I am confused. I don’t get the branding. Windows RT, or Windows Surface RT, the Operating System or Microsoft’s own tablet device (where Microsoft competes with OEMs)? We do know “Windows NT”, the server and enterprise operating environment from Microsoft, where I guess NT stood for the next/new technology kernel of the operating system. But what does RT mean? Dennis E. Hamilton says RT stands for “Retweet”, the legacy method of relaying twitter messages. I was aware of that of course, but… Wikipedia says there is no official explanaition! RT means RT.
Apparently “Windows RT” IS a special version of Windows 8 for the ARM processor architecture. Surface was the amazing study for an interactive multi-touch table (which actually went into production), and inspired an entire new generation of tablets and devices. The Surface table was cool, so they somehow attached the brand to their (arm powered?) tablet pcs aimed to compete with the iPad.
My take: If you port Microsoft Windows (x86 processor architecture) to ARM processors, you may come up with a nice brand like Microsoft ARMSTRONG. What you don’t do with brands is spam your multiple brands to multiple devices and platforms. In fact, it is the original meaning of SPAM.
Microsoft’s marketing concept is platform: you kind of distribute 10 000 zune clippy mouse pads then you claim that these 10 000 devices strengthen your zune clippy platform and are in productive use. Still, the branding strategy gets me deeply confused and I guess I am not the only one. It’s not 1998 anymore. Once consumers find out that their x86 software won’t run on ARM processor powered devices the whole brand spam may heavily backfire.
Dell executives asked Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to reconsider using the Windows RT branding for its ARM-based version of Windows 8, noting that the name would confuse consumers into believing that the OS could run Windows applications. This is of course exactly what happened.