Microsoft Appears Ready to Jettison Windows RT

Microsoft Surface Pro is on the verge of saying sayonara to , the version of the operating system designed for machines running ARM-based processors. Julie Larson-Green, executive vice-president of Devices and Studios at , speaking at an analyst event, says three major is too much, leading to the conclusion that RT is right out.

Windows RT was the first major release of the generation. Microsoft initially shipped only ARM-based versions of its Surface tablet that ran Windows RT. The intent was to create an operating system with a tightly bound architecture and experience to that of Apple’s iOS and .

A little more than a year after Windows RT hit the market, all but Microsoft has deemed the experiment a failure. Tablet buyers – consumer and commercial – rejected the Windows RT platform, mostly because it didn’t support legacy applications. PC manufacturers – one after another – have abandoned the RT platform because of poor market demand. And even Microsoft had to write off $900 million in unsold Surface RT units last summer.

Despite its lack of commercial success, Microsoft released Surface 2, a second generation version of its RT tablet. While Surface sales are increasing, most of the units are Surface Pro, which run full versions of Windows 8.1.

Sometime by the middle of 2014, analysts suspect the Windows RT will quietly meet is ultimate demise.

Microsoft created Windows RT to take advantage of the processes built for based on the ARM architecture. ARM processes are more energy efficient that standard x86 chips, but require different coding for applications. Microsoft had to release Windows RT to compete against Apple products and based on Google’s Android operating system, which also run based on ARM architectures.

Another factor working against Windows RT is the lack of applications. Windows 8, in general, has suffered from a lack of applications that make it as productive or entertaining as Apple or Google rivals. Windows RT only complicated development because of the different code structure from the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem.

Advancements in x86 processors, particularly the Haswell chip, is making full versions of Windows 8 running on tablets more feasible. Focusing on one operating system will give Microsoft a better chance of developing applications and market for its .

Microsoft’s mobile strategy has been a bit of sore spot for the channel. While Microsoft suffered through months of criticism and ridicule for its poor Windows 8 and Surface sales, solution providers complained that Microsoft was unduly hobbling itself by not releasing its tablets to the channel. Solution providers repeatedly said they could expand Microsoft sales if they were authorized to sell Surface.

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  1 comment for “Microsoft Appears Ready to Jettison Windows RT

  1. mcgiggity69
    November 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

    These “copy/paste” articles are getting very tiring. Where does it say that RT is being killed off? For all you know they’re going to kill Windows Phone and merge parts of it into RT to make one system, which seems like the more reasonable approach. Windows Phone has a lot of apps and works well, but it is still an immature platform in the fact that it doesn’t support HDMI, it has no flash in IE, etc. They just recently started to support 1080p displays which shows how slowly it is progressing. RT has progressed at a much greater rate as far as display, battery life, apps, etc. Killing it would be pointless, but instead improve on it until it becomes complete. Try to consider other theories besides automatically gunning for the conclusion that “RT is going to die.” Are all tech pundits this desperate to come up with the same garbage everybody else does just so they can have the satisfaction that they will have a slight possibility of finally being right for once?

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