Microsoft has renamed, or partially unnamed its Surface RT tablet to merely the “Surface.” The Surface RT struggled in the market through its first year in the wild. It has been mostly replaced by the new, and quite nice, Surface 2.
However, Microsoft intends to continue selling the Surface RT for some time, perhaps getting rid of unsold inventory, at a reduced price. You can now purchase three different Surface devices: The Surface [RT], the Surface 2, and the Surface Pro 2.
Why the name change? Consumers were confused as heck at what it was, how it was different from the Surface Pro, and so forth. Microsoft admitted as much earlier this month. Microsoft provided a statement on the name change to Tom Warren of The Verge, stating that “To stay consistent with the naming structure of our new offerings, Surface RT is now referred to as ‘Surface,’” Right, then.
Tom also found out something else that I am working to confirm: The desktop tile is gone on new Windows RT 8.1 devices. Microsoft appears to have hidden it. I don’t like this. Microsoft is moving to kill the desktop on Windows RT 8.1.
Here’s what this looks like next: Microsoft releases a Metrofied version of Office. Now, you don’t get kicked to the desktop when you fire up Office. Now, the average consumer never goes to the desktop on Windows RT 8.1, unless they add the tile to their Start Screen. For all intends and practical purposes, that means desktop is over for Windows RT 8.1.
Call me sentimental if you will, but that just doesn’t feel right from a product perspective. I’m working to confirm the change with Microsoft, and will update this post when I get said affirmation.
Top Image Credit: Vernon Chan