Microsoft is a company that doesn't seem to understand how to handle the branding and marketing of its products. Poor branding has been part of its corporate culture for a long time now. This might be somewhat understandable for the enterprise side of the house since IT managers aren't typically interested in how cool a product name sounds, but even the consumer side of Microsoft has fallen victim to misguided branding. Recently, the folks in Redmond admitted "...that there was some confusion in the market last year on the difference between Surface RT and Surface Pro". Microsoft certainly didn't help matters by releasing terrible commercials for the Surface product lines.
However, it appears as though Microsoft has learned a lesson or two from its disastrous year for the Surface. This year, the Windows RT-based tablet will be dubbed the 'Surface 2' while the Windows 8.1-based tablet will be dubbed the 'Surface Pro 2'. This naming scheme doesn't really help reduce consumer confusion surrounding the incompatibilities between Windows RT and Windows 8.1, but at least it does a better job of helping consumers figure out which tablet is meant for their needs. As a bonus, this new naming scheme does away with the 'RT' moniker that was meaningless to consumers.
The new branding is highlighted in a series of new commercials. Unlike the previous terrible commercials, these new commercials do a good job of of describing what the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 can do and why I should care as a consumer.
Surface 2 commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSCpOvTHmtU
Surface Pro 2 commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lr1WbNz7g0
Folks, Microsoft might finally have figured out that it needs to be better at branding and marketing its products if it wants to compete with the likes of Apple, Google, and Amazon.