Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Windows RT experience so far

I've been using Windows 8 on a number of different tablets ranging from some older convertible tablet PCs and slate tablet PCs to some of the newer Windows 8 tablets. I've grown accustomed to the overall user interface and I like Windows 8 apps. For the most part, these apps look and feel roughly the same across all mobile operating devices.

Here at Dell World, I've had some time to dig into some Windows RT devices. Specifically, I've been playing with the Dell XPS 10 tablet running Windows RT and the Microsoft Surface RT tablet. Both of these tablet devices have keyboard options for those who need a laptop experience. The XPS 10 connects with an optional Dell Mobile Keyboard Dock that includes a built-in battery for additional power. The Surface RT connects with a Touch Cover that has a pressure-sensitive flat keyboard or the Type Cover that's more like your traditional mechanical keyboard.

So, what's the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8?

Windows RT is not Windows 8. But, if you picked up a Windows RT device in one hand and a Windows 8 device in the other, you probably won't be able to tell them apart at first. If you played with each device for 5 minutes, you still won't see the differences. Windows RT may initially look and feel like Windows 8, but it's fundamentally different because it won't run applications that are designed for traditional Windows operating systems like Windows XP, Vista, and 7. Windows RT feels like Windows 8 because you still get a "Desktop," you can hover your mouse around the screen, the Control Panel is familiar, and you can open folders like "My Computer" and your "C Drive" and navigate to specific folders using Windows Explorer.

So, where does Windows RT fit? If you need basic functionality, Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint, and if you're willing to wait for app developers to add their apps to the Windows 8 app store, then a device running Windows RT ought to be sufficient. If you need to run any standard Windows applications that are not available as Windows 8 "apps," then you'll want to choose a device running Windows 8.

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