So what is the future of Windows RT.
It gets good time.
The devices it runs on are are some of the slimmest and nicest around.
But it doesn’t run legacy Windows; not Photoshop, not Chrome, not iTunes nothing built for Intel chips.
Windows RT has been the red-headed stepchild because it only runs apps in the Windows store and mostly because the store’s selection pales in comparison to the digital inventories of Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android.
When the Surface 2 reviews came out they treated RT a lot better than in the first go round with the Surface RT. Many say it would be perfect if not for the dearth of applications built to run on Windows tablets.
When Windows RT was introduced many wondered why it wasn’t Windows Phone and why you couldn’t just run Phone apps. Its something iOS and Android do. To me I understood the decision was around encouraging or forcing developers to create tablet apps and not just run apps from the phone. The approach was what Apple does for iOS; they let phone apps run on the iPad but they do it in such a way that encourages the creation of tablet apps.
I think the problem for Windows RT is many developers and tech enthusiasts think Windows Phone should’ve been the tablet OS. I have and maintain my doubts because to me touch computing on a tablet needs a richer and larger experience than blowing up a phone app. I also feel that Windows RT has added to the Metro Interface by bringing a level of customization missing from Windows Phone.
But that is now. We (royal) know that the plan is to merge Windows RT and Windows Phone into one OS. And that is what I want to discuss.
Now while everyone has gone tablet crazy Google slipped in a browser that acts like an operating system in Chrome. I have been thinking a lot about Chrome, Chrome OS, and Chromebooks as they relate to Windows RT. Both fall into this new category of computing appliances, devices the world would think of as PCs or netbooks but tech enthusiasts see as constrained. They don’t run what people would consider real programs and instead are built around the use of light applications. Most times these applications are wrappers for websites.
Chrome is interesting in its built on the idea of the web as the actual computing platform instead of something like Windows or Linux in which the OS is the platform. Windows RT is quite similar except it’s a hybrid mobile OS. The big difference between them is Chrome OS is based on a browser and it exists cross platform.
In thinking about Chrome and Windows RT I am starting to think the future for Windows on ARM is something that borrows elements from iOS and Chrome OS to make a truly mobile OS.
Which I will speak about more next time.