Many Windows 8.1 users are getting their free upgrade to Windows 10 in the coming weeks, but Surface 2 tablets and other Windows RT slates won't see an update until September, a Microsoft executive recently said. Even then, the ARM-based tablets won't be receiving the full glory of Windows 10, but a stripped down upgrade with some Windows 10 features.
Back in January, when the rest of the Windows faithful were celebrating the promise of Windows 10, Surface RT tablet users were feeling left out in the cold after Microsoft said Window 10 wasn't for them. Instead, Microsoft said they would receive a specially tailored update, now dubbed Windows 8.1 RT Update 3.
Microsoft's Gabriel Aul delivered the news via Twitter on Thursday. Aul didn't offer a specific date for the RT upgrade, nor did he share what kind of Windows 10 features RT users might expect.
The best guess is that RT users will get access to Microsoft's new universal apps or at least the modern UI versions of the Office Suite. Windows RT--the operating system running on the Surface RT--has a traditional desktop that really only exists to run Office and the desktop version of Internet Explorer. Traditional Windows desktop programs are out, because Windows RT can't run anything built for Intel-based chips.
As for other Windows 10 features, the new Start menu wouldn't make much sense on a tablet. Microsoft Edge, the Internet Explorer replacement, may be a possibility, along with Windows 10's new Cortana integration and Notification Center.
This is all just guess work, however.
The story behind the story: Microsoft hasn't come out and said it officially yet, but Update 3 feels like the end of the road for Windows RT. Microsoft hasn't made an RT tablet since 2013, doesn't sell them in the Microsoft Store online, and the only company still carrying an RT Tablet is Asus.
With so little interest, Windows RT feels like it's headed for the same fate as Windows Phone 7. When Microsoft introduced Windows Phone 8, Phone 7 users were also left behind; however, Microsoft did release one last feature update called Windows Phone 7.8. After that, Windows Phone 7 was effectively dead. The same thing appears to be happening to RT.
[via The Verge]
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.