Windows on ARMMicrosoft's Windows is coming to tablets again, showing that a fondleslab can do anything a laptop can. Yet not all Windows tablets are equal, and Microsoft is relying on our ongoing obsession with physical keyboards to ensure that Windows RT remains secondary to the flagship full-fat Windows 8 operating system.


It's not the first time Microsoft has tried to push keyboard-free computing - Bill Gates was convinced Windows on tablet PCs was a sure-fire bet in 2001. However, repeating what happened last time, the hardware manufacturers will again churn out hybrid devices that do it all, mostly by bolting keyboards onto touchscreen gadgets and turning them into slightly inferior laptops.

Microsoft hopes its own Surface laptop-cum-tablets will ease punters onto touch-only computing by providing something recognisably keyboard-like that can be quickly discarded once the user is comfortable with the finger-driven desktop interface.

But when a device has a keyboard attached to it punters will use it as a laptop no matter how clever or innovative the hinge-click-swivel-spin mechanism is between the screen and the keys. We saw this with the original Windows for tablets where hybrid PCs adorned many executives' desks, promising the best of both worlds but ultimately delivering a slightly inferior version of one of them.

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Windows on ARM - Windows RT