Earlier this year Microsoft confirmed that existing Windows RT devices such as the Surface 2 and the Surface RT would likely not be updated to Windows 10. Instead, the company now promises that it will release a software update for those devices that will include some, but probably not all, of the features found on Windows 10.
Microsoft underscored the strategy Monday by saying that the long-awaited Windows RT update is going to be released near the time of the Windows 10 launch in late July. According to a statement on Microsoft’s Windows 10 FAQ page, "If you’re running Windows RT, your device won’t upgrade to Windows 10, but we will have an update for you around the time of Windows 10 release."
The Windows RT update might arrive before then, Microsoft hasn’t provided a firm release date. It also hasn’t said which Windows 10 features will migrate to which RT devices. Microsoft's popular Surface Pro line runs the full version of Windows and will receive Windows 10.
What Will It Have?
Windows RT has been Microsoft’s attempt to run Windows on ARM (Acorn RISC Machine), the architecture that powers most smartphones and tablets. Even though it resembled Windows 8, the only desktop software Windows RT can run consists of Microsoft’s built-in apps and its Office suite. PC vendors have for the most part shunned RT devices.
The only ARM-based Windows 10 devices will be versions of Windows Phone with screens 7 inches or smaller, none of which have a desktop mode. Larger devices will run full Windows 10 on x86-based processors, and will also offer universal apps that run across all screen sizes.
We contacted Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, who told us it seems unlikely that the update will include the full Windows 10, which will be a disappointment for those consumers who are still using their Windows RT devices.
"I am hopeful that the RT devices will at least get some of Windows 10 features like a revised Start Menu and maybe even Cortana," said Moorhead.
What Won’t It Have?
Among the most appealing features thought to be part of Windows 10 include the Cortana virtual assistant, the new Edge browser, a pop-up desktop Start menu, and a Continuum feature that seamlessly switches between full-screen and windowed apps. To this point, there’s little more than speculation about which of these will be in the updated Windows RT.
Also, analysts are betting that the update won’t include Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, or HomeGroup creation capabilities -- not to mention the ability to connect to a Windows RT 8.1 PC from another PC using Remote Desktop.
"This is all about trade-offs," said Moorhead. "I think it’s more important for Microsoft to get quick wins up front with Windows 10 and I don’t think they have to figure out Windows RT to make that happen."
Posted: 2015-07-04 @ 1:05pm PT
It's pretty obvious it won't be full Windows 10 if it cannot run desktop programs.