Lately, Microsoft has launched its â€œSurface Tablets â€œin the market. These tabs are available with two Operating Systems namely Windows 8 and Windows RT. While many of us are familiar with Windows 8 not many know about Window RT. This article has the sole intent to get you familiar with this new thing in the market, which has created some healthy buzz all around. So letâ€™s set the ball rolling!!
Keeping it Simple, Windows RT is an OS for the ARM based devices like phones and tablet PCs. You might be wondering that what does RT acronym stand for and some of you might have even guessed it as Run Time. Friends, it is advised that you let all the growing bubbles burst quickly since there is no expanded form for RT yet from the Microsoft side. Itâ€™s just one another NT (do you know what NT stands for in Windows NT? Hell no!! J). So, if you could not guess for what the acronym RT stands for, is perfectly normal. In case you guessed it Window RunTime, then what will you say about WinRT?
No friend, they both arenâ€™t the same. Windows Runtime (winRT) is an engine which powers the Metro apps(â€œtilesâ€ instead of icons) and it runs on both Windows 8 and Windows RT. It is vividly a collection of APIs( Application programming interfaces) which enables the developers to write software which can interact with the hardware and with each other . Letâ€™s not get in detail here and stay, focused!!
Now, since we know there is nothing official about the acronym RT in Windows RT yet, why Microsoft does this? Itâ€™s beyond me. Anyway letâ€™s move on from this mystery to the facts in front of us about the Windows RT.
Windows RT and Windows 8 have similarities skin-deep i.e. have similar codes. Originally this version of Windows 8 was meant only for ARM processors and so was also known as Windows On ARM (WOA). So it will work perfect on devices like tablet PCs and phones. Microsoft is not selling this OS to the stand alone products and keeping it reserved only for its device manufacturers. One can only run software which are pre-installed in it or which are available in Windows Store. This can be well thought as a Microsoftâ€™s attempt to do the Appleâ€™s locked down iOS, if not anything else.
This new OS will be tested/implemented on the lower end version of the new Windows Surface Tablets. The higher end versions for now will come with the full-fledged Windows 8 OS.
At this juncture I can imagine your all faces frowned and your minds full of questions. So itâ€™s my duty now to dispel all the doubts of your minds, right out of the window!
The first and foremost doubt would have cropped up must be, how different is Windows RT from Windows 8 in terms of application and usage? So now, I shall list a few contrasting differences between them, which are as follows:-
- Windows RT will work only on ARM-powered devices
- Windows RT will have a Desktop mode, but it will be restricted to pre-installed, Microsoft-produced software. This will include touch-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote as the new Microsoft Office.
- Windows RT will come with device encryption
- Neither old nor new x86/x64 programs will work on Windows RT
Now, the devices which will run Windows RT are Microsoft Surface RT (of course!), Dell XPS 10 Tablet, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11( smaller one) and Samsung Ativ Tab
Some of the major issues with Windows RT which may lead to demurral are:-
1) Just like iOS, Windows RT also gives restricted access to certain core APIs. It is not a case with Windows 8.
2) The OEM license for Windows RT is expected to be in the $80 range which is considerably higher than Android powered counterparts.
3) Though some hardware specs for standard Windows 8 devices are available, none such is available for single Windows RT tablet yet.
4) No visible difference between the Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets, which can lead to confusion for the non-technical buyers.