Windows RT – Microsoft’s latest tablet hardware which stands for Windows “Runtime’ is a special version of the Microsoft’s latest OS, Windows 8. It has been designed to run specifically on mobile devices, running on CPUs designed around an architecture called ARM (Advanced RISC Machine).
Windows RT is more a cut-down version of Windows that, unlike other versions such as Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Enterprise cannot be purchased from any store. You can only get it by buying a device that has RT pre-installed in it, like Microsoft Surface RT.
Windows RT Features
The brand-new Windows RT operating system is complete with features and drivers, making it a worthy competitor to iPad. Despite being a stripped-down version of Windows, It carries more of the pre-Windows 8 functionality. It includes BitLocker, the full desk encryption tool. The tool ensures your data is secure and safe even if the device gets stolen. And it is switched ON by default. iPad doesn’t feature any data protection mechanism as such.
On the downside, RT does not run any Desktop applications other than the ones that come bundled with it. The Desktop in Windows RT isn’t the full Desktop environment, but just enough of it to run the pre-installed Office RT and Internet Explorer 10 RT.
Applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Outlook do not run on Windows RT. Moreover, Windows RT does come bundled with Office Home & Student 2013 RT, but it doesn’t include Outlook. Other features not included in Windows RT are Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, and domain joining (which kind of kills it for enterprise users).
Although RT version lacks many apps its Office is almost sufficient to make for the apps available for Apple and Android devices. It includes Office 2013’s Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Moreover, there is a version of Internet Explorer that lets you visit Flash sites.
You can read more in detail about the Windows RT OS in Mark Minas recent newsletter article – 28 Days Under the Surface: Running Windows RT on Microsoft’s New Tablet. Although the article primarily focuses on the tech writer’s experience with the Surface RT, it has a wealth of information about Windows RT.
Windows RT Product Lifecycle
Meanwhile Microsoft has revealed when the product life cycle ends for Windows RT. As per the life cycle conventions, each version of Windows is divided into following,
- Mainstream support – First phase of the product which covers security as well as non-security updates for the OS.
- The Extended Support – Covers security as well as non-security updates for the OS and the paid support as well.
Earlier versions of Windows such as Windows XP and Windows Vista are currently in the Extended Support Phase while Windows 8 falls under Mainstream Support phase.
Windows RT: Not yet communicated.
Surface with Windows RT: Mainstream support end date 11.4.2017, Extended support end date: not applicable.