Microsoft changes names of Surface tablets on official website


Microsoft's new tablets may be getting simplified names if the Surface website is any indication.

Microsoft may have chosen to streamline the names of its new Surface tablets if the nomenclature used on the company's official website for the devices is any indication.

When Microsoft's ARM-based Surface tablet running Windows RT was launched on Oct. 26, it was officially known as "Surface with Windows RT." Now, however, the official Surface website is referring to the tablet as simply "Surface RT." Similarly, while the Surface tablet running Windows 8 was previously known as "Surface with Windows 8 Pro," it's now referred to as "Surface Pro" on the Microsoft website.

Earlier this month, the tablets were still referred to as Surface with Windows RT and Surface with Windows 8 Pro on the official Surface website. An archived version of the site from Feb. 8 displaying the previous names can be seen here.

Despite the change on the official Surface website, the Windows 8 version of the tablet is still referred to as Surface with Windows 8 Pro on a page of the official Windows website.

Microsoft hasn't released any announcements confirming the name changes, although the move may have been made as a result of media references to the devices. Many media outlets already referred to the tablets as Surface RT and Surface Pro. The change may also have been made for the sake of simplicity, however, as the company's own personnel have referred to the tablets by their shorter names even before they were released.

Panos Panay, a Microsoft general manager and the creator of the Surface line, referred to the tablets using the simpler names in two separate Reddit AMA sessions – one before the launch of the Windows RT version of the tablet and a second shortly before the launch of the Windows 8 variant.

When reached for comment, a Microsoft representative said the company has "nothing further to share at this time" regarding the tablets' names.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has simplified a product's name following media complaints about verbosity. In April 2010, Microsoft renamed its then-upcoming smartphone operating system "Windows Phone 7" from the longer "Windows Phone 7 Series." The change came just two months after the platform was announced.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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Why is this a thing.. Who cares. Microsoft has abandoned everything and everyone it ever claimed to stand for. Everyone who bought into the microsoft future has been betrayed to the core.

If I MUST.. RT in Windows RT was to signify that it largely runs ONLY Windows Runtime Programs. (Yes I know there is a desktop and applets and office.. Shut up for a moment.)

The only reason these things are still in Windows RT and Windows 8 broadly is that until the core of windows is completely replaced and locked down and Win32 and what we know now as NT is refactored, replaced, and DEAD we will still see it in Windows RT.. But Windows RT has the advantage of not being bound to a version number or specific release and will only ever be refereed to by that name. Windows RT in 5 years will not be the same Windows RT as today but it SHOULD still be called Windows RT... Think of how version numbers have become less and less important as things are changed broadly via updates not version releases of old.

There now you know a little more and I hope because I have such distaste for this whole concept that the facts are not lost due to my particular hatred.

Thank you Microsoft... I had been saying this since they were announced. Odd that it took them this long though. And they waited until the devices were launched.

I absolutely love the newly updated Surface.com too .... very clean, responsive and the subtitle device animations are sexy!!!

Maybe this is also in preparation for new product announcements, in the sense that they might soon have new tablets out which are called "Surface" and use Windows 8/RT? The old names suggested that those were the only Surface tablets on the market with those two operating systems...

Recent videos and I think the AMA had Panos calling it just the Surface Pro.

Microsoft need too hire new naming staff, Remember when Windows Phone was first announced as Windows Phone 7 Series .

Silver47 said,
Recent videos and I think the AMA had Panos calling it just the Surface Pro.

Microsoft need too hire new naming staff, Remember when Windows Phone was first announced as Windows Phone 7 Series .

Just what I was thinking *facepalm*. But also...how is it possible that a product name can go from initial idea, all the way through development, final production, marketing prep, meetings etc with such a ridiculous name...and then only get picked up once the thing is (on the verge of) release?! Sigh

Good! It aligns with the naming of Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro
(Although I still don't like how they named it RT, short for runtime, when the average consumer doesn't know what a runtime is)

testman said,
RT is not short for "Runtime" at all.

think they are confusing it with WinRT which to a normal person is the same as WindowsRT even though they are two completly diferent things..... WinRT is the Windows Runtime

testman said,
RT is not short for "Runtime" at all.

What DOES the RT stand for? I honestly have no idea... I know the difference between WinRT and Windows RT, but still don't get the name.

M_Lyons10 said,

What DOES the RT stand for? I honestly have no idea... I know the difference between WinRT and Windows RT, but still don't get the name.

RT in Windows RT stands for absolutely nothing and whoever decided to call it that needs to be shot in the head. RT in WinRT stands for Run Time! If you are reading this please understand that WinRT is not a short hand way of writing Windows RT, it is completely different and if you don't know why it's different then read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_RunTime and then http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_RT . Wikipedia of course doen't go into detail about it but if will at least give you an idea of what they are. Check out Channel 9 if you want to know about how they work.

I know Windows RT and WinRT are different things. But the meaning of the name has carries over (as has been confirmed before), and it still makes no sense at all.

Whoever named it that and whoever approved it do need to be shot in the face.

That said, I doubt users of a Windows RT device will ever have to make any decision where they would confuse WinRT and Windows RT. I doubt they'll even see the word WinRT.

MidTxWRX said,
Whoever named it that and whoever approved it do need to be shot in the face.

That said, I doubt users of a Windows RT device will ever have to make any decision where they would confuse WinRT and Windows RT. I doubt they'll even see the word WinRT.


Well NT stands for nothing either but has been referred to as New Technology.
same i supose for RT which has ben referred to as RunTime

ingramator said,

RT in Windows RT stands for absolutely nothing and whoever decided to call it that needs to be shot in the head.

RT doesn't stand for anything, but it signifies something. It only supports WinRT apps. What would you call it? Windows 8 Pro for ARM?

And it's no worse than Windows XP.

Shadowzz said,

Well NT stands for nothing either but has been referred to as New Technology.
same i supose for RT which has ben referred to as RunTime

Well, there are lots of stories about what NT stands for. One of them very well may be true, although backronyms are popular too. NT is also claimed to be a reference to the Intel RISC processor that NT was originally designed for, codenamed N-Ten. And only later was it changed to stand for New Technology.

Edited by rfirth, Feb 18 2013, 5:10am :

Had no idea they did that in the first place. It's a good move, but strange that they had to do it at all. I'm pretty sure I've only seen them called Surface Pro or RT.