The software giant is getting sales employees up-to-speed on the differences between Windows RT and the fuller, backward-compatible version of Windows 8. It remains to be seen if the message reaches customers.
Microsoft is training sales staff to make sure customers know the difference between Windows RT and the full version of Windows 8, the company told CNET.
Windows RT tablets
, including Microsoft's Surface, use power-frugal ARM chips and come with a version of Windows 8 that is not compatible with older Windows software. Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro devices -- including an upcoming higher-performance Surface tablet -- are powered by Intel chips and can run the millions of older Windows programs already out there.
"Compatibility is a huge, huge issue," said Bob O'Donnell, an analyst at IDC. "They need to be clear on how [RT] differs from x86 tablets," according to O'Donnell, who added that a lot of consumers will be oblivious to the differences and expect RT to run older Windows software. Intel-based devices are often referred to by the shorthand of x86.