Dell vice-chairman Jeffrey Clarke spoke at a conference last week and told a story of how he urged Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer earlier this year to rename Windows RT because it couldn’t run traditional Windows applications.
Clarke said that Ballmer responded by saying that the Windows brand was “too important a franchise not to be used with Windows RT.”
Windows RT runs only Windows Store apps and is designed to run on ARM-based tablets like the Surface.
It’s a fair point from Clarke, as it might be confusing for customers to know the difference between an ARM tablet and an Intel one. Microsoft has reportedly had to soften its return policies due to customers angered because they can’t run traditional Windows apps on the RT.
Neil Hand, vice president of Dell’s tablet business, told the Australian Financial Review that Microsoft needed to educate customers about the differences between the ARM and Intel-run operating systems.
“Making sure we educate the marketplace on the differences was going to be a necessary action no matter what,” he said. “Just calling it something different is not going to solve the problem.”
He did add that “there is a future for RT.”
Previously on GeekWire: Christmas in Redmond: Microsoft employees finally get their Surfaces