Microsoft strips “RT” from first-gen Surface name, downplays desktop mode
Windows RT continues to cause Microsoft headaches, and while some users are perfectly happy with what it offers, others have been frustrated by limited functionality and app selection when compared to tablets running full versions of Windows 8. We’ve already seen Microsoft drop the “RT” name from the Surface 2, and recently heard the company discussing user confusion stemming from the RT/Pro distinction. This week, we see some further signs of this move to distance itself from the memory of RT.
First up, there’s the old Surface RT itself. While the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are now available for sale, last year’s RT lives on, just like how Apple’s still selling the iPad 2. But Microsoft isn’t content to keep that “RT” tag hanging around, and has now renamed last year’s Surface RT as simply the “Surface.”
Beyond that, Windows 8.1 removes easy access to the RT desktop from the default start screen, possibly in an effort to keep casual users from stumbling across it, only to be left unsatisfied by what little they were able to do. It’s still there – don’t get us wrong – but accessing it now needs to be a little more intentional.
What do you think, is Microsoft smart to do this, and instead get us focused on where the platform does things right, or is the whole RT effort in general doomed to remain the red-headed stepchild of Microsoft’s platform lineup?