1. anon(5339784)'s Avatar
    Hi everyone,

    I think I am not the only one who is interested in Windows Tablets after yesterday's announcement, be they Surface or Acer W510 or Asus Transformers or whatever...in short: Less expensive Tablet's (with or without keyboards) running on ARM chips and Windows RT.

    But I am still confused about the Desktop part on Windows RT, and even after spending the whole day googling and reading, still haven't found an answer to this question I have (and, again, please don't make things up/speculate/pull fairytales/assumptions/wishes out of your *** etc... please only post cold hard facts backed up with official announcements by MS, since there is no answer to this on the web, this will probably become the prime source to answer the question for everyone else wondering, once it is answered), and I think A LOT of customers will be asking themselves the same question, at the lastest when they purchase a "Windows Tablet" in the Fall just to discover that they can't install any of the programs they use on their computer.

    So the question is, what is it that the Windows RT Desktop-mode will be able to do?

    -We all know it will not run old/legacy/current Windows programs which are compiled for the x86/x64/Win32 architecture (like your current Winamp, Firefox, Chrome, Photoshop, Gimp, Paint.net, Mediamonkey, MP3Tag, Thunderbird...whatever else programs you are using on your Computer right now), for the obvious reason of it running on other processors.
    -It will run some specific Microsoft software (like Office RT) which has been specifically written for it.
    -It will only run Microsoft Store downloaded content, no sideloaded (download and install exe file) programs.

    I get those three points BUT, will it be able to run (non-Microsoft, third-party) Desktop programs/applications that will be specifically created for it from now on/in the future and which should be distributed through the Marketplace (like for Ubuntu) or bundled with Metro-Apps (Like the Windows 8 dual-versions which are Desktop Apps which also install a Metro App of itself at the same time)?
    Will Windows RT also be able to run specially ARM compatible Desktop applications if developers choose to make them (Like, if Mozilla made a Metro Browser and an ARM-compatible version of their Desktop Browser, or some of the several media players out there etc etc...)? Can I hope to see current desktop programs/apps being "ported" to Windows RT/ARM and then run there in the Desktop mode? (For the things that a Metro-App wouldn't be as good at, like managing a media/music library, dealing with the covers, the whole tagging etc etc..., which are much better done in Desktop mode and with specific programs, and then maybe even using specific Desktop programs to listen to the music because they are better to use for that (queue's and everything) than Metro apps...or installing media players that play more codecs, or using desktop programs to manage pictures (crop, resize, edit etc) right there on the spot...etc...there are a hundred other uses)...?

    I hope my question is clear.
    I am not asking about current/legacy Windows x86/x64/Win32 Desktop programs.
    I am not asking about two or three specially made Microsoft Apps.
    I am asking about the possibility for third-party developers/companies to make programs/applications that run in the Desktop mode/environment on Windows RT Tablets on ARM. I am asking whether there will be a possibility for a rich portfolio of Desktop-mode Apps on Windows RT, for when you need to get things done with a mouse and keyboard.

    Because, if Windows RT Tablets are supposed to cost around 500 Western-Hemisphere moneys and are more expensive than Fusion/Atom netbooks (yeah I know...Windows RT is supposed to replace the netbook from what it looks like), why should I pick, or better yet, why shouldn't I expect it to give me the same user experience/possibilities (regardless of the underpinnings, those are not the consumers problem) as a Windows 8 Fusion/Atom netbook or a tablet with a Single-Core x86 processor (which are still faster than the best ARM processors, see Intel Medfield raping the best ARM processors in real-world tasks, even if it's just single-core and the ARMs even have 2-4 cores), why should I pick it over one (size/battery life/touchscreen aside), when the other one gives me the real computer as well, and much more possibilities and speed? I think a lot of customers will be disappointed, confused and feel tricked. The fact that Microsoft isn't even giving a clear explanation and a public campaign to educate the non-tech-blog-following people about the differences makes matters even worse. And the name...Windows RT...ridiculous...by now they should've really come up with a better name and called it something that indicates its limited nature in comparison with Windows 8 Tablets/Laptops/Computers.
    06-19-2012 03:03 PM
  2. rbrunner's Avatar
    If you really insist on "no speculation", that thread is already finished: As far as I know (and I have followed this quite closely, I am very interested in this question also), no hard facts and clear statements from Microsoft so far.

    I think on several occasions, without getting too clear and too definite, Microsoft said that the Desktop Mode of Windows RT / non-Metro programming will only be open for a few select programs from Microsoft itself. Hints, if you want, no hard facts.

    But anyway, if it was closed, technically Microsoft could open this to third parties practically overnight.

    I got the impression that Microsoft will at least try to keep Desktop Mode on Windows RT closed for third parties. Whether Microsoft will get away with this depends on a lot of factors: How fast Metro programs will appear? How well will Windows RT sell anyway, compared to Intel-based Windows 8? Will Microsoft get into conflict with some official regulators with this story?

    You could also say it's a futile attempt to seek clarity and certainty where none is to be had. Things can and will change practically week over week.
    06-19-2012 03:28 PM
  3. jdevenberg's Avatar
    You stated the three known facts. I do not think people will write desktop apps for RT. Microsoft's idea is that all new programs, both for Intel and ARM machines, will be written in the new WinRT (Metro) programming instead of the old Win32 (Desktop) programming and be compatible with both Intel and ARM chips. There is no reason that a Metro program has to be simple or have an accompanying Desktop app. For example, Adobe could make it's entire CS in WinRT. Win32 inclusion in Windows 8 is meant more to support current programs than to be used in new ones.
    06-19-2012 06:44 PM
  4. Willotwist's Avatar
    So Microsoft is going to throw out all existing software (and there is lots) written for the windows platform and just require everyone to create brand new software from scratch. This seems pretty silly. I have been using windows 8 for a couple of weeks now. And so far 1/2 of the metro apps are complete garbage. Skype for example is complete rubbish. Almost impossible to navigate its and broken notifications that only show pieces of the names of your contacts. Complete rubbish.
    As a chat application I don't want it running full screen since i only switch to it when i get a message.

    11-13-2012 05:52 PM
  5. GoodThings2Life's Avatar
    For Windows RT? Yes. They are, and NO, it's not silly at all. At some point you HAVE to make a break from the past, and this is their chance to do so. If the Microsoft Store succeeds, it will be a hugely advantageous benefit to everyone... No more OS corruption. No more malware. No more OEM pre-loaded crapware bogging your system down on startup. It all goes away, and the ecosystem becomes what it should have been years ago... USER CHOICE.

    Remember, Windows 8 allows you to maintain that level of backwards compatibility (for now), and thanks to HyperV, it likely always will in some form. But WinRT is the future, and the future looks good to me.

    As for the full-screen comment... snap it! :) And you can believe that's going to be improved going forward.
    11-13-2012 07:10 PM
  6. jdevenberg's Avatar
    Nothing like bumping a 5 month old thread to do nothing but whine.
    11-14-2012 10:28 AM