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The death of RT? Microsoft says there won't be three versions of Windows in the future

Posted: , by Michael H.

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The death of RT? Microsoft says there won't be three versions of Windows in the future
Windows RT was something that no one really understood ever since it first hit the market. It always seemed like a stop-gap measure until Windows Phone was able to extend into tablets. Let's just say that RT is the Honeycomb of Windows: Microsoft needed a cheaper option for tablets, but didn't have time to do it properly. There have been constant rumors that RT would disappear or be merged with Windows Phone, and Microsoft's Julie Larson-Green is now fueling those rumors.

Julie Larson-Green is a voice to pay attention to from within Microsoft. Not only is she the Executive Vice President of the Devices and Studios division, but she was regarded as one of, if not the top internal choice to replace Steve Ballmer as CEO until Stephen Elop became an inside candidate with the Nokia acquisition. And, at the UBS Global Technology Summit, Larson-Green talked about the plans for the future of Windows:
We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three. We do think there's a world where there is a more mobile operating system that doesn't have the risks to battery life, or the risks to security. But, it also comes at the cost of flexibility. So we believe in that vision and that direction and we're continuing down that path.

Most of that quote is extremely vague, except for one thing: "We're not going to have three." There are two possible plans to take from this quote: either all three versions of Windows will converge at some point like Ubuntu; or, just Windows Phone and RT are going to converge, and full desktop Windows will continue on. We would think that the second is the more likely scenario, at least in the short term. In the longer term, you can never rule out complete convergence.

Larson-Green also teased some "really exciting things" in hardware for next year, but didn't give any indications as to what that might mean. 

source: Microsoft via Neowin

33 Comments
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posted on 23 Nov 2013, 14:38

1. joaolx (Posts: 354; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


So is Windows RT going to be part of Windows 8/future versions or is Windows phone going to become RT?

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 15:02 10

4. 14545 (Posts: 1117; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I would say RT will become WP. Not the other way around. Not that I am in the know or anything.l

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 03:11

21. noteseries (Posts: 76; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)


good idea

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 15:12

5. Finalflash (Posts: 1799; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


In essence, no one knows, and likely will not know for a while. All we know is that there are 2 versions of windows and no one wants to design for 2 and therefore, they are haemorrhaging their own development. All they have said here is tablet and phone is GOING to be the same, but if that doesn't combine with their desktop, where is the real unique advantage of windows phones OS.

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 15:15

6. icyrock1 (Posts: 303; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


They could just be going back to there roots. In the past, Windows (the main version) used to support many different chip architectures from ARM, x86, among others. Though, this was wayyyyyyy back when (the first few versions of windows, before Intel crushed the competition).

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 20:08

15. joey_sfb (Posts: 3001; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Glad i didn't took on M$ offer of a $200 RT1. After doing my research i just can't find a fit for it on my day to day use.

My Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 plays a better role as a tablet as RT1 is huge and heavy plus limited codec; i do have a video collection in real player; rm format which is incompatible with RT1 and their 289 collection of apps.

posted on 25 Nov 2013, 10:22 1

30. DFranch (Posts: 140; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)


Dude, RealPlayer, can't you convert that to something people actually use today?

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 21:12

18. volcano (Posts: 254; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


both going to be ONE OS

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 14:42 2

2. brrunopt (Posts: 523; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


nothing new, it has been talked for a long time in a merge of WinRt and WP . The stores will join in 2014 Spring

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 15:00 3

3. Gaurav008 (Posts: 274; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


"RT is the Honeycomb of Windows: Microsoft needed a cheaper option for tablets, but didn't have time to do it properly."
Well for starters, MS just didn't do that. Instead they decided to take on the market leaders with their pricing, which is ridiculous considering it couldn't run legacy windows apps except office, along with the the lack of a good library of apps.
Surface and RT had potential. But MS ruined it completely. Surface 2 and L2520 will be another futile attempt at keeping the OS alive.
JMHO.

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 15:29

7. bucky (Posts: 1497; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


I wouldn'tind if they just made RT and full windows. RT with a few touch friendly improvements would be pretty cool on a phone.

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 15:31 1

8. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


Waiting for the initial bugs to be ironed out, but I'm definitely buying a 2520.

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 15:39 1

9. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1098; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


I have heard that Windows phone 8,1 and windows RT would merge into a single OS that can be used on both. In other words with modifications of this new OS an APP can be used on a Windows smart phone and the APi's changed a bit to it will work on a tablet.
Hmm sounds great for those who want to make Apps for Windows 8.1 Mobile devices

posted on 25 Nov 2013, 10:25

31. DFranch (Posts: 140; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)


I heard RT & WP would eventually have 100% API parity, not that they would be one and the same.

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 15:43

10. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1098; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Hmm Apple did this with the Iphone OS The Ipad is said to use a modified Iphone operating system

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 16:02

11. Shatter (Posts: 2030; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Its because Intel tablets running x86 windows cost the same price so RT is pointless because Arm is worse.

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 17:08

13. brrunopt (Posts: 523; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


care to mention a x86 equivalent to the Surface RT that cost the same ?

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 04:33

22. noler (Posts: 167; Member since: 19 Aug 2013)


Dell's Windows 8.1, quad-core tablet now on sale for $299

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57608232-75/dells-windows-8.1-quad-core-tablet-now-on-sale-for-$299/

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 08:15

24. brrunopt (Posts: 523; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


8" vs 10" , HD vs FullHD. How are they equivalent ?

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 13:10

27. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1352; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


HP omni 10" full HD 10" display , windows 8.1 , $399 ..you were saying?...
http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/HP-Omni-10-5600US-Tablet/productID.289455000

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 17:08 4

12. FadyNabil (Posts: 37; Member since: 10 May 2013)


Windows RT is the same code as windows 8, but recompiled for ARM processors, and have a restriction of installing WIN32 applications, only accepts metro apps (it can however be cracked to run legacy applications recompiled for ARM, as it have the same Windows API).
Windows phone have the same kernel (NT kernel) with Windows 8, but does not contain all the WIN API, and can't run legacy windows applications by any means.

Windows RT is needed because intel processors and hardware are not yet as power efficient and cheap as ARM processors and hardware. When intel made hardware suitable for tablets and portable devices(they are close now), Windows RT will have no point.

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 19:20

14. wongdg (Posts: 2; Member since: 23 Nov 2013)


it's a sad fact commonly known that M$ purposely crippled RT. Should full blown windows able to run on ARM platform, it would have good sales to pick up where notebooks left off

posted on 25 Nov 2013, 14:22

32. downphoenix (Posts: 2357; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


this is because most windows legacy programs arent compatible with ARM processors. So yea, RT does have a more limited experience, but it would be more consumer friendly than just putting on a full blown windows os onto an arm processor device.

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 20:39

16. nlbates66 (Posts: 301; Member since: 15 Aug 2012)


we know they're merging Windows phone and Windows itself together(which just happens to include RT), and have known for almost a year now, @wongdg Windows RT is not purposely crippled, original Windows desktop applications simply do not run on ARM processors without being recompiled and the developers have shown throughout 10 years that they cannot be trusted to re-write desktop applications in a manner that respects power efficiency, thus no Proper Desktop in Windows RT. 15 years in the future, Desktop itself may become "optional" or "legacy" on Windows itself, replaced by the new environment(which Microsoft Still hasn't come up with a blasted replacement name for so i'll call it Metro again).

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 21:11

17. volcano (Posts: 254; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


they are going to merge windows phone and windows RT into one OS for tablet and smartphone many reports said it

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 01:14

19. Kyokado (Posts: 115; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Wp8 rt?

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 01:53

20. speckledapple (Posts: 879; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


They will most likely converge everything into one. And we will be able to travel seamlessly between each of them.

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 05:47

23. JkB_SlH (Posts: 8; Member since: 13 Nov 2013)


This change will make sense following other platforms.
Tablets and Phones should have the same OS based on ARM processors, while full windows should be only a full windows without the RT nonsense.

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 08:17 2

25. brrunopt (Posts: 523; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


No, because today you have full windows tablets , convertibles and AIO with touchscreen, etc.....

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 08:34

26. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


This doesn't exactly strengthen consumer confidence in the rt products on the market now =/

This exec shouldn't have made this comment, IMO, and especially not a week before the busiest tech shopping weekend of the year.

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 21:33

28. BREvenson (Posts: 207; Member since: 17 May 2012)


Well, it's not all bad. The Windows Store does have a solid selection of apps/games at this time, and the Surface 2 has moderate specs, so RT still has some potential...especially if you can get it on the Surface for $449 and below (under $400 if you get the 1st generation Surface). On the other hand, plenty of Windows tablets from Samsung, Lenovo, Acer, Dell, etc. have full Windows 8/8.1 support from the get-go, and they are competitively priced. More people would be inclined to grab those, at it gives them the functionality of Windows 8 in a tablet.

RT was a nice experiment for Microsoft, but at this point, I see it as a losing effort.

posted on 25 Nov 2013, 01:56 1

29. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


The "Burned platform" ... even before Elop becomes CEO

posted on 26 Nov 2013, 10:28

33. scriptwriter (Posts: 396; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


You cant really call it 'The death of Windows RT' considering it was never really alive in the first place

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