There’s been a bit of commentary in the last few days about Microsoft’s messaging with respect to the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8. The concern seems to be that Mum, Dad, Grandma, or the family cat will run out and buy a Surface on release day and then hassle you asking why a legacy application like TaxaBlaster2005 doesn’t run on it.
In reality, anyone who has pre-ordered a Surface or likely gets an RT device this side of the holiday season knows which Tram they are getting on and isn’t going to accidentally end up in Bundoora. While some journos might have rung up a couple of Microsoft Stores and chatted to some sales droids that weren’t on message (say what you want about the Apple Stores, the sales droids there are unlikely to run off into the Dune sea babbling on about some mission), it’s pretty reasonable to assume that anyone wandering into a Microsoft store in the next few weeks to drop some cash for this kit knows what they are getting themselves into. They will know what RT does. What it doesn’t do. And they’ll know why they want it.
Today’s consumer isn’t the technical illiterate of years past. There are people driving cars who weren’t born when Windows 95 was released. Today’s first adopters are smart people who aren’t dropping a few hundred bucks on a device they’ve never seen or haven’t researched. I bet if you polled most people who walked out of a Microsoft Store with a Surface over the next few weeks, they’d be able to tell you a fair amount about the device they purchased because they would have done the legwork before they splashed out and purchased the thing.
By the time the general public becomes interested in Windows RT devices, which probably won’t be next week or even next month, the droids at the Microsoft Store and other retail outlets will know how to answer questions about the devices.
Microsoft doesn’t need to put up a special website saying “You Really Need To Know The Following About Windows RT” because the information is already out there.