Why all the hand wringing about the Surface RT not running the same apps as Windows 8 desktop? Tech blogs all over the place are lambasting Microsoft for not making it clear. Outside of the 5-10% of the population that writes or reads tech blogs and computer magazines, do consumers actually know the difference or care? The iPad has a mac-like experience in some ways, but is clearly not a mac. It doesn’t run OSX apps. Apple does not make big disclaimers in their ads that it is different, they just describe what it can do.
“Because it looks the same as the desktop in Windows 8” will be the cry. Again, so what? The launchpad on the Macbook Pro is awfully hard to distinguish from the home screen on the iPad, but that doesn’t mean they share the same apps. Windows 8 desktop trial edition doesn’t feel like a tablet on my laptop. Consistent look and feel may be good rather than bad as these interface merge over the next 10 years anyway. OSX and IOS are becoming more similar over time, not less.
The target market for the Surface RT tablet is consumers. The business model for comparable tablet products is an app store for the specific tablet, be it iPad or Android. None of the iPad or Android apps run on a desktop system (ok, you can hack them onto a system, but not for 90% of users). The fact that RT even runs a basic version of Office – included for free – is not a negative (double negative means positive here…). System admins clearly know the difference between RT and Windows 8. Businesses will buy laptops or the Surface Pro, and the Pro will be a bonus by running desktop and tablet apps. Small businesses use iPads now without desktop apps, so they will figure it out . Consumers won’t care if it has the apps they want.