Microsoft unveiled its plans for a free copy of Windows 10 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users yesterday, but it looks like Windows RT is being left out in the cold. In a statement provided to The Verge, Microsoft confirms the Surface Pro 3 and "entire Surface Pro lineup" will get the update to Windows 10, but Windows RT won't get the full OS. "We are working on an update for Surface, which will have some of the functionality of Windows 10. More information to come," says a Microsoft spokesperson. This means tablets like the Surface RT and Surface 2 won't get Windows 10.
The software giant refuses to discuss details of the mysterious update, but it could involve rolling out some of the built-in Windows 10 universal apps to Windows RT. A similar situation occurred with Windows Phone 8, leaving Windows Phone 7 with no direct upgrade path. Microsoft supplied a Windows Phone 7.8 update to provide some functionality, but most of the new features were only available on Windows Phone 8 devices. We predicted this situation in our preview of Windows 10, and the disappointing news is only balanced by the fact that not many consumers own Windows RT devices.
Windows RT is finally dead
Microsoft was left alone as the single hardware maker using Windows RT in late 2013 after Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Samsung all bailed on the ARM-based operating system. It's clear that Windows RT is finally dead, alongside its confusing mix of a desktop mode that never ran traditional Windows applications. Microsoft isn't discussing its plans for ARM-based tablets just yet, but given our early look at Windows 10 on tablets it's likely that the company will take an identical approach if any PC makers want to use ARM chips in their tablets.