Windows 8 introduces a new version called Windows RT specifically designed to run on ARM based processors.
What’s an ARM I hear you say? That’s the kind of processor that would be found in your smart phone, Android tablet or iPad .
Since the dawn of the PC Windows has been designed to run on Intel processors, so this is a big step for Microsoft.
Processors based on the ARM architecture have been around for many years and are made by lots of different companies like Samsung, NVidia, Qualcomm and many more. The ARM processors used in tablets like the Windows RT tablets are a lot less complex than the more powerful Intel processors like the Intel Core i5.
Less complex, less powerful – is that a good thing? Well, the ARM processors used in Windows RT tablets are cheaper and they are less power hungry and that equals better battery life. That’s good!
ARM processors will not run programs that are written for Intel processors and vice versa.
But fortunately Microsoft have written a version of the upcoming Office 2013 for Windows RT tablets. And to sweeten the deal, this version of Office will be included with Windows RT tablets.
Because of the ARM processors found in Windows RT tablets, there are significant limitations that you should be aware of when choosing a Windows RT tablet:
- Windows RT tablets will not run programs designed for Intel processors – In other words, most 3rd party, in house or vendor supplied windows software will not run under Windows RT.
- Windows RT tablets can only run programs downloaded from the Windows Store – If you’ve used a smart phone, Android tablet or iPad you’ll be familiar with this limitation.
- Windows RT tablets can not join a Windows domain or corporate network.
The version of Office 2013 included on the Windows RT tablet will be called Office Home & Student RT and we’ll discuss that some more tomorrow.
To sum it all up…
Windows RT is for you if:
- You want to watch videos, read eBooks and webpages (like you would on an iPad or Android tablet)
- You would like to take advantage of a well featured and free Office suite on a low cast tablet
- Your budget won’t stretch to an Intel based tablet.
Windows RT is not for you if:
- You want to run your own or existing software on a tablet
- You want to be able to install programs from a USB stick or DVD drive (i.e. not from the Windows store)
- You want to secure and control your tablet on a company domain
Fortunately, there are a number of small, lightweight and powerful Intel based tablets that will ship with a full version of Windows 8 arriving in the next couple of days! We’ll be telling you more about those this week.
Still not sure which Tablet to choose? Give us a call…