Microsoft Owns Up to a Key Mistake

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

When Microsoft revealed its new versions of the Surface tablets last month, it dropped the RT name from the lineup. Then last week, the company confessed the RT designation was confusing to consumers. But despite the change and the admission, has Microsoft really made the Surface brand any less confusing?

Unfortunately, no. 

Confusing in name only
Here's what Microsoft's product marketing manager for Surface, Jack Cowett, told "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 important thing to point out is that Windows RT isn't gone, the marketing has just changed. Microsoft's Surface 2 will go on sale on Oct. 22 running the Windows RT operating system, while the Surface Pro 2 will use Windows 8.1. While consumers will easily see the distinction between the two names, the OS differences will likely still cause confusion. 

Windows RT has been a pretty big thorn in Microsoft's side, yet the company has refused to move away from the platform. Over the summer Microsoft had to make a $900 million inventory adjustment for RT tablets -- meaning the company built way more Surface RTs than it could sell -- and, most recently, all original-equipment manufacturers who had been manufacturing a Windows RT tablet have stopped. This leaves Microsoft as the only OEM producing tablets running the RT operating system. Not a great sign for the Windows maker.

A clearer path
Microsoft could have gone one step further for the consumer and dropped the RT operating system and used a less-powerful processor in the Surface 2 that would allow for good battery life yet still supply enough processing power. Just a few months ago a Lenovo executive said there's no need for Windows RT because the latest Intel chips provide the right balance of processing power and battery life. 

The distinction between the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 should have been more like the difference between a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro. Both run the same operating system, but the Pro has more processing power, a better graphics card, different battery, and other upgrades for a higher price. Instead, Microsoft chose a path that will continually confound users and confuse their Surface purchasing decisions. Microsoft admits the RT name was a big mistake, now it just needs to realize the operating system is no different.

One tech stock showing promise
While Microsoft is still trying to figure out the best mobile path, there's one incredible tech stock that's growing twice as fast as Google and Facebook, and more than three times as fast as and Apple. Watch our jaw-dropping investor alert video today to find out why The Motley Fool's chief technology officer is putting $117,238 of his own money on the table, and why he's so confident this will be a huge winner in 2013 and beyond. Just click here to watch.

The article Microsoft Owns Up to a Key Mistake originally appeared on

Fool contributor Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

People are Reading