An executive at one of Microsoft’s largest PC partners, Dell, warned that the “Windows RT” branding for its tablet operating system might confuse consumers because it does not run traditional Windows applications.
Jefferey Clarke, vice chairman at Dell and president of its PC business, said at the Dell World conference last week that he warned Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that the Windows RT branding could be detrimental to the product, according to CNet.
Ballmer, however, disagreed with Clarke, and argued that the Windows branding was too important not to be used in Microsoft’s product.
Clarke may have been right: Microsoft has reportedly needed to revise its return policies for its Surface tablet running Windows RT, as a number of customers have apparently returned the hardware after discovering it cannot run traditional Windows applications.
The reason is Windows RT is designed to run on low-power ARM processors rather than traditional PC X86/X64 chips. As a result, Windows RT cannot be purchased separately — it is only available preinstalled on ARM-powered devices, such as the Microsoft Surface touchscreen tablet.