What is Windows RT? It’s not Windows!

This quote from Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows, pretty much needs to be stressed.

Windows RT will not run any desktop applications beyond the applications that are bundled with the operating system. This means it will not run Windows Essentials 2012, Microsoft Outlook (any version), Microsoft Office (any version, beyond what’s included with RT), Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, or any other Adobe desktop application. It will not run the SkyDrive desktop application (which is part of Essentials 2012, yes, I know), meaning you cannot sync SkyDrive data to your RT device’s storage. You can only use the SkyDrive Metro app, which lets you access SkyDrive only when connected … just as with any other mobile device. It will not run iTunes. It will not run any desktop Windows application beyond what’s bundled with the OS.

Windows RT is not a computer operating system. Windows RT is an operating system for mobile devices.

Surface with Windows RT is not a computer. It is mobile computing device, like an iPad. It is a tablet, a hybrid device that bridges the gap between real PCs and media tablets, where you can work and play.

Now I’ll return to the reference to the iPad in a few minutes….

Microsoft is attempting to mislead users into thinking that Windows RT is a special version of Windows 7/8.  They believe that since it’s Windows, they’ll be able to use Windows 7 or Windows 8 software on it.  That’s simply not true.

With the iPad, Apple has never said it’s running Mac OS X, and that you can use desktop software on it.  Microsoft says, you’ll be able to Office on the Surface, without qualifying it’s Office home & Student 2013 RT.  Never mentioning that it doesn’t include Outlook, nor the ability to connect to the Exchange server at work.  (Exchange connectivity on the desktop requires Office Professional.  The Student version of Office does not allow connectivity to an exchange server!)

So, let’s return to the iPad comment.  The way it’s worked makes it sounds like the iPad lives in the same limited world that Surface RT does.  Yes, it’s true that you can’t take your Office CD/DVD and run it on the iPad.  But with the existing developer’s community, and with the fact that there is now over 650,000 apps in the App store, I think the comment is biased and misleading.

What do you think?

What is Windows RT? Redmond, We Have a Problem.