Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Windows Microsoft Operating Systems

Windows RT Could Make a Comeback 73

SmartAboutThings writes: Windows RT has been a terrible flop for Microsoft, but it seems the company isn't yet ready to totally abandon the concept. There's now speculation that Microsoft is working on Windows 10 RT, as mentions of the 'new OS' have been spotted inside of Device Guard which is a new security feature for Windows 10 Enterprise that scans a program for a digital signature, and determines whether it's trusted or not. Judging by its name, the OS should not be confused with proper Windows 10 that we see on Microsoft's mobile devices, as Windows 10 RT is a version of the OS that is designed for the desktop class PC and tablets.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Windows RT Could Make a Comeback

Comments Filter:
  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Thursday March 03, 2016 @04:06PM (#51631439) Homepage Journal

    If it combines the good features of both it won't exist.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just means that this can scan old RT installs. Indicates nothing about a come back.

    • Re:shitty story (Score:5, Informative)

      by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Thursday March 03, 2016 @11:12PM (#51634177)

      It's an even shittier story than that. Windows RT was a real OS. It had powershell, win32 support (although only for signed applications), it had true multi-user sessions, true multi-tasking and windowing ... it was just the ARM compile of Windows 8 but wouldn't allow applications installations without a Microsoft certificate. Arm Windows 8 is as real of an OS as Ubuntu for ARM is also a real OS.

      But what's really stupid is that it's not gone. Windows 10 Mobile is already an ARM build of Windows 10. With continuum it's got mouse and keyboard support etc. If you turn the zoom way down on the dpi settings the browser pops into desktop mode because it thinks it's running on a PC. Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Desktop are even on the same build version now. So Windows RT didn't go away it's just hiding inside of Windows 10 "Mobile" aka the ARM compile of Windows 10.

  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Thursday March 03, 2016 @04:11PM (#51631487)
    The NFL can use them to prop up their iPads like they used to.
  • by krisbrowne42 ( 549049 ) on Thursday March 03, 2016 @04:13PM (#51631509)
    Comeback would suggest it ever really arrived... I think the safer terms might be "Pathetic return" if you're trying to track reality, or perhaps "heroic but futile attempt" if you really are a MS booster.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yeah! MAke Windows GREAT again!

  • Windows CE (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2016 @04:25PM (#51631625)

    Forgive me for being unfamiliar with Windows RT and CE, so perhaps this is a dumb question. What's different between Windows RT and Windows CE? I was under the impression that Windows CE was a decent (or at least successful) OS for mobile devices.

    • Re:Windows CE (Score:5, Informative)

      by Junta ( 36770 ) on Thursday March 03, 2016 @04:46PM (#51631879)

      Windows CE (colloquially 'wince' as in the reaction you have to dealing with a device running it) was an entirely separate beast from other Windows.

      Windows RT was an ARM build of Windows 8. The thought being that these fancy ARM devices were everywhere, and MS could get a slice of the pie if they just could run on it. Hence the push to 'Universal' apps with a cross-platform runtime so that simple applications would work equally well on ARM and x86 customers. Problem for MS being that Windows isn't that exciting without the legacy software library. Also, Intel made some progress towards appropriate devices for the tablet space (mostly lagging now on radio technology, but not all tablets need direct WWAN capability). In a tablet form factor, the screen dwarfs any delta between a contemporary energy optimized Intel versus ARM.

      Basically, Intel and MS get the most benefit out of each other. MS without Intel is not exciting, and Intel isn't particularly well positioned under 10W TDP, except if the user needs to run Windows.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Windows RT was an ARM build of Windows 8.

        It would be more accurate to say that Windows RT, Windows Phone, and Windows 8.x/10 for the desktop are builds of the Windows OS with different modules configured. Microsoft has been busting ass to try to converge on a single codebase across PCs and mobile devices. Whether they'll succeed or not is anyone's guess.

        Problem for MS being that Windows isn't that exciting without the legacy software library.

        MS's big dream is that, as desktop apps transform into managed apps, unifying the OS allows those apps to run across all device form factors with minimal additional work. (Contrast this with the

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Lisandro ( 799651 )

        MS without Intel is not exciting, and Intel isn't particularly well positioned under 10W TDP, except if the user needs to run Windows.

        Intel's Core-M chips (aka Skylake) are impressively competitive and average around 4.5W. I bought a Zenbook a while ago expecting to give it some light web browsing use and it is my main travel gear right now - lightweight, fanless and powerful enough to code in.

      • Re:Windows CE (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday March 03, 2016 @07:00PM (#51632983)
        WinCE became Windows Mobile (this was back in the PDA days when Palm was the main competitor), which became the starting point for Windows Phone.

        Windows RT was a port of the Windows API from x86 and AMD64 to ARM. People erroneously refer to it as a flop. Yes it was a flop in the market, but it succeeded at what it was intended to do - to allow Microsoft to hedge their bets.

        Back when Microsoft began working on Win RT, mobile devices had just become the fastest growing computing sector. Nobody knew what the future held - if Intel/AMD desktop and laptop processors would continue to dominate, or if ARM processors were going to erode away their market share until ARM became the dominant player. Despite Microsoft's long relationship with Intel, they were a software company so didn't really have a horse in the race. Consequently they hedged their bets. The created both Windows 8 and Windows RT. Developers could then write their programs to a single API. Regardless of which processor architecture won, they would just be one recompile away from having a functioning Windows program that would run on contemporary computing devices.

        Basically Microsoft threw Intel in the way of the ARM bus, telling Intel that if they wanted to continue to be the CPU that Windows ran on, they'd be solely responsible for making their CPUs competitive with ARM processors. That's a large part of the reason Intel has been concentrating so heavily on Atom and ultra low voltage Core processors lately - so they could compete with ARM in power consumption, and prevent ARM processors from spreading beyond the phone/tablet market into the laptop and eventually desktop market..

        Intel was mostly successful, so Win 8 became dominant and Win RT was tossed into the dust bin. If Intel had failed, Win RT would've become dominant and Win 8 would've been put into the dust bin. Microsoft made both knowing one of them would fail. They just didn't know which one ahead of time.
        • Re:Windows CE (Score:4, Interesting)

          by slew ( 2918 ) on Thursday March 03, 2016 @08:37PM (#51633433)

          In my opinion, Microsoft stacked the deck against Win RT (to Intel's benefit). Although Win RT was a port of the WinAPI, you couldn't develop for it unless you were a professional developer. I was just about to buy a WinRT machine, until I found out Msft *disabled* the capability to write WinAPI apps in their released WinRT (it was present in the beta version).

          They apparently did this under the guise that they wanted to force developers to write "Metro" apps that would work on their tablets, rather than port WinAPI apps to WinRT. Had WinRT been able to run more WinAPI apps (than office), one might make the argument that Microsoft was all in for WinRT, but as it turns out Microsoft was just all in for WinPhone/Metro. WinRT was a crippled afterthought (kind of like WinNT for DecAlpha). There was no way WinRT would ever become dominant because Microsoft's focus was on WinPhone instead.

          Intel simply placed their bet: Linux datacenter, Win8 for server to desktop to low-end laptops, and Android for mobile. Microsoft placed their bets on Win8 for high-end to low-end laptop, and WinRT/WinPhone for mobile... Intel basically used Microsoft's Win8/WinRT segmentation as an opportunity to create a firewall around the remainder of their low-end PC laptop business and spent their time "investing" $2B+ money in their mobile Android business against WinRT/WinPhone.

          • There are jailbreaks for both Win RT 8.0 and 8.1 that will let you run Win32 (what you call "WinAPI") programs on RT, either your own or any of a body of ported (mostly open-source) software. You can also run .NET programs - they don't even need to be recompiled, if they target .NET 4.x, since that's already on RT and .NET binaries are intermediate code - and of course programs written for any of the ported runtimes (Python, Perl, Ruby, sort of Java, etc.).

            There's even a (very unofficial, but I think it's o

    • by alexhs ( 877055 )

      What's different between Windows RT and Windows CE ?

      I would say that WinCE is designed to run native applications (like iOS), while WinRT is designed to run .net bytecode on CLR (like Android running Java bytecode on Dalvik.

      • What's different between Windows RT and Windows CE ?

        I would say that WinCE is designed to run native applications (like iOS), while WinRT is designed to run .net bytecode on CLR (like Android running Java bytecode on Dalvik.

        I would say WinCE is unrelated to the WindowsNT architecture used on Windows XP/Vista/7, etc. It still seems to operate like the PDA operating system it's based on. I have experienced WinCE 6.0 on embedded applications. At first blush it "looks" like XP, only because it borrowed Luna theme, but applications are coded on a different API, and it's fundamentally different than normal Desktop versions of Windows.

        Windows RT is Windows 8 (a release of Windows NT) recompiled for ARM processors. Control panels, eve

        • I would say WinCE is unrelated to the WindowsNT architecture used on Windows XP/Vista/7, etc. It still seems to operate like the PDA operating system it's based on. I have experienced WinCE 6.0 on embedded applications. At first blush it "looks" like XP, only because it borrowed Luna theme, but applications are coded on a different API, and it's fundamentally different than normal Desktop versions of Windows.

          I never used CE6, but CE5 and earlier were very much like Windows at the application level. There were a few differences in how the menus and other parts of the shell were set up but for the most part I was able to build a complex application that compiled on CE3-5, PocketPC and desktop Win32 that was about 95% shared code.

          And the way I saw it, that was kind of the point - that people with experience of Win32 programming could easily make CE programs. Where it really got ugly was that prior to CE6 the ker

          • Mostly true. As long as you stuck to true Win32, CE and 9x and NT were all close enough, though there are still some Win32 APIs that are only partially implemented on CE. However, if you wanted to deal with things like file or registry permissions (which CE didn't support), or multiple users (which CE didn't support), or stuff like that, the differences between CE/9x and NT (RT uses the NT kernel) quickly become relevant. Same if you wanted to write drivers.

            RT is a multi-user operating system. It uses NTFS,

            • Thinking about it, it probably helped that the project I was working on was written first in CE and then ported to desktop Windows. Going the other way would likely have been very painful.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          CE doesn't have practical multitasking (there is a hack used for demos but production software is all one application at a time) so was out of date on first release. However some products worked OK with it - I've got an old thin client running X windows on WinCE that performs OK. A mutli-lingual ebook reader I have with the same OS is multi-tasking limited by not being able to switch to a translation dictionary it has and not being able to play audio files of someone reading a page at the same time as dis
    • Forgive me for being unfamiliar with Windows RT and CE, so perhaps this is a dumb question. What's different between Windows RT and Windows CE? I was under the impression that Windows CE was a decent (or at least successful) OS for mobile devices.

      In addition to what everyone above has written, Windows CE was available on 4 CPUs - x86, MIPS, ARM and SuperH. Windows RT is simply the ARM port of Windows 8 for tablets.

    • In all ways that matter there is no difference between Windows RT and Windows CE. And by ways that matter I mean MS is deadshit stupid for calling them Windows which implies that they can run Windows software although neither platform can.

      Windows CE was a success for older embedded systems, but much of that disappeared with the incredible hardware performance on modern electronics effectively allowing something as simple as an ATM machine to run a full blown desktop OS.

      Windows RT was a huge failure because

    • WinCE had a GUI superficially similar to desktop Windows but had no (or at least minimal) Win32 code, plus it was based on a completely bespoke kernel that was in no way derived from NT. The fact that it has 'Windows' in the name is purely for marketing purposes. It was related to desktop Windows to the same degree that Javascript is related to Java -- i.e., not really at all.
  • Having Windows RT with device guard could possibly be a good thing, since a company could have better control over IoT devices in the corporate world. Microsoft's approach with things like the Rasberry Pi could be a good long term deal for them. Keeping WindowsRT up and running could help with a future where ARM might be king.
    • I kind of figured they'd be doing something like RT for the future Xbox consoles. Just a PC that can only run Windows approved app-apps.
    • This actually makes sense, and seems like the only reason for Windows 10 RT to exist.

      If one has Windows 10 on one's laptop, the overwhelming number of applications are those legacy Windows 7 applications that one either has the CDs for, or downloads from various websites - as opposed to the Windows App Store. The ones available in the store are really mediocre. Some alternative stores - like Pokki - do offer what look like web apps and equivalents of applications available on Android or iOS. But those

      • "Windows 10 IoT" is already a thing, at least in preview builds. It's intended for RasPi 2 and similar. It's not *called* Windows 10 RT, but that may be nothing but a difference of branding.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          Considering the licence costs and overhead that will slow down already slow hardware I really do not see the point other than to get students hooked on MS.
          WinCE was pretty lean but this is not so.
  • Run Windows programs.

    • Run Windows programs.

      Correct.

      • by slaker ( 53818 )

        ... Except full blown Office 2013, which came with the devices and works beautifully if what you want out of a 10", ~1lb. tablet with a passable keyboard and nice screen is something to run Word and Excel.

        (They're also great for kids who need something on which to do schoolwork because the damned things can't do anything else.)

  • In the meantime they can't even announce a DATE for when W10M will be GAed. Of course they're selling it since way before holidays in their top of the line 950/950XL devices (we're talking 500/500++ euros for what is basically a phone with a alpha OS).

    • It's also there on the Lumia 550. But yeah, it should be GA'ed for other phones, particularly the Lumia Icons.
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        it should be GA'ed for other phones

        What does that mean? It looks like another way to write sodomised but the context is all wrong unless you are describing what MS did to Nokia.

        • In case of Verizon, Microsoft phones on that network are still locked at Windows Phone 8, since Verizon hasn't certified the Icon or the Lumia 735. Phones that Microsoft has done specifically for Windows 10 mobile - like the 950 and 550 - are ready for it, and fine for GSM phones like AT&T or T-Mobile. But if one is on Verizon, one is SOL.

          Aside from that, Microsoft should test & certify Windows 10 Mobile for the entire line of Lumia phones from 510 onwards. From what I understand, every Lumia i

  • by ArcadeNut ( 85398 ) on Thursday March 03, 2016 @05:07PM (#51632077) Homepage

    along with Silverlight...

  • Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week! Be sure to tip the bartender well and often!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    NT was cross platform. X86 ppc32 mips and digital alpha.

    2k did x86 and alpha only, and soon dropped alpha.

    Windows phone OS isn't terrible from my limited exposure.

    Consumers need a little education. And bam. RT on the raspberry Pi etc. Windows
    For Pi is already based on RT anyway.

  • universal windows apps ARE just Windows RT apps, just with a new name and a newer framework..
    • Nope. Windows RT and WinRT are completely different things, courtesy of Microsoft Branding being couldn't-pour-piss-out-of-a-boot-with-instructions-on-the-heel stupid.

      Windows Universal apps use a (new) version of the WinRT framework, yes, but not all things the run on Windows RT (such as Internet Explorer, Powershell, Regedit, Windows Explorer, Microsoft Word, Microsoft's debugging tools, or any of the many ported apps for jailbroken tablets) use WinRT.

  • Judging by its name, the OS should not be confused with proper Windows 10 that we see on Microsoft's mobile devices, as Windows 10 RT is a version of the OS that is designed for the desktop class PC and tablets.

    so "proper Windows 10" only runs on smartphones and Windows 10 RT only runs on PCs and tablets?

    from what we know of Windows RT, i would say Windows 10 RT is simply an ARM port of Windows 10 and thus lacks compatibility with programs written for x86.

    • Well, if it's consistent with previous Windows RT releases, it'll also have a boneheaded restriction against running any non-Windows-Store applications unless they're signed by Microsoft. That means you can't run .NET applications (even though .NET is architecture-agnostic), and can't run Win32 applications (re)compiled for ARM (which is usually very easy to do).

      Of course, if it's consistent with previous versions of RT, it will be jailbroken to remove that particularly idiotic bit of anti-user bullshit.

  • A while back they said they were working on a UI update for Windows RT that would give a lot of the look and feel of Windows 10 but on RT devices. The OS would still be Windows 8-RT but the UI would be like Windows 10. Though I don't see a whole lot of difference between Windows 10 for phones and RT.
  • written entirely in shockwave flash
  • It's going to replace Windows Mobile.

    How else are you going to have a Windows Everywhere software stack?

  • Windows RG (Score:4, Funny)

    by blavallee ( 729704 ) on Thursday March 03, 2016 @09:46PM (#51633711) Journal
    My favorite version, Windows RG [windowsrea...dition.com]
  • Hello,

    Another, and possibly even more likely, reason Device Guard contained the string "Windows 10 RT" is that someone forgot to change it to "Windows 10 Mobile."

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..." -- Hunter S. Thompson

Working...