Julie Larson-Green, executive VP of Devices and Studios at Microsoft, has said at a UBS seminar that Microsoft now has three mobile operating systems and "we're not going to have three." Somehow we don't think they're going to kill Windows Phone and Windows, so it's going to be you, RT.
But hey, who can blame Microsoft? Writing off unsold Surface tablets in the middle of the year cost Microsoft US$900 million, just 1/10th short of a billion dollars that just went up in smoke. Besides Microsoft and Nokia (which Microsoft bought), no one else is making Windows RT product today.
Larson-Green explains it a little more:
"Windows on ARM, or Windows RT, was our first go at creating that more closed, turnkey experience [like the iPad], where it doesn't have all the flexibility of Windows, but it has the power of Office and then all the new style applications. So you could give it to your kid and he's not going to load it up with a bunch of toolbars accidentally out of Internet Explorer and then come to you later and say, why am I getting all these pop-ups. It just isn't capable of doing that by design.
"So the goal was to deliver two kinds of experiences into the market, the full power of your Windows PC [on the Surface Pro], and the simplicity of a tablet experience that can also be productive. That was the goal. Maybe not enough. I think we didn't explain that super-well. I think we didn't differentiate the devices well enough. They looked similar. Using them is similar. It just didn't do everything that you expected Windows to do. So there's been a lot of talk about it should have been a rebranding. We should not have called it Windows."
We don't know how to break it to you Microsoft, but calling Windows RT something else like...we don't know... Courier? Probably wouldn't have made much of a difference to that US$900 million. If Larson-Green's obvious hint is anything to go by however, nothing's going to matter soon for Windows RT.
Read a nice round-up on fall and fall of Windows RT at The Guardian, with more quotes from Larson-Green.