Ahmed Eltawil's Blog

Archive for July 2013

I always asked myself why Microsoft was so technical is naming their Windows RT edition of Windows. We all know it looks and functions the same as Windows 8, so why not just call it as it is; Windows 8. Not to mention the ‘Windows 8’ label doesn’t give any clue to what it offers. So instead of slapping confusing and potential-buyer-deterring labels, use three easy to remember and easy to compare and easy to differential labels:

  • Windows 8 Tablet Edition: It’s simply the modern Windows 8 interface without Desktop mode. Why include Desktop if the user won’t be able to install or run anything else besides the pre-installed Office suite? And since we all know Office suite will eventually be available as modern apps, this is more reason to completely remove Desktop from this edition.
  • Windows 8 Standard Edition: This is basically the current offering of Windows 8 (not the Pro edition). If you think about it, Windows 7 never came out as Windows 7, even the home edition was called Windows 7 Home. Heck, there was even a Windows 7 Basic edition. So why didn’t Microsoft clarify this by calling it Windows 8 Home or Windows 8 Standard like Windows 7 Home? I prefer the ‘Standard’ label since many small businesses are actually using the Home edition in their office therefore it makes sense to replace the ‘Home’ label with ‘Standard’ for general use.
  • Windows 8 Professional Edition: This is, obviously, the current offering of Windows 8 Pro.

Of course, there is also the Windows 8 Enterprise edition but I am currently just covering the operating systems that an average consumer would use.

In a nutshell, if you’re using the Windows 8 Tablet edition, then you’ll be only using the modern UI and there is no Desktop mode which means you will only be able to install and run Windows Store apps. If you’re using the Windows 8 Standard edition, then you’re going to have what the Tablet edition offers plus Desktop mode that gives you the ability to install and run any desktop app you desire. If you’re using the Windows 8 Professional edition, then you’re going to have what the Standard edition offers plus joining corporate or school domains, gives you access to Remote Desktop and provides enhanced data protection.

Easy as pie. Now why couldn’t Microsoft think of that?

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Believe it or not, I think there is still hope for Windows RT to gain traction only if the following three critical points happens:

  1. Rebrand it to something else other than the incredibly confusing “Windows RT” name. Call it “Windows 8 Touch”, “Windows 8 Express”, “Windows 8 Tablet Edition” or simply “Windows 8” and rename the home edition to “Windows 8 Home”. Whatever the name is, it cannot be “Windows RT”.
  2. Remove Desktop. Yes, there is absolutely no use for it if the only thing it can run is Office in Windows RT. And since the Office suite is being developed as modern apps as we speak, it’s more reason for Desktop to be useless on Windows RT. File Explorer has been baked into Windows 8.1’s modern UI so that too is another nail in the Desktop coffin in Windows RT.
  3. Apps, and lots of popular apps. Without the top 10 apps that people know and expect on a tablet platform, there will be no reason for consumers to adopt Windows RT. Make sure those apps are in Windows Store.

That’s it. Consumers don’t need to know the technical definition of Windows RT to know what Windows RT is and what it enables them to do, hence rebranding it. Consumers don’t need to be confused with the presence of Desktop on a tablet when it’s mainly used for touch. And last, but no least, apps. Bring them, and buyers shall come.


@AhmedEltawil

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