We've already established that one of the Surface's most distinctive features is its Windows RT operating system, designed to run on hardware driven by ARM's processor architecture. Experientially, Windows RT is very much like the x86 version of Windows 8 we reviewed in The Definitive Windows 8 Review And User Guide, sharing the same Windows 8 UI, Start screen, and multi-touch gesture support.
To quickly recap, swiping from the Surface's right edge reveals the Charms bar, swiping from the left cycles through the most recent apps, and swiping in and out from the left edge actives the Switcher. This is no different from how it will be on a Windows 8-based tablet.
Windows RT handles multi-tasking much differently than other mobility-oriented operating systems. iOS- and Android-based tablets suspend background applications, forcing you to use one at a time. In the screenshot above, you can see that we're in Windows RT's Desktop app using Word, Excel, and IE10 simultaneously.
- Windows 10 on ARM is NOT Windows RT all over again
- What Is Windows 10 on ARM, and How is It Different From Windows RT?
- Asus, HP, and Lenovo are building Win10 PCs with Snapdragon 835 chips
- Microsoft: x86 Apps Will Run On ARM Chips At Near-Native Performance
- Microsoft video shows Windows on ARM running full Windows 10 and x86 apps