Charles Arthur, of the Guardian:
[Microsoft’s Julie] Larson-Green explained the original aim of Windows RT: “Windows on ARM, or Windows RT, was our first go at creating that more closed, turnkey experience [like the iPad], where it doesn’t have all the flexibility of Windows, but it has the power of Office and then all the new style applications. So you could give it to your kid and he’s not going to load it up with a bunch of toolbars accidentally out of Internet Explorer and then come to you later and say, why am I getting all these pop-ups. It just isn’t capable of doing that by design.
“So the goal was to deliver two kinds of experiences into the market, the full power of your Windows PC [on the Surface Pro], and the simplicity of a tablet experience that can also be productive. That was the goal. Maybe not enough. I think we didn’t explain that super-well. I think we didn’t differentiate the devices well enough. They looked similar. Using them is similar. It just didn’t do everything that you expected Windows to do. So there’s been a lot of talk about it should have been a rebranding. We should not have called it Windows.”
Maybe calling it “RT” wasn’t a good idea, either. Who knows what a runtime environment is, anyway?
But, to her credit, Larson-Green says exactly what everyone else (including yours truly) has been saying for a long time: the lack of differentiation between the two nearly-identical versions of Windows which did wildly different things. Customers aren’t stupid, but trying to understand the myriad differences and nuances specific to each version of Windows is a waste of their time.