Microsoft is dropping the "RT" name for a simple "Surface 2" in the new generation

Of Microsoft's Surface family, Surface RT seems to be that uncle you try to avoid at Christmas. Now, Microsoft is saying that using "Surface RT" as a branding name was a mistake for the product. 

Jack Cowett, Microsoft's product marketing manager for Surface, said that the branding name "Surface RT" was a mistake because it was confusing for customers who didn't know the difference between Surface RT and Surface Pro. 

"We think that there was some confusion in the market last year on the difference between Surface RT and Surface Pro," said Cowett. "We want to help make it easier for people, and these are two different products designed for two different people."

The latest generation of the Surface RT tablet is simply called "Surface 2," dropping the RT name entirely. The pro version is called "Surface Pro 2." 

Many may not have realized that the RT version meant using a completely different operating system from the Surface Pro. Surface RT is equipped with the Windows RT variant of Windows 8, which is a stripped-down version that is incapable of running legacy apps. The Pro, on the other hand, runs the full Windows 8 OS.

The new Surface 2 Pro will run the full version of Windows 8.1 while Surface 2 will continue running the RT version.

Surface 2 also sports a 10.6-inch 1080p display and is powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 system-on-chip. 

Microsoft hasn't had a whole lot of luck with the Windows RT-based model of its Surface since its October 2012 release. Many have criticized it for being half the experience of the Pro version, and Microsoft was practically giving them away earlier this year (in June, Microsoft announced that it was giving away 10,000 Surface RT tablets to teachers at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). A week later, it introduced an offer that gave schools Surface RTs for only $199 through August). 

To further cement Surface trouble, Microsoft took a $900 million charge on the Surface flop back in July. Later that month, it was discovered that Microsoft had only sold a total of $853 million in Surface tablets combined from launch (October 26, 2012) to June 30, 2013. 

Microsoft likely hopes that the new Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro will fare better in the tablet market -- and may also hope that customers don't treat Surface 2 the same way they did Surface RT. 


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