When Microsoft combines its vision of Windows into a unified version next year, it’ll spell the demise of Windows RT. Will people even mourn its death? The software, which was included with the company’s Surface tablets, might go down as one of the least liked in Microsoft’s stable of shaky launches. Last year, Microsoft actually had to take a $900 million write down because of terrible Surface RT sales.
Windows RT was supposed to be Microsoft’s big play for tablets, a touch-friendly environment that brought over many of Windows 8’s best features. The interface was clean, the Surface devices were well engineered, and it was mostly functional. But the launch of the first Surface RT tablet was executed poorly, leaving users confused as to what the device actually did. It still included a desktop mode, yet you couldn’t run the apps you’d run on your Windows machine.
On that note, the app ecosystem was pretty pathetic at launch, which gave buyers no real incentive to migrate over to Microsoft’s tablet future. And it also lacked many enterprise-oriented features, so it was essentially a no-go for businesses. The Redmond-based company eventually built up an impressive store with a lot of worthy app experiences, but it wasn’t a very good way to kick off a big new product.
With new management, and an emphasis on unifying Windows next year, it’s no surprise that Microsoft is ready to ditch the memory of Windows RT. This year, Microsoft spent a lot of attention on its Surface Pro 3, and even decided to kill off a Surface mini, so it’s obvious where the company wants to go: about as far away from Windows RT as the company can get.