Microsoft Windows RT

The Good Windows RT takes Microsoft's operating system to places it's never been before. Running on lower-powered ARM chips and forgoing third-party legacy Windows programs, Windows RT emphasizes much of the best of Windows 8.

The Bad You won't be able to run anything from Windows 7 on Windows RT, and Windows RT tablets have been dogged by performance complaints.

The Bottom Line Windows RT is a strange beast. On the one hand, speed, security, and the best of Windows 8 make RT a pleasure to use. But app restrictions make Windows RT confusing, and the limited availability of apps undercuts the operating system's usefulness.

Editors' Rating
  • Setup 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Interface 6.0
  • Performance 7.0
6.9 Overall

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Microsoft Windows RT
Microsoft Windows RT
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Price ... ... ... ... ...
Setup
8
... ... ...
8
Features
7
9
6
6
7
Interface
6
... ... ...
8
Performance
7
7
7
7
8

Review

Limited and confusing, Microsoft's tablet OS hamstrings its best features

This review is based in part on CNET's Windows 8 and Surface RT reviews.

Windows RT wants to take a big leap into the future for Windows, but its shoelaces seem to have tangled on the jump forward. You wouldn't be wrong to call Windows RT the "lite" version of Windows 8, but since Microsoft insists on the confusing "RT" moniker, which it has never explained, "restricted" is the better adjective.

RT aims more squarely for the tablet market than anything else Microsoft has ever done, emphasizing the best of Windows 8, but it lacks a clean break with the past. In some ways it's a more impressive achievement than Windows 8 itself. That doesn't mean that it's a better operating system, and in fact it has quite a few limitations.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand Microsoft
  • Compatibility Windows
  • Category Operating systems
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