Microsoft’s Julie Larson-Green Says Windows RT’s Slow Start Is A Consumer Education Problem

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Gadgets, Microsoft, Technology
Tags: , , ,

20130508-223429.jpg Microsoft’s Corporate VP for Windows Julie Larson-
Green was at WIRED’s Business Conference today,
and she was put on the spot when asked by
interviewer and WIRED Senior Editor Michael V.
Copeland about the apparently sluggish start for
Windows RT. RT’s failure is a consumer education problem, according to Larson-Green, since it’s very
different from what’s come before. Windows RT, for those unfamiliar or confused by the
new familial breakdown of Windows following the
introduction of version 8, is a lightweight version
designed for ARM-powered devices (vs. x86, the
architecture which full Windows OS runs on), which
doesn’t offer access to the full suite of Windows software. According to our own Matt Burns, that has
resulted in a big app gap, and made the Surface RT
essentially a glorified web browsing tablet, which
sounds like something different from a simple matter
of properly framing the product. “I think we have some work to do on explaining it to
people because it’s different,” Larson-Green said.
“They’re just so used to Windows meaning backward
compatibility in all the programs that you use today. I
use Surface RT as my main computing device, I
connect to a corporate network using my virtual smart card and VPN when I need to, Office is already on
there […] it’s just a simpler experience and then the
Surface Pro has the flexibility if you want to work on
the details.” “I love my Surface RT,” was a common refrain from
Larson-Green even into the Q&A, who later
characterized it as a device for casual consumption
mostly, especially filling a niche for “weekend” use.
Even the dual nature of her defense of the Microsoft
tablet shows that it still needs work at Microsoft itself in terms of fleshing out its role in the consumer
ecosystem, which probably isn’t helping the company
properly explain its purpose to the buying public. The Surface RT is estimated to have sold only around
1 million units total since its launch late in 2012, far
under its reported initial estimates of 3 million or so.
Other OEMs have balked at the RT line in the
meantime, with Acer waiting on launching its RT slate
until at least Q2 of this year.

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