Windows RT is a version of the new Windows 8, scheduled to be released in the next few months. Previously called Windows ARM, this special version of Windows 8 is mostly for technology enthusiasts and professionals. This version of Windows will primarily come pre-installed on tablets powered by ARM processors; the OS helps the battery life on tablets last longer and is therefore a great choice for a tablet. It also includes Microsoft Suite programs that are “touch-optimized,” or are more friendly for touch screens.
However, Microsoft is deviating from their original plan of flooding the market and tablets with this new design. Instead, Windows RT will be introduced slowly to the market, and has been restricted to six initial designs total. Windows RT is the first Windows OS to run on ARM chips, and this makes it hard for Microsoft to format the program because each vendor’s ARM chips are unique. So to help Microsoft meet expectations, two “slots” are being given to Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments before any other companies. Still, Intel is expected to have over a dozen Windows 8 designs in the works.
Many final product decisions have yet to be made, but rumor has it that Nvidia’s chips may play an important role in the Windows RT designs of most, if not all, of the computers that run it. Nvidia may be included in the plans for a hybrid tablet-laptop as well.
One of Qualcomm’s contract slots with Microsoft has guaranteed it a spot for the new HP tablet, though it may not hit the markets this year. Texas Instruments still does not have clear plans for its slots with Microsoft.
2013 is the key year for the expansion and spread of Windows RT and Windows 8 products. The first RT device should be available in time for Christmas and will be Intel-based.