The role of Windows RT

I keep reading posts about how Windows RT should had never been developed by Microsoft, and that is a terrible OS. The most recent was an article by Paul Thurott. This is when compared to Atom Windows 8 devices, which offer the same battery life and cost. It boggles my mind how people can be so dismissive without first taking a step back to think! I'll try to keep this short:

1. The iPad has proven that for the average user, despite how much we nerds keep repeating it, x86 compatibility matters very little.

2. Windows RT, due to the current state of Snapdragon vs Atom CPUs, is light years ahead in terms of GPU performance (1). Combine this with #1, and with the fact that people like to play games on their tablets, and you see why an ARM tablet is a better choice for many. Whether that will change or not in the future is hypothetical and irrelevant right now (until it and if it actually changes).

3. For some people (e.g. my non-tech savvy parents), not having x86 compatibility, especially if they don't need it, is a plus! Good luck getting a virus now, installing an IE toolbar, or breaking something!

4. The fact that the MS Store doesn't have as many apps as the iPad, doesn't make Windows RT a worse operating system. It is a better operating system, but with a worse app selection. Yes the iPad may be a better purchase choice for many, but not because it's the better OS. There is a subtle but very important point there.

5. Continuing from #4: Just because Apple did it, does it mean that nobody else can? Android hasn't so far, so #2 is still up for grabs for a market that sells tens of millions of devices per quarter. Microsoft has a solid foundation, and needs to get the apps. Let's stop pretending that iTunes started with 500k apps from day 1. Like I said, yes this is a consideration when making a purchase choice. But it shouldn't be when ranting!!

6. Windows RT, again due to Qualcomm's CPUs, will come in future generations with on-chip LTE. This translates to lower cost, lower power consumption, etc. To be honest, I don't know what the status of LTE is for Atom CPUs, but I am guessing they won't have on-chip LTE.

tl;dr; Much better GPU performance and non-x86 compatibility for the non-tech savvy users are enough reasons for Windows RT to be around!

References:

1 http://www.anandtech.com/show/7082/snapdragon-800-msm8974-performance-preview-qualcomm-mobile-development-tablet/6