture used in making the Surface RT, which was scaled down for lower power consumption and full GUI interface. Surface Pro had full support as it ran a full version of Win 8. Moving forward RT should be dropped as it never was clear to consumers what "RT" stood for. This was explained to me at a conference at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA during the Surface pre-release.

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