Windows RT and Surface Tablet: Microsoft's Deliberate Smokescreen and Balancing Act

2012-Oct-27 | Tags: analysiscompatibilitysurface-rttabletversusx86

Windows on ARMA case could be made that Microsoft has done a poor job marketing Windows 8. Given that it is spending upwards of a billion (with a B) dollars on promotions, the problem is not in hyping the new operating system, but in explaining the differences between Windows 8 for x86 devices and Windows RT, the Windows 8 designed for ARM-based machines.

But that assumes Microsoft wants users to know the differences between the two types of Windows 8, because following the official launch event in New York this week, it's abundantly clear that Microsoft is selling both versions of Windows 8 as the sole next-generation Microsoft operating system, and not Windows 8 and Windows RT as separate entities, despite their differences.

Microsoft Surface RT

To the Untrained Eye

Looking at the interface formerly known as "Metro" (now called Windows 8 UI, btw), Windows 8 and Windows RT are exactly alike. They look the same, function the same, feature the same navigation scheme, and support the same apps from the same source, the new Windows Store. Both Windows 8 and Windows RT support USB peripherals, with Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky claiming Windows RT works with more than 420 million peripherals alone, including printers. Yes, you can print to a USB printer on a Microsoft Surface tablet.

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Windows on ARM - Windows RT