Microsoft made several important Windows-related announcements at the WinHEC conference in Shenzhen, China. During the event it presented a concrete roadmap of how different versions of Windows will be upgraded to Windows 10. A slide from the company clearly shows that Microsoft has defined no upgrade path for Windows RT even though it said back in January that Windows RT would receive an update, though it wouldn’t be full Windows 10.
It’s not like there wasn’t speculation about the future of Windows RT. Many people already believed that Microsoft wouldn’t be taking the software any further. The slide confirms that.
Microsoft did not share the reasons for why it has finally decided to pull the plug on Windows RT. One of the reasons could be the fact that it was confusing. Microsoft called it Windows, but not Windows proper.
Windows RT was introduced as a variant of Windows 8 meant for ARM-based tablets that were to be powered by processors from Qualcomm and NVIDIA. It fit awkwardly between Windows Phone and Windows 8.1. RT only ran a subset of desktop applications but to its credit it did have a full version of Microsoft Office.
Intel drove the final nail into Windows RT’s coffin when it came out with x86 processors that could fit in relatively cheap tablets and still be capable of running full Windows. Thus tablet manufacturers looking to exploit a lower price point with Qualcomm or NVIDIA chips wouldn’t quite compete against the likes of Lenovo Miix 2 which ran full blown Windows.
So inevitably Windows RT reaches the end of the road.