Last week we exclusively reported on the upcoming Windows RT update. While it’s not quite the Windows 10 update ostracized Windows RT users were hoping for, it is a bit of bone tossed their way. The update planned for release in September is said to include an improved Start Menu and lock screen. Unfortunately, due to some code building based on Windows 8.1 and its APIs, it looks like the Start Menu and new lock screen additions are merely window dressing (pun intended).
Microsoft further solidified that notion by releasing a statement today picked up by ZDnet, clarifying that the Windows RT Update 3 will not bring the new Universal Windows App system to the platform:
“Surface (RT, Surface 2 and third-party ARM-based Windows PCs and tablets) only run apps built for RT and not Universal Windows Apps. There are lots of apps that work on RT, so they’ll be able to continue to enjoy apps, games, music and movie content.”
“When a customer goes to the Windows Store, they should be able to buy anything they want for their device, not just universal apps. That includes movies, productivity software, games and more. Moving forward, the Windows Store will be the place where people can turn to get software, content and apps they want, in a simple and curated way. Today there are millions of software programs for Windows, and we hope to see as many as possible in the Windows Store.”
From the looks of it, the Windows RT Update 3 is Windows 8.1 with a few UI designs to bring it visually in line with Windows 10. Without Cortana, access to Universal Windows Apps, or a Windows 10 core, Microsoft is quickly deprecating the RT platform. Perhaps, the theorized threat Microsoft issued to Intel by putting Windows on ARM worked. However, it’s hard not to feel for the people who believed in the RT platform and shelled out good money for it, to then have it blow up in their faces (I am an original Surface owner).