Jun 01, 2012, 06.40 PM IST | Source:

5 Reasons why Windows RT might not work

Windows RT isn't exactly Windows, which could be a big problem.

Windows 8-based tablets are all set for a November launch and frankly, we are quite kicked about it, since more competition is always a good thing for the consumer, that’s you and me. Microsoft has a lot riding on their new Operating System, as not only is it being released for desktop PCs, for the first time, we’ll be seeing ARM-based devices also run Windows, which opens new doors for the software giant, as they can now reach out to a much wider crowd. As usual, there’ll be several different versions of Windows 8 as well as a separate version for ARM, called Windows RT. Previously known as Windows on ARM, Windows RT (where RT stands for Runtime) is a completely different version of Windows that will come pre-installed on tablets and ARM-based notebooks. My beef with Microsoft is that they chose to call the ARM version Windows, which is a bit misleading.Microsoft’s marketing team have a big challenge ahead of them in distinguishing Windows RT and Windows 8-based systems, because it just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Here are 5 reasons why we feel Windows RT might not really work in the long run.  It’s not really “Windows 8”First and foremost, let’s get this out in the open, Windows RT is not really Windows 8. Since it’s designed for ARM, the OS uses a completely different runtime, which is why you can’t simply update a Windows 7 system to Windows RT, and you really wouldn’t want to either. The only element that’s common between the Windows 8 and Windows RT is the Metro interface. In fact, on tablets, that’s all you’ll see. You won’t be able to switch between the ‘classic desktop’ mode and the Metro UI, the way you can on x86-based systems that use Intel and AMD CPUs. Microsoft was very careful when they ditched the ‘8’ moniker from Windows RT, since they are two completely different Operating Systems. Unfortunately, this is also going to confuse the uninformed when they walk into a store and pick up a Windows RT system, instead of Windows 8. When you say ‘Windows’ tablet, one typically expects a regular desktop interface or at least the possibility of using the tablet in a way one would use a desktop, but they are in for a disappointment as so far, there doesn’t seem to be a way in which that would be possible. In a way, it makes sense to have the Metro UI as the primary interface on a touchscreen device, but we would have also liked the choice to switch to the standard desktop mode on an ARM device. What if we have a tablet, like the Asus Transformer that could be converted to a netbook, having ‘classic windows’ mode in this case would be really useful but it doesn’t seem like that’s possible.

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