The difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets

by ShelaghM on ‎12-18-2012 10:35 PM - last edited on ‎12-20-2012 02:57 PM by Blogger

How do you choose between the Windows 8 tablet and the Windows RT (RT is short for Runtime) tablet? Check out what each has to offer and then make your decision.


According to Microsoft all Windows 8 and Windows RT machines are considered “tablet PCs,” which means they are tablets that can work like PCs. Both are sleek and lightweight.  Windows 8 is a bit heavier and thicker (13.5 mm, 2.0 lbs.) than Windows RT (is lighter and thinner (9.30 mm, 1.5 lbs.) but both are extremely portable.


However, their main difference lies in their operating hardware.



























Windows 8: Classic mode


Windows 8 gives you the best of both worlds. It's been designed to run on classic x86/x64 machines with AMD or Intel Core, (x64 is the older system while the x86 or 320 bit is newer and lighter). This means it can still talk to older programs and is able to run “legacy” software such as Windows 7. Your current version of Office and other software will be compatible with Windows 8 but you’ll also be able to download newer versions from the Windows Store Apps. This tablet is a great choice for those eager to learn the new world of Windows 8 without leaving familiar favourites behind.


The Windows 8 screen will have the new Windows 8 Metro interface but can also flip to the traditional desktop from Windows 7. New features include an updated Windows Explorer, better Task Manager and stronger multi-monitor support. The Windows 8 Pro edition has added features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity.


Windows 8 allows other search engines such as Firefox to function so downloading and sharing content, including photos, links, contacts and documents, is seamless and fast. You'll enjoy the responsive touch screen as well. A great tablet for all ages.






























Windows RT: Modern mode


Windows RT tablets are the new kid on the block and introduce a completely new operating system: ARM (or WOA). This 32-bit system-based system uses only 35,000 transistors to run rather than the millions used for an x64-bit system. Since it needs less space, ARM uses less power so can run longer. The Windows RT gives you eight hours of battery life.


This is the tablet for a complete transition to Windows 8; Windows RT won't run any pre-Windows 8 software. You'll have to upgrade programs using only Windows Store Apps. To make up for the fact that Windows 7 Office won't work, Windows RT comes loaded with new Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview.


This tablet keeps you connected to the cloud at all times, saving power and doing instant updates for apps so you have the latest versions, updates and fixes without having to do them manually. Security has also been beefed up with the ability to encrypt the actual device.


Other items that have been replaced are the Windows Media and Storage Spaces. IE10 becomes the principle search engine providing the best speed and stability for this tablet while other third-party search engines (Firefox and Safari) won’t work as well.



Common ground


Windows 8 and Windows RT each run the new Metro interface with the difference being that Windows 8 can also have the traditional Desktop.


Both come equipped with Windows Mail and Messaging; SkyDrive; Internet Explorer 10; Bing; Xbox Music Video, and Games; as well as multiple language support. Both have crisp graphics, brilliant colour and a wide, responsive touch screen.


If you need to upgrade your apps and to flip completely to Windows 8 then Windows RT is the best choice. If you want more operating power and to keep using older software while transitioning to the new, then the Windows 8 is the way to go.

by Forristal Luminary
on ‎12-21-2012 09:13 PM

It's not completely correct to say that Windows RT doesn't come equipped with desktop mode.  The Office 2013 Preview itself is a good example of  programs that only open up in the desktop mode.  The difference is that you can't use any third-party software in desktop mode.  Anything not provided by microsoft will run in the metro interface (including basic software like browsers).  You can still place icons on the desktop and use it's functionality - it's just not as robust as the Desktop in Windows 8.


Otherwise I think these descriptions are more or less spot on, although I'd describe RT users not just as those that want to upgrade apps and do the complete flip - I'd describe RT devices as being good companion devices (in the same vein as other tablets) while Windows 8 devices are generally main-use computers.

by Blogger
on ‎01-09-2013 01:40 PM

Just a few points of clarification. I realize that I might be sounding very nit-picky, but considering how confusing the whole Windows 8 vs. Windows RT thing can be, I think it's good to have as accurate information as possible. (And if I get any of this wrong, I would hope that someone would correct me.)


 > Both are sleek and lightweight.  Windows 8 is a bit heavier and thicker (13.5 mm, 2.0 lbs.) than Windows RT (is lighter and thinner (9.30 mm, 1.5 lbs.)


I believe you're referring to the Microsoft Surface tablets (Surface Pro and Surface RT). Other Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets from other manufacturers will be a variety of different sizes and weights.


> new Windows 8 Metro interface


Microsoft has officially changed the name to "Modern UI", which is a shame because I liked "Metro" better.


> completely new operating system: ARM (or WOA)


ARM has been around for quite a few years, so I wouldn't say it's "completely new". Also, it's not an operating system, it's a type of processor architecture. "WOA" (Windows on ARM) isn't the same as ARM -- it was the old name of the Windows RT operating system before they came up with "Windows RT".


>The Windows RT gives you eight hours of battery life.


Again, considering there are a variety of Windows RT tablets from different manufacturers, I don't think you can accurately say that ALL Windows RT tablets give you 8 hours of battery. Maybe you were referring to the Surface RT?

> This tablet keeps you connected to the cloud at all times


As long as you have an active Internet connection, of course. And doesn't Windows 8 do the same...?


> If you need to upgrade your apps and to flip completely to Windows 8 then Windows RT is the best choice

I don't completely understand this statement. Upgrade your apps? Since the Windows Store is on both Win8 and WinRT, you should be able to do that with both operating systems. And as for "flip completely to Windows 8", are you referring to flipping over to the Modern UI interface (with the Live Tiles)? Again, both Win8 and WinRT give you access to the Modern UI.


I would suggest that one of the main benefits of a Windows RT tablet is that it would tend to have longer battery life and would be less complicated to use, so people who just want a basic tablet experience would be better off with a WinRT device rather than a Win8 one.