Why Call it Pro?

I think one of the biggest problems with Surface adoption by the mainstream user is the name. Don't get me wrong, I love the Surface part of the name. The rest, I find confounding.

RT means absolutely nothing to a consumer. It is the version of of windows that is mostly defined by what it's not, and what it's not is "real" Windows. I suspect RT simply stands for run-time. If true, it is just another example of how out of touch with consumers Microsoft really is.

Then, there is Pro. Let me say up front, I also do not like the designation of Pro in the Mac, and Macbook line. Still, I can kind of see it for those products. For the Surface, there is nothing about the product that screams, Pro!

The digitizer seems to be a nice feature, but by all accounts, is not the same hardware that true professionals would use. The screen size is just too small IMO, to be used for professional apps. A single USB port is hardly professional connectivity. In fact, Windows supporters seem to want to compare the product to the MBA: a decidedly non-pro machine.

If the Surface Pro is a pro machine, then so is a $400 notebook. It runs the same version of Windows that comes on a cheap, consumer PC. There is nothing pro about it.

But the worst aspect of the name is the fact that mainstream consumers have no interest in being shoehorned as pro. They want the thing that's fun and easy to use. As far as they are concerned, the pro thing is at work, where it can stay.

Consumers don't wear suits. Consumers don't give a fig about Excel beyond making simple tables, which they could probably do in Word if they knew how. Consumers are not compiling code or making presentations every other day. They would not know how to run a database app if you slapped them in the face with one. Consumers are not, and do not see themselves as pros.

Apple is smart to position their consumer products as feature rich, and consumer friendly. There is nothing about the way Apple position's the iPad as intimidating. Labeling a product as meant for professionals, or calling it by an engineering term just alienates the consumer. Even if the product is perfect for them, they will probably never know it, as it does not sound like something meant for them.