Windows ARM Software News
A while ago, Microsoft released Windows RT for devices with ARM chips. Windows RT wasn’t successful for the company, and existing Windows RT devices didn’t receive the Windows 10 upgrade either. Now, it seems like Microsoft isn’t done with Windows on ARM chips.
Microsoft has delivered improvements to its version of the Windows 10 platform for small, low-cost devices like the Raspberry Pi 2 single-board computer, making it officially available for commercial hardware developers to use at the same time.
Late yesterday Microsoft pushed several optional updates to devices running Windows RT 8.1 and one of those updates, KB3033055, is what delivered the Windows 10 style Start Menu to those still on Windows RT 8.1 devices.
"What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away". That was the mantra my colleagues and I adhered to when I was leading Intel’s PC benchmarking efforts in the early 2000s. As the resident "HOC" (Highly-paid Outside Consultant) to the company’s Desktop Architecture Labs (DAL), my job was to help Intel’s engineers design the most complex desktop runtime environments possible for the purpose of showcasing the performance advantages of each new PC chip generation.
Windows RT devices, such as the Surface RT and the Surface 2, won’t get an upgrade to Windows 10, but instead Microsoft has been working on an update that brings some of the features of the new OS on these old tablets.
As announced several months ago, Windows 10 was designed to tackle more than just PCs, tablets, and smartphones, so today the company has introduced a slimmed-down version of the operating system that's designed to run on Internet of Things devices.
If you are a Windows developer, you will surely have heard Microsoft's new pitch: build Universal apps. The idea is that you can run your apps on any of the company's platforms with changes needed only to the UI, not to the underlying code base. But, if you are a Windows RT user, Universal apps signal the end of the road for your device.
A few weeks ago, I exclusively revealed that Windows RT 8.1 Update 3 would introduce the Start Menu to Windows RT devices, and with it bring a few other minor additions. Today, Microsoft has confirmed that the Start Menu is indeed coming in Update 3, along with improvements to the lockscreen.
Windows RT doesn't seem to have a future in Microsoft's lineup, but after Redmond's marketing push to convince buyers to get tablets running this OS, the company cannot simply give up on the platform and stop supporting it.
Although all improvements brought by Windows 10 won’t be available for Windows RT, the tablet-oriented operating system is set to receive an update sometime soon that would include some functionality introduced by the new operating system, such as the old Start menu.
Microsoft is bringing back the Start menu in Windows 10, and that’s quite a big change for those who wanted a more familiar desktop, but it turns out that Redmond is also looking to introduce this feature on Windows RT, its almost-abandoned version of Windows 8 running on ARM tablets.
Is Windows RT a failure? Obviously it is. With that said, failing is not always a bad thing. Taking risks and trying new things is essential to a company's survival. Microsoft was smart to make a version of Windows for ARM processors. The problem, of course, is that ARM processors cannot run x86 software.
Microsoft doesn’t seem to be willing to build any other Windows RT device after Surface RT and Surface 2, but the company still has to update the tablets it already sold for a couple more years to lend a hand to those who purchased the first-generation Surfaces.
Microsoft had previously announced that the Surface RT and Surface 2 would not be getting Windows 10. Instead, these devices will be getting an update but the company has not stated what it will include and until today, we did not know when it would arrive.