Windows 8 started rolling out months ago; it’s been many days, almost more than a year. Since then, almost all the new laptops came with Windows 8 pre-installed and the consumers seemed to pretty much satisfied with it. And if the device is a touch screen one then the level of rejoice is much higher because then you get exactly what you pay for. And the good thing about Windows 8 is, it’s not only bound to the computers that run on x86 based processors. Microsoft has also released Windows 8 for tablet based computers that run on ARM processors, and they named this version Windows 8 RT. That’s what we are about to talk now.
And it’s actually different from the actual version of Windows. If you are looking forward to buy a slate with Windows 8 installed, you should know the difference. Because Mozilla has been told by Microsoft that Windows 8 is not a Windows anymore, so what are the changes that gave birth to this statement?
What are ARM and x86?
Windows RT is basically made for ARM based processors. This version is basically a ported version for ARM based processors, from x86 based processors which are easily found on almost every laptops and desktops of these days. The software basically is the same, just built on a different architecture. But is it really this simple?
There’s something that you might not like. As the architecture is different, so, for now it doesn’t support any non-ARM architecture software, not yet. And what that actually means is, you can’t use any of your non-Microsoft software in the ARM based Windows 8 RT running tablet computers. If you’ve been using Windows 8 for a while, then you may know about the metro apps. They will run on your tablet without trouble, just not the nonMS software because most of them have no ARM based versions yet. If your desired software has a version for the ARM architecture computers then it’ll certainly run on the ARM based tablet.
Does it have a desktop?
If you are looking for an ordinary desktop, that you used to have till Windows 7 and even in Windows 8; then you won’t be disappointed as the Windows 8 RT version will still have it. But like I said before, you can only run the apps that are created for the ARM architecture in Windows 8 RT, and another bad news is the RT desktop is locked only to the Microsoft software. You just can’t run anything else in this desktop without Microsoft apps, which might be the Internet Explore, Media Player etc. and the others ones.
Restriction on Third Party Apps
To install and use third party apps in your Windows 8 RT, they have to be metro apps or else they won’t run. Because Microsoft put a restriction on the RT desktop for non-Microsoft apps and the non-ARM based apps won’t run in RT. Dilemma on both sides, and the Windows app store is not so rich yet. Dilemma on both sides, but hopefully this will be resolved as the app store gets richer.
Check if your tablet is RT Compatible
Not all tablets that you get to see in the markets will be able to run Windows 8 RT. Only the ones that are equipped with an ARM processor will run Windows 8 RT without trouble, not the x86 based ones.
Some of the well known devices / tablet PCs which are compatible with the Windows 8 RT operating system include:
- ASUS VivoTab RT
- Dell XPS 10
- Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11
- Samsung ATIV Tab
- Microsoft Surface RT