Windows RT

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Windows RT

An earlier version of the Windows 8 operating system for ARM-based tablets. Pre-installed on tablets, RT apps were available only from Microsoft's online Store. Introduced with Windows 8 in 2012, by 2015 there was no upgrade path for RT users (see "Why Two Tablet Versions" below).

Windows RT included desktop versions of Microsoft Office 2013, Internet Explorer and File Explorer, all of which were the only desktop apps with overlapping, resizable windows that ran in RT tablets. All other apps were full-screen tablet style. See Windows 8.

Windows RT Did Not Run Legacy Apps
Applications that ran on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 did not run on Windows RT tablets, something novice users surprisingly discovered if they were not forewarned in the store. Only Windows 8 tablets ran "legacy" Windows apps.

Why Two Tablet Versions?
Throughout the Windows 8 development time frame, the ARM CPU chips that power most mobile devices were more efficient and less expensive than Intel's x86 CPUs. In order for Microsoft to compete in the tablet market, users were offered two Windows 8 tablets: lower-priced Windows RT/ARM tablets that run only RT apps and higher-priced Windows 8/Intel tablets that ran all Windows desktop apps. RT tablets caused confusion in the marketplace, and their inability to run regular Windows programs doomed their future. Microsoft subsequently resurrected Windows on ARM CPUs in 2016 (see Windows 10 on ARM).

Windows RT vs. WinRT
Windows RT was the tablet operating system. WinRT was the runtime (RT) engine used with Windows RT and Windows 8 to deliver tablet-style (Metro) apps. See WinRT, Surface tablet, ARM and Office 2013.

References in periodicals archive ?
When asked how different is it from Windows RT, Mahiuddin Khasru, country head for ASUS Middle East, said Windows RT was not full Windows.
Microsoft was able to get Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung to launch Windows RT devices.
Microsoft unveiled Windows RT (a variant of Windows 8) on the Surface RT in 2012.
Windows RT was meant for ARM-based machines only, but Windows 10S is not bound to ARM or x86 architectures.
Fortumo's in-app payments are available for developers to integrate into any Windows 8, Windows RT or Windows Phone app.
The company should instead focus on the more robust Windows 8 and ditch Windows RT, the analyst said.
It hasn't produced a tablet using Windows RT, Microsoft's product for iPad-type tablets.
The Storage Made Easy Windows RT App is named 'Cloud File Explorer' in the Windows 8 store and is available for free.
Launching at the same time is a new member of the Windows family designed for ARM-based tablets, Windows RT, which will be available pre-installed on new devices.
This Monday, Microsoft announced that Dell, Lenovo and Samsung would be the latest manufacturers to join the Windows RT party.
Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT will all be available on new PCs and tablets from October 26th, and upgrade versions will be available in stores or as an electronic software download.