Surface with Windows RT is on pre-order. A lot of Windows savvy users are excited about this while many others are confused about what kind of devices they are running into. Yes, it was explained when Windows 8 editions were announced back in April, but how many of us have paid attentions on details what this RT really is?
So, to clear the cloud a bit, I am doing Microsoft a favor here by doing a quick informational session here explaining what this Windows RT really is. A few credits also go to Paul Thurrott’s rant about Redmond’s lacking of communication with the community.
In short, Windows RT, formerly called Windows on ARM, is a limited version of Windows 8 for ARM-based devices. Therefore:
1. It’s not Windows Runtime, or WinRT, which is a develop platform on Windows 8.
2. Again, it’s a limited version of Windows 8. Don’t expect a device that runs on Windows RT has full features like a machine that runs Windows 8. Check Windows 8 Editions to find out what’s missing in Windows RT.
3. It runs on ARM devices with UEFI enabled. You don’t have an option to disable it.
4. It’s compatible with all native Windows 8 app (formerly called Metro-style Apps) developed using Windows Runtime (WinRT).
5. It will not run any desktop Windows applications with the exception of all applications that come with the operation system, including Microsoft Office 2013 for free.
6. It’s an operation system not made for desktop computers. Rather, it’s for mobile devices like tablets.
7. The Surface that runs on Windows RT is a mobile device, like iPad. It’s a tablet.
Hope that wipes out the confusions you have with this RT thing.