While the Surface Pro tablet lineup will be receiving Windows 10, owners of the Windows RT-powered Surface RT and Surface 2 will be forced to settle for a more neutered update.
During a Q&A with reporters at the Windows 10 event, Microsoft representatives said that the company is working on an update for Windows RT. In subsequent statements sent to both The Verge and CNET, spokespeople clarified that “We are working on an update for Surface, which will have some of the functionality of Windows 10. More information to come.”
Simply put: Windows RT tablets won’t get Windows 10. In fact, Windows RT tablets were specifically excluded in the fine print for the free Windows 10 upgrade offer.
That’s disappointing, and somewhat reminiscent of Microsoft migration to Windows Phone 8, which left owners of Windows Phone 7 hardware out in the cold—though we won’t know for sure what the update entails until that “more information to come” actually comes. Presumably, the Windows RT update would at least include Microsoft universal apps, and perhaps the new Spartan browser.
Here’s one thing to remember, however: Windows RT never included the full-fledged functionality of Windows 8. Part of the reason the operating system flopped so hard with users is because it only included the “Metro” side of Windows, with a vestigial desktop that couldn’t run any desktop software on account of the ARM processors in Windows RT tablets.
In other words, this hazy Surface RT update that only includes “some of the functionality” of Windows is just more of the same for Microsoft’s most unwanted operating system.
But on the “plus” side, Windows RT tablets sold so poorly that PC makers abandoned the platform with record speed, and Microsoft’s own Surface tablets only sold well after a dramatic price cut—so at least the number of bereft tablet owners will be small.