Now that Microsoft's Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems have been finalized, we're starting to see more and more ARM-based Windows RT tablets from OEMs. At IFA 2012 this week, Dell, Samsung, and Asus all had their Windows RT-powered tablets on display. We've seen some prototypes running older builds of Windows RT, and even production models running the new operating system — but most vendors have been reluctant to let us get a good look at Microsoft's ARM OS.
We managed to get a good look at Windows RT and Office 2013 RT this week on Samsung's Ativ Tab. Firstly, the desktop environment remains largely the same as its Windows 8 counterpart. Despite rumors that Microsoft would drop the desktop mode, or restrict a lot of its functionality, the File Explorer and other Windows accessory apps remain. Paint and Notepad for example are available, although Microsoft has removed Windows Media Player in favor of the Metro style Music and Video apps. Office 2013 RT is available too, although the apps are clearly marked as Preview ones as we revealed previously.
Overall, the desktop functionality on WIndows RT is very similar to its Windows 8 counterpart — but ARM-based systems are clearly designed to be used in the new Windows 8 Start Screen. Microsoft has already revealed that desktop apps will not run on Windows RT, with the exception of built-in ones from the software maker. Although pricing and availability hasn't been announced for any Windows RT tablets, we're expecting some to arrive on October 26th.
Ross Miller contributed to this report.