Poll: What will be the fate of Windows RT?

Windows RT is a curious beast. It features the tablet-friendly Modern UI Style and is compatible with the ARM-based processors found in most modern tablets. However, it also sacrifices the x86 application compatbility that makes Windows, well, Windows. There may be a desktop environment lurking under all those colorful tiles, but the only software that runs there is Microsoft’s own. Windows RT requires new apps, and they’re available only through the Microsoft Store, whose selection is somewhat limited right now.

What do you think will become of Windows RT? Will it be marginalized by the x86-compatible version of Windows 8, or will the two coexist happily? Is there any chance Windows RT could eventually become the dominant version of Windows? You can let us know by voting in the poll below. Votes can also be cast in the middle column on the front page.

Our last poll dealt with the sticky subject of thermal paste—specifically, how you prefer to apply it. 44% squeeze a drop of paste onto the CPU and then affix the heatsink, an approach that a lot of cooler makers seem to recommend these days. A slightly greater percentage of voters (47%) spread the paste themselves, but their methods vary: 21% use a credit card, 11% use a finger wrapped in plastic, 9% use their bare finger, and 6% have some kind of paste applicator tool. 7% rely on other methods entirely, while just 2% use the stock TIMs found on some heatsinks.

Comments closed
    • Diplomacy42
    • 7 years ago

    by the time that Win 8 pro vs RT can really shake out, we’ll be onto windows 9/10 and off this stupid 1 platform for everything kick. in the short term, they’ll both sell.

    • spigzone
    • 7 years ago

    No SP2 for Windows 7 tells the tale. Microsoft is going all in with Metro and wants to make it ever more update painful to install Windows 7… for as long as it is available, which isn’t likely to be very long. A very fast W8 install coupled with a push button refresh and reset is going to become increasingly attractive to people that build their own computers.

    WinRT = Microsofts long term goal, a closed ecosystem, so expect WIndows 9 to be Win RT for ARM and x86, expect it Q4 2015 and do NOT expect it to run ‘legacy’ free and open source sofrware. It’s inevitable that WinRT WILL become the dominant version of Windows. Software vendors will love being able to offload DRM headaches to Ms and killing the pirate market over time.

    People tend to judge based on the past, but corporations are acutely aware of the boiling frog phenomenon, OVER TIME what seems outlandish or unlikely now becomes the accepted norm. It’s a matter of habituation, ergo Ms’ insistence on making you look at and operate within the Metro interface before you can get to desktop mode. People are also getting habituated to going to an App store to get programs, games and media for their devices. It all factors in to Microsofts strategy.

    In five years Metro will be the accepted norm as will going to the Ms App store for programs etc.and the old ‘desktop’ enviroment a fading memory for the vast majority. Installable open source and free software will live for a long time but diminish year on year as W7 computers are replaced and only W8 is available to install. I haven’t bought a program for a few years, there are very good to excellent free programs for everything I need. From Microsofts point of view, looking at Apple’s business model, that’s a massive loss of potential profits. They want ALL programs installed on ALL their computers and devices to add to their bottom line.

    From what I’ve read Microsoft is pushing HARD to push W7 off the OEM market and make W8 the OS on all new computers.

    It might be prudent to stock up on W7 OEM licenses sooner than later if you want to avoid W8, the quicker Ms removes W7 OEM licenses from the market, the faster the frog is boiled. I give W7 OS access a year.

    • Sahrin
    • 7 years ago

    Neither, MS will withdraw Win8 from the market as a result of scathing comments on the TR forums, and release Win98SE R2 so that no API or UI changes will ever be foisted on the unsuspecting and innocent tech enthusiasts again.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Seems like the second and third options are both true. I picked the second because it’s the truer one in the near term.

    I don’t think Windows RT will become dominant in Windows 8’s lifetime. However, I see Windows RT like I saw NT 3.1 or Windows XP x64. I think it’s the necessary steps to get the ball rolling and it starts building up apps across what MS intends to be a lot of Windows devices. They’ve got an ARM codebase to build up from.

    So I think 2 and 3 are both right. I think Windows 8 x86 (x64) will marginalize Windows RT, but I think the ARM codebase will with successive releases become the dominant version of Windows in a time post-Windows 8 much like the NT kernel eventually took over after ME and like x64 went through Vista and 7 before it essentially became the default with Windows 8.

    Right now, however, I think RT is very limited and the newest Atom CPU’s will be cheap enough and low power enough to do everything ARM is doing and still offer a lot of people the x86 compatibility they want. MS’s Surface is a proof of concept, but I think once the novelty wears off, people who want to work will buy something with an Intel x86 CPU. Everyone else will be wanting a consumption device.

    Those people will be most interested in either the cheapest option (ie., Nexus) or the option with the most apps and maturest platform (ie., iPad). Windows RT offers the pain of Windows, but without the old applications to help ease the agony. For a mere consumption device, a Nexus 7 or an iPad would be better than Surface. For work, Surface is insufficient and it’s priced far higher than it should be.

    And Surface Pro looks to be way overpriced…

      • Vulk
      • 7 years ago

      How is a stripped down OS completely controlled by the OS maker where you can’t even install your own 3rd party DRIVERS, a step forward toward anything?

        • oldog
        • 7 years ago

        I agree and disagree.

        I agree with the beef about 3rd party drivers. I can’t use my very old 1022n hp printer on the Surface, while I can on my Win 8 desktop, but I disagree with the assessment that having a desktop on a 10″ screen is useful. I will state categorically that the desktop user experience is terrible.

    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    I personally hope Windows RT dies… which means it will probably end up becoming the dominant form of windows. At least that’s how my luck usually pans out. Hope for one thing and watch the exact opposite happen.

    • FireGryphon
    • 7 years ago

    This is Microsoft’s first (modern) attempt at an OS like this, and Microsoft rarely discovers a hit on the first try, so I figure this is its shoe in to a new market. Once I wrap my head around the idea of a Microsoft OS on non-x86 hardware the biggest deal is how RT differentiates itself from the other product offerings out there. Hopefully Microsoft will put in a great deal of the elements that made its other OSes so popular. If so, RT will surely succeed.

    • oldog
    • 7 years ago

    As promised in a previous post, some thoughts on the Surface RT 32GB with keyboard based on an admittedly short 2 day experience.

    First impression is that it is a very well thought out bit of hardware. It feels solid in the hand and looks beautiful with the screen on or off.

    With the device turned on all the pieces work flawlessly. The touch screen is very bright and the resolution seems good. The type font is very readable even for an old dog like me. The software responds very smoothly both in the Metro UI and on the “desktop”. The inclusion of a micro-SD slot is fabulous.

    I will admit to being very confused by the interface at first. Even after two days it seems odd (this is NOT your father’s Windows).

    I’d say that the major thing I’ve learned about this device is that it is not a laptop. The only concession to the Windows of old is the inclusion of Office. No other desktop application will load or work; as a result one is completely dependent on the software on the MS store to use the device. This may be for the best in the sense that the desktop is all but unusable in touch mode. When using Office the absolutely flat felt keyboard is the only input that is at all efficient.

    The device is therefore completely reliant on the quality of the software in the MS Store. The pickings are meager at best although with some coaxing it functions just fine as a basic tablet.

    I haven’t really explored the cameras front or back, nor have I checked WiFi speeds but on cursory inspection they seem pretty standard. Similarly, battery life seems good though I have nothing to compare it against.

    Final conclusion: Like many things I’ve owned, I like it with reservations.

    Would I buy it again: Too soon to tell.

    Recommendation: Let it steep and check back in a few months.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      Where did you manage to buy one of those?

        • oldog
        • 7 years ago

        On-line from the MS Store prior to launch.

        As a follow-up. The tablet OS becomes much easier after a few days. The new UI is very slick and absolutely uniform between various programs.

        I guess my ultimate issue is that I’m probably not a tablet kinda guy.

          • A_Pickle
          • 7 years ago

          Why. On Earth. Did you buy the ARM variant, then?

    • mark625
    • 7 years ago

    What kind of poll is this? There are only three options and all three require some level of success! Where is the option for “Abject humiliating failure”, or even just “Never meets expectations”?

    Really, I know most people here are dependent on the Microsoft ecosystem, but can’t we have at least the appearance of objectivity?

    I vote for “Abject humiliating failure”.

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    They’ll coexist, because RT won’t replace Windows x86, and if it can’t replace it, it can’t become dominant.

    Kind of how OS X and iOS coexist (but not exactly the same situation).

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      You could argue that iOS is dominant to OSX… there is 300 million iOS devices and only 68 million OSX…. sure no one replace anyone, but still, dominance doesn’t mean substitute, it means that x86 becomes a niche market. It may happen that 90% of people does not need x86 anymore.

    • DrCR
    • 7 years ago

    “Undecided Voter” or “Too early to tell”

    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    i say it will become dominant. intel hates arm, yet amd has embraced it. ms cleverly put itself on both sides of the coin, waiting to see what will happen. x86 is pretty much held together by intel and only intel. it wouldnt surprise me if x86 finally died off after all these dacades of everything x86. what’s stopping mobo makers from making arm boards? arm chips run without heatsinks and fans, so SMP would be ideal on a single mobo. just add what you need or max it out!

    • TaBoVilla
    • 7 years ago

    My opinion is that Microsoft has really [b<]no idea[/b<] or clear indication of what the future will be like [list<] [*<]They don't know if x86 will be able to [b<]compete[/b<] in the mobile market one day (inherent platform handicaps) or [/*<][*<]If ARM will be one day powerful enough to [b<]replace[/b<] x86 in the desktop and server space[/*<] [/list<] They are not playing the odds, they have safely built two ships to ride on.

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 7 years ago

      This is normal. (I’m not being sarcastic!)

      MS has ported the NT kernel to several different hardware platforms over the years. This port is more public since ARM is a consumer platform while the others have been server platforms.

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      Agree, if they moved with full x86 tablets everyone here would be complaining about MSFT being so blind and going full x86 while everyone else uses ARM…. now, they have a x86 and ARM architecture and everyone says that they should have staid only x86 because ARM will be useless sooner than later.

    • cynan
    • 7 years ago

    I’ll try Windows RT as soon as the community gets a hacked version working on something like a Google Nexus tablet. Paying the a premium for Windows RT just not worth it at this point when you have options like Android. At least not for what I would ever use a tablet for.

    Google knows they can’t have their cake and eat it regarding charging for the OS and apps. Microsoft is just being greedy.

    • tbone8ty
    • 7 years ago

    From what I’ve played around with at the store, asus vivo tab rt to be spec. It was pretty good and very smooth and having the desktop it pretty cool so far I think it contends with andriod/iOS

    Not having x86 programs I think will diminish over time as more apps r available.

    Give it time…

    So I had a choice between an asus vivo tab rt or an HP envy m6-1105dx both $599 I got the HP laptop lol

    • photobriangray
    • 7 years ago

    I think what everyone keep clinging to is the nostalgia of installing a program. 4 million – that’s how many people installed Windows 8 in four days. I would have a feeling that is enough to get any developers attention. Apps will change the way people use their computers. Windows 8 has made it easier to have a smaller computer, a slower computer. So far, about the only thing I really miss on my surface is a VPN app to hop on the corporate network anywhere (apparently Cisco and Juniper’s exist today as it is in the spec list for the ATIV RT), but as it stands I have been able to remote desktop my home PC, access servers, import pics from a camera, print to a wifi all-in-one, hack a bit to get Slingplayer working until the inevitable app comes out and set up six email accounts with plenty of social media, all easily manageable on a 10″ screen.

    I am being driven more towards virtual data, cloud storage, email that is never locally stored, etc. My desktop is going to become the limited task device (working photos, a little gaming), the tablet will be the go to “PC” for social interaction, email and media consumption. I have set up several limited scope POP3 accounts into a new outlook.com email address that show up as folders on my phone, tablet and that web interface. I am consolidating because of Surface.

    So, I guess the final takeaway is that pretty soon no one will know that they need anything more than Windows RT. People won’t be able to justify the cost of of Windows 8 tablets and PCs because they won’t need it. Outside of our tech bubble, how many people will know they need anything but Apps?

    Edit: Ha, getting down votes. Funny.

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      Here’s why you’re getting downvotes: All of those things you argued for can be done on existing machines, and on tablets that are similarly priced and generally better performing with full, x86 Windows. So, how does your argument swing for Windows RT, which is faced with the disadvantage of market adoption (vs Windows x86, which has a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE installed base)?

    • obarthelemy
    • 7 years ago

    I think it really depends on how quick Android adds the amenities required for a convenient “Netbook Mode”:
    – good keyboard and mouse handling (right clicks, shortcuts…)
    – some multitasking, and least the possibility to pin an app or two so that my main apps don’t get randomly closed
    – some windowing, MS’s split screen is perfect. Tiling, not overlapping, and 2 should be enough for everyone.

    If Android adds those within a few weeks, WinRT is mainly irrelevant. If WinRT keeps being the only tablet OS with a convincing Netbook Mode, it’ll thrive on the strength of that, and Office.

    It also depends on how quick MS fix the bugs (I’ve seen a LOT of those).

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      I’ve not used a keyboard and mouse on Android–I’m looking for a nice keyboard for my Nexus 7 if you know of one–so I can’t speak to how well that’s integrated, but from how much ASUS and Acer and others are pushing keyboard docks, I have to think Google is going to relent on their ‘no, no, la la la la la, only touchscreens!’ direction sooner rather than later.

      I don’t see your second point being all that big as the android app model requires (and provides for) apps to be stopped and started with no loss of context. Sure, some apps–mostly games–don’t do bother to implement it, but apps like gmail and chrome come and go without missing a beat. The ability to pin an app open is nice. I think Samsung has added something like that to their UI on their new 10″ device. Sort of a split screen mode, IIRC. Which mean, anyone could do it–but I agree that it would be nicer (and more consistant from device to device) if google made it standard.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 7 years ago

    I expect the branding and/or marketing to change after all the confusion – possibly a different color main screen as a default. I don’t believe MS will back away from ARM, if anything I’d expect them to redouble their efforts.

    I don’t think it will stop their entirely self-inflicted slide to irrelevancy though.

    • mutarasector
    • 7 years ago

    WinRT will coexist with Win8 at best, but I suspect WinRT may only survive if it drops the ‘Windows” moniker completely as M$ hinted at for Win9 about a year and a half ago. M$ has to think “Mojave”, and rather than renaming of a future Windows 9, rename WindowsRT instead, and do what they should have done in the first place – clearly distinguish the two OS’s right from the start.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      And drop non-RT, leading to the arguement that many have made that it’s going to be metro or nothing for apps.

    • Squeazle
    • 7 years ago

    We’ll do what we do every night pinky…

    Continue to collect money on all of our software licenses while providing underwhelming support on all but a few of them. And have a handy department to shuffle people to when they get too ambitious.

    • dmjifn
    • 7 years ago

    Eh. The fate of Windows RT (the OS, not to be confused with WinRT which is “Windows Runtime”, analogous to .NET & Win32) is the fate of the hardware platform it’s on, right? Windows CE enjoyed (enjoys?) a run on phones, embedded devices, POS, PDAs, etc. but as those devices fade or evolve, WinCE fades. I expect it’d be the same with Windows RT except, in its favor, mainstream computing seems to be going [i<]toward[/i<] that platform instead of it being a niche. Since corps want to protect their legacy software and IT assets, Windows x86 seems destined to stay around for a while. But that doesn't mean it won't disappear from the consumer space. I think that one depends on whether desktop tech can slim down faster than mobile tech can beef up. IMO.

      • Voldenuit
      • 7 years ago

      Well, the poll itself confuses and conflates the terms. The article heading and the text talk about Windows RT, but the poll question asks about WinRT.

    • bjm
    • 7 years ago

    It’s going to be marginalized by x86. WinRT is Microsoft’s strategic poker card, saying to Intel: “Hey, if you don’t get your act together, I’m bouncing. Don’t believe me? Look, I’m really doing it! Really, I am!” But Haswell and the CPUs after that will be kicking ass and taking names, and Microsoft will say “ARM who?”

    These types of poker cards are common these days. It’s the same reason why Valve is starting a Steam version of Linux. Valve to Microsoft: “Stay in line, bub! I’ll leave! Really, I will! See?! I’m doing it!” AMD is also doing that dance with ARM, but nobody cares. Who knows, maybe the ARM community will have a good taste for terrible execution and product delays. If they do, AMD just may be onto something!

    • Thatguy
    • 7 years ago

    Cheese cheese cheese cheese cheese! Oh wait you don’t have that option. Cheese…. 🙁

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    The poll doesn’t offer enough options.Short term RT apps might grow slower than Win 8,cost wise RT devices are cheaper than Win 8 but do cost more than the competition.
    The thing is that Microsoft has to unify it’s OSes soon and betting all on Intel ,again, is just unlikely. Microsoft needs to get some serious share in new form factor devices (phone,tablets,TVs ,cars, wearable gadgets and more) and they need ARM and RT or w/e comes after RT to do that.
    So while doubting RT in the short term betting against RT in the long run is betting on Microsoft’s demise. Microsoft is too big to fail fast,they will have time to try and try again.

    Short term there is another aspect that can’t be ignored.Most Win RT and 8 tablets ,due to price and functionality,will cannibalize the notebook market not so much the tablet market.That will lead to M$’s market stagnating and they will need to push even harder for RT.
    Access to only one store is unfortunate and going the Apple way M$ is showing it’s greed. It’s not a good idea but it’s not a fatal mistake.
    So if this RT fails maybe the next one doesn’t or the one after that and at some point one version makes it or Microsoft fails.They just can’t “exile” their software to x86 only anymore.

    • anotherengineer
    • 7 years ago

    Cheese option missing again.

    Sorry for the apathy, don’t know don’t care.

    However if there is no x86 compatibility (therefore I would assume programs like ACAD, etc. won’t run)
    I can’t see it becoming dominant.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 7 years ago

    Why can’t you emulate the x86 architecture on an ARM device? Sure you lose some performance, but in many applications that performance might not be necessary.

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      That’s what the regular Windows 8 is for. Don’t buy a tablet if you want your regular PC.

        • Theolendras
        • 7 years ago

        Well technically some people could have to rely on x86 very occasionnaly and for stuff that could run reasonably well. But ARM device will need to flex some more muscle before making it pratical even for many legacy software.

          • Arag0n
          • 7 years ago

          The reason they gave to not let x86 apps run on ARM is to avoid all the already available malware work on ARM. Given how tight Win RT is I think it will be safe to say that Android will suffer from Malware and virus while iOS and RT are mostly safe OS’s.

          Android will be the Windows XP of tablets… Most tablets will be android because Android allows the cheapest devices but it will also be the most unsafe platform…. Windows is moving to a higher margins more safe platform model business model.

          Given that Google still makes no money from Android, if Android reputation becomes as tarnished as Windows XP was, Android can backfire Google reputation. I agree with hardcore Android fans that Android is unsafe mostly because users have unsafe behaviors and use strange appstores or side load apps, etc. But the same thing applies to Windows XP. Windows XP right now is unsafe because people keeps download games and applications from Torrent, eMule, Rapidshare…. people keeps installing shit from random websites, etc. But at the end, no one ever acknowledge it’s their own fault, they will always blame the system rather than themselves and with tablets it means Android, so I believe people will start to have a bad image of Google and it may endanger the google search engine, the main business of google.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      It’s not so much emulating the ISA that they wanted to cut, but a lot of OS APIs that they didn’t want to port to a new architecture and that they didn’t feel that platform needed.

      • Vulk
      • 7 years ago

      Honestly unless your application is made using a close to the metal development strategy, which MS has been telling users NOT to use for over a decade now (.NET is compiled to run against the CLR and could be compiled to run on Windows CE for ARM with a flick of a preference setting switch) there’s really no need for the ISA support just to run the majority of desktop productivity apps on WindowsRT (games are a moderatly different beast but any console port would work easily too).

      The issue is that WART is built using a few assumptions that were not present in the prior generation of application development like contracts, and sandboxing. So even if you made a touch application for Windows 7 (and I have for use in hospitals), they do not port cleanly to WidowsRT (hell they have issues fully integrating in Windows 8 too, stupid charms bar).

      Overall MS didn’t need to go this route. But they decided that their entire pre-existing software base wasn’t worth supporting with this edition of the OS, even in corporate settings, so they tossed it out. Along with all the enterprise management stuff that would have made WART somewhat palitable and preferable to iOS in the enterprise. They basically tossed the baby out with the bathwater to chase the consumer market.

      Whether that’s a good idea or not is a matter for future debate. To me it’s silly, so we’re just going to continue on our path of migrating everything into the cloud getting rid of anything that isn’t a thin client, and at that point we don’t NEED MS. So I hope this pans out for them, because a lot of their decisions have been shaky at best, and in fact are helping us reduce our lock in to their environment by simultaneously giving us the tools and encouragement to do so.

      • glynor
      • 7 years ago

      In theory, you could.

      Of course, performance would be absolutely terrible. ARM Cortex A9 is, at least, a superscalar out-of-order CPU design, but the resources it has are still quite modest compared to even older x86 CPUs. For example, check out [url=http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ubuntu_1204_armfeb&num=2<]the performance characteristics here[/url<] versus a very old Core 2 Duo laptop chip. It does much better versus Atom (generally clock-for-clock, a Cortex A9 usually ties the older Atom chips - sometimes wins, sometimes loses). So, then, you're going to run a full emulation layer on-top-of that? Not and do anything useful on the system at all. Also, with Windows RT specifically, this is not possible. WinRT (the new Metro API) does not support this type of emulation layer, and Microsoft will not ship them in their store, even if someone builds one. To be absolutely clear: * You cannot run [i<]any[/i<] third-party desktop application on Windows RT (the only stuff that will ever "inhabit" the desktop environment is the stuff that it comes with, provided by Microsoft). * Existing x86/64 applications [i<]cannot[/i<] be ported to Windows RT in any way. There is no .NET and there is no Win32 APIs on Windows RT devices (they don't even have Silverlight). Applications must be re-written to target the brand-new WinRT API and environment. * Emulation of x86/64 code on Windows RT devices is [i<]not[/i<] supported. * Windows RT devices are, like iPads, a closed ecosystem. Just like the Apple App Store, the [i<]only[/i<] way to obtain software is through the Windows Store, and applications there will all be "Metro Style" tablet-focused applications. Surface RT is Microsoft's iPad. It has a desktop, but it is what it is, and you can't add to it. Think of it that way and you won't go astray.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Where’s the option for:

    ‘Will turn into satan and eat your babies’

    I say, lord, can I have a ‘where’?

    *TR Gerbils shout* WHHHEEEEEEERRRRRRREEEEEEE?

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      Man, you’re freaky.

        • 5150
        • 7 years ago

        Frrrrrreeeeeeakiiiiiierrrrr than the average bear.

          • yogibbear
          • 7 years ago

          +1 for effort.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        One day a year = ok
        Two = less ok

    • Voldenuit
    • 7 years ago

    Where’s the option for:

    ‘Will be marginalized by users sticking to Windows 7 for the next 10 years like they did with XP’?

    Windows 8 does bring enhancements (enhanced task manager, file copy menu, tickless system timer, better power management on hardware that supports it etc.). But it also has needless features that will annoy a large subset of users (Start screen, no start button, boot to Metro etc). If MS really wanted WinRT to succeed, they should have released it as an optional desktop shell to Win7 users as a free download. That would have opened up MS’ walled garden Windows Store to a much larger customer base and made it a much more attractive prospect for developers to write and publish Windows Store apps.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 7 years ago

    I wish I could have voted “will be marginalized by iOS and Android”. Windows RT is competing with them not Windows x86/64.

    • spuppy
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t think RT will be the dominant version of Windows, but I think the desktop will be gone in the next version.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      I think that’s nothing more than FUD. MS is so conscious of backwards compatibility that the Desktop will have to exist for quite a while yet.

      That, and some software is desktop software because the Windows store doesn’t have everything that the software needs yet. Audio and video suites that rely on VST plugins won’t fly in the Windows store or on “Modern UI” because apps don’t get third-party plugins. There’s all kinds of complexity that your fearmongering doesn’t take into account. If MS has worked through it and is planning to deploy it in the next version or two of Windows, they still have to support desktop software until that point.

        • spuppy
        • 7 years ago

        That’s along the line I was thinking before I installed Windows 8, but I think they will put a lot of effort into “hiding” the desktop, or integrating it better. I’m sure it will still be backwards compatible, but I think they will want to make it seem less like there is a tablet OS sitting on top of a normal desktop OS.

        Because to me, that’s what Windows 8 feels like. Using it is almost like switching back and forth between “Windows 8” and “Windows 7 minus start button”

      • wierdo
      • 7 years ago

      I could see this happen longterm, but next version is imho way too early to expect it, look at how long it took for the command line to (sorta) disappear, legacy support is something MS usually takes its time with, so it’s too early for the walled garden model to replace the status quo.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        Command Line is still in Win8. Windows key + X on the desktop and there it is. And if you just type Command or CMD on the Start screen, ti shows up in search results, which means it’s there somewhere.

        CLI will never go away, IMO.

          • Corrado
          • 7 years ago

          Of course not. Server 2012’s default selection is CORE SERVER INSTALL with no gui.

          • wierdo
          • 7 years ago

          Hmm, that’s true, but I meant running old DOS legacy software is not a simple matter of launching a command anymore, I think you have to run a DOS emulator to handle old code since around Win XP to handle something like Doom or Duke3D etc.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 7 years ago

    Windows RT will start working its way into corporations:

    Price: the current ARM-based platforms are cheaper than the same x86-version.

    Platform: RT is closed in purpose. A closed eco-system is wonderful from a deployment and management standpoint.

    Potentially, you could replace a Windows desktop with an RT based terminal. Smaller hardware footprint, potentially lower cost for that computer and the system is built to be locked down so security is there from the get-go. RT seems like a really good win for customer installers, POS systems and a slew of other embedded environments.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Not if you want macros or VBA. Or if you rely on third-party Office plugins. From a consumer standpoint, most people don’t need that stuff. But if you’re talking about deploying in a corporate setting, you’re more likely to need it. I wouldn’t be able to use Outlook without a handful of tools that talk to other software for me. Helpdesk software in particular.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]Not if you want macros or VBA.[/quote<] This is a problem for many business applications

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 7 years ago

          Which makes it all really perplexing. MS Office RT is basically no better than Libre Office for corporations.

            • indeego
            • 7 years ago

            Exactly. Microsoft has itself to blame for the lack of options when moving to ARM. Same as Neely, there are vital tools that won’t exist for many many years, if at all, on RT, so we can’t begin to consider as full replacement for our environment. Even just the effort to retrain and use just to get a few more hours out of battery life? No. Our Ultrathins last a full day now, and give us full power to get real work done. It just doesn’t give us enough positives to outweigh the serious minuses.

            • A_Pickle
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t know why they didn’t just fully clone Windows for ARM. Give people the store, but let ’em have their desktop and stuff, too — hell, that alone would compel me to give Windows RT a shot. The desktop experience would be completely new, so all of the apps that appear will have to conform to API’s etc, and backwards compatibility hindering software progress is moot with it (right now, anyways). Windows RT could have been awesome.

            But making the desktop JUST File Explorer, Internet Explorer, and Office? No thanks.

        • StashTheVampede
        • 7 years ago

        If you’re only looking at supporting what’s currently out there, then RT and it’s current limitations will simply not work.

        As soon as new apps are being built and deployed, this issue is gone. Imagine you’re Best Buy or Staples and to replace all of your POS systems (for whatever reason), nationwide. Windows RT is looks incredibly attractive because you can manage those machines with the same tools you’re managing other desktops, phones, etc. Be the tiny mom and pop shop that is making burgers. Get an RT based tablet to take your orders, while getting it connected to a CC reader (much like Square to iOS is in use today).

        Not all existing systems life forever. Many of them will get upgraded. RT is in a good position to be used in many more locations than x86 Windows.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    So far it’s missing its “killer app”. Microsoft would say their killer app is Office, but really? If I need “real” office I’m going to use the full office suite. If I just want a word processor, I can already do that on an Android or iOS device.

    Windows RT really needs to find that untapped market. If they do, it’ll skyrocket. If they don’t, things will get very uncomfortable very quickly.

    Also, they need a 7″ tablet.

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      I agree with you, except on “killer apps,” which I think are overblown and not terribly relevant to the success of computing devices these days. They just need APPS, lots of them, apps that cover all the bases — basic computing functionality, internet services, productivity, casual gaming and “hardcore” gaming. If they can do that, they’re squared away.

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    With the current state of programming languages and development platforms, including Microsoft’s own, there is [i<][b<]no reason whatsoever[/i<][/b<] that [i<]any[/i<] program written >properly< (i.e., using modern development processes) within the last 10 years shouldn't be able to run on both Windows x86 and Windows RT with no more than a simple re-compile at best.

      • Parallax
      • 7 years ago

      Except for the UI.

      • cegras
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t know much about programming but I feel like you’re glossing over a ton of things, especially regarding optimization. Aren’t x86 and ARM (CISC / RISC) fundamentally different anyways?

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      At best ?

      Why do you think MS took 3 years and hundreds of millions $ to rewrite Office for RT ?

      Can you get x264 to run on an Android mips tablet? making win32 software run on RT is that easy.

        • Corrado
        • 7 years ago

        He said written PROPERLY. Office is such a spaghetti mishmash of code at this point as its never been truly re-written from the ground up. I’m pretty sure any decades old app is going to be pretty much the same way.

          • sschaem
          • 7 years ago

          It as NOTHING to do with the ‘quality’ of the code but how people expect to use the app.
          The UI rules have changed, the input device have changed.
          Nothing short of a rewrite will do.

          How many Win32 app can I install from the store on the Surface that have just been ‘recompiled’?
          100 thousands? 10 thousands? … 10 ? 1 ?
          Are you saying all software writting for windows in the past 10 years is crap ?

          Just taking win32 app and coaxing them to run on RT is a disaster because the platform is not a desktop platform. So you get no benefits by forcing this to happen.

          Windows8 + Windows8 RT is just a cluster fuck for developers.

          EDIT: but to prove your point, just link to a MS page that claim that you can just recompile a ‘well written’ win32 app to work in Windows RT.
          Good luck….

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]there is no reason whatsoever that any program written[/quote<] Not true, many applications have architecture specific instructions and support for items such as neon instructions and optimization would have to be added to the existing code. It is a fallacy that all it takes is a recompile.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      “WinRT is the new native Runtime for Windows RT and the Metro side of Windows 8. It completely replaces .NET and Win32. Let me make this clear: If you look under the covers of WinRT, there is no .NET and no Win32, all you’ll find is the Windows Kernel. Since the only dev platform supported by Windows RT is WinRT, that means you cannot use .NET to build apps for Windows RT (or for the Metro side of Windows 8). Read this post on Paul Thurrott’s Windows Supersite for a more in-depth explanation.”

      [url<]http://www.infragistics.com/community/blogs/nick-landry/archive/2012/06/19/developing-apps-for-microsoft-surface-windows-8-windows-rt-and-windows-phone.aspx[/url<] For .net here is the page for the subset supported.. good luck on that. [url<]http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/br230302(v=vs.110).aspx#convert[/url<] Also, those apps must be publish on the windows store... and that need special coding on its own. and of course you cant install anything unless its MS approved. For IOS for example, their is censorship of 'Euro Demos' where Apple does not allow them on the store. So a bunch of developers cant share their work. etc.. etc... As consumer we all loose big time with windows RT.

        • dpaus
        • 7 years ago

        Let’s see if Oracle comes out with Java for RT (if they haven’t already – I haven’t checked) – that’ll show .NET for mess that it is.

        • Phydoux
        • 7 years ago

        Excellent post… I am a developer myself and I did not realize that Metro was built on top of a new WinRT API. Granted, I haven’t been paying really close attention, but until I read your post I didn’t know.

        I do not like that I cannot side-load Metro apps onto Windows 8 unless I have the Enterprise edition. From a security standpoint I can completely understand why Microsoft is doing this, but from a “user freedom” standpoint, it is bad.

      • thesmileman
      • 7 years ago

      Anything using SSE instructions. Anything Using Modern OpenGL/DirectX APIs…..etc…etc

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    I think RT’s fate will be closely tied with Windows 8 overall, particularly in the tablet space. A flop there would surely mean the death of RT completely, but some success could allow RT to live on, at least in some capacity.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    On the morrow it will be purified by PAIN!

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    It comes down to two things: Price and Developer Adoption

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      On the developer side, if metro apps take off, then RT gets them for free, so as long as metro takes off…

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        Okay, yeah, but… if metro apps take off, doesn’t x86 get them for free, too?

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    It’s impossible to predict as MS often behaves rather irrationally and often times make baffling decisions. What I think would happen is that RT becomes the defacto tablet and handheld OS while Windows 8/9/etc continue to use x86 on the desktop and laptop for the time being.

    Assuming of course that MS doesn’t end up killing RT for some lame reason. Which knowing MS isn’t beyond them as a company. (Hey, they make bad decisions, it’s true!)

      • Corrado
      • 7 years ago

      I can see RT sneaking into the low end laptop segment. Samsung is already releasing Exynos ARM based Chromebooks, and the Asus Transformers with the dock/keyboard have been around for quite a while now. Enthusiasts quite often VASTLY over estimate what the regular person does on their computers. Email, Facebook, web browsing, casual games, funny photography stuff (Instagram, etc), media consumption and a slight bit of document creation… thats about it.

        • mutarasector
        • 7 years ago

        “I can see RT sneaking into the low end laptop segment”

        I quite agree, and I suspect it is almost inevitable.

        • Sam125
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]I can see RT sneaking into the low end laptop segment.[/quote<] Yeah, RT could maybe revive netbook sales but it would have to be pretty compelling an offering as netbooks and the Chromebook are mostly at a $500 price point.

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