When you think of Microsoft Windows, what exactly comes to mind? For Dell, it is all about Windows legacy apps. This is why Dell originally tried to convince Steve Ballmer to ditch the name “Windows” from being associated with their ARM-only tablet efforts.
Dell said that Windows RT can’t run legacy programs and so it should get a newer name, that makes it clear that this is something different and is dedicated towards a new legacy-free future.
So why didn’t Microsoft listen? Dell’s Jeffrey Clarke says that the Windows brand is too important and recognized, and Microsoft felt this was needed to better position Windows RT in the marketplace. Personally, I think that Dell sort of has a point about the name “Windows RT”, though. That said, the same could be said about Windows Phone.
Microsoft was hoping that fans of its desktop efforts would see the Windows branding as something familiar, and be willing to give it a shot. The problem with this is that there are some consumers out there that associate Windows with being less-than-stellar when it comes to mobile.
While I personally loved Windows Mobile and earlier phone/tablet efforts from Microsoft, not everyone does. Using a fresh new branding might have won over a younger and more “hipster” generation.
The live tile interface in Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT is sleek and different. I can see it being popular with a new generation of consumers– but is Windows branding holding Microsoft back? What do you think?