A guide to Windows RT (FAQ)

2012-Oct-25 | Tags: compatibilitylearn

Windows on ARMComing off of our previous coverage, you may have heard about Windows 8 (read CNET's review) and Windows RT as being different. While Microsoft has made a point of cutting down on the number of Windows 8 versions available when compared with previous Windows releases, the company is also making a feature-limited Windows 8 version to run on ARM processors called Windows RT. Windows RT is more like Microsoft's attempt to do a Windows version of Apple's locked-down iOS than anything else.

What does "RT" stand for?

As with Windows NT, Microsoft has yet to clarify what "RT" actually means. Why on Earth Microsoft decided to name the ARM-powered version of Windows so ridiculously similar to the abbreviation for Windows Runtime, WinRT, is beyond the abilities of mere mortals to decipher.

Wait, what? Windows RT and WinRT aren't the same thing?

The short answer is, "Nope".

The long answer is, well, longer. Windows Runtime, also referred to as WinRT, runs on both standard Windows 8 and Windows RT. Runtime is the technical term for the engine that powers the new Metro apps. It's not the first Windows Runtime. "Runtime" refers to the collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to write software that can interact with the hardware and each other.

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Windows on ARM - Windows RT