Windows RT vs Windows 8 Pro: Which Windows Tablet OS to Get?

5
Posted January 8, 2013 by Quentin Moore in Windows RT Tips


Q9G8ET663M45

Windows RT vs Windows 8 Pro

When the Microsoft Surface Tablets are released in the next couple of months, they will ship with one of two editions of Windows: Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro.  If you are wondering which surface device you should buy, you should consider that there are some major differences between these versions of Windows.  What are these differences?  Which tablet should you buy?  Read on to see the differences between Windows RT vs Windows 8 Pro.


Windows RT

The first Windows Tablets that will ship this October will only run Windows RT.  Windows 8 Pro compatible Windows Tablets will ship three months later.  Windows RT can not be purchased.  It will only come pre-installed on ARM processor based devices such as the Microsoft Surface.  Since Windows RT runs on ARM based processors, Windows RT Tablets will cost less than the Windows Pro Tablets that use Intel processors.  The use of the ARM processors also means that these tablets will not be able to run all of the applications that run on desktops.  Instead, RT based tablets will run lighter versions of apps, likely comparable to those found on the iPad and Android tablets.

Windows 8 Pro

Windows Tablets running Windows 8 Pro will run the same applications that you already use on desktops today.  These tablets use the latest generation of Intel processors.  Thus, these tablets should be able to handle more demanding applications.  Windows Pro tablets will be ideal for professionals and tech enthusiasts that want desktop-class computing in a tablet PC form factor.

Windows RT vs Windows 8 Pro

Here are some advantages Windows Tablets running Windows RT have over those running Windows 8 Pro:

  • Price: Windows Tablets running Windows RT should be much cheaper than tablets running Windows 8 Pro.  This is largely due to the cost difference between ARM processors and Intel processors.
  • Battery Life: ARM processors require less power that Intel processors.  Thus, Windows RT tablets should have greater battery life than Windows 8 Tablets.
  • Portability: The Windows RT version of the Microsoft Surface tablet is lighter and thinner than the pro version of the Microsoft tablet.  We suspect that we will see similar specs for Windows Tablets developed by other manufacturers.
  • Cheaper Apps:  As we’ve seen with iOS and Android, we suspect that many Windows RT apps will be very cheap or even free, especially if in-app advertising is allowed.
  • More Malware Resistant: There will be strict guidelines on what apps will be allowed on the Windows RT platform.  This should lead to Windows RT being less susceptible to malware and viruses.

Here are some advantages Windows Tablets running Windows 8 Pro have over those running Windows RT:

  • Desktop Class Operating System: The pro version of the Surface Tablets will run the same version of Windows 8 that runs on desktops.  Thus, all of the apps that you use on your desktops should run on Windows 8 Pro compatible tablets.  This includes full versions of Microsoft Office and possibly more demanding apps such as Adobe Photoshop.
  • Domain Join: Windows Tablets running Windows 8 Pro can be joined to corporate networks while those running Windows RT cannot.  This ability allows pro users to access corporate applications, file shares, and devices such as printers.
  • File System Encryption: Windows 8 Pro will come with an encrypting file system.  This will protect your data from prying eyes in case your Windows Tablet is ever lost or stolen.  Windows RT does no have this feature.


Which Windows Edition Will You Choose?

Both operating systems have advantages and disadvantages.  If you are willing to pay more for it, a Windows Tablet running Windows 8 Pro will give you desktop-class computing power in a Tablet PC form factor.  If you want a tablet that longer lasting, more portable, and lighter on the pocketbook, a tablet running Windows RT will be your choice.  Another factor that should influence your buying decision is the volume and caliber of apps that will be available for Windows RT.  If developer support for Windows RT is lacking, the RT based Microsoft Tablets will not succeed.  Hopefully this will not be the case.

Do you know which flavor of Windows 8 Tablet you plan to purchase?  Use the comment section below to share your buying decision and a few reasons why you made your selection.

 


About the Author

Quentin Moore

Quentin Moore is Senior Editor of Windows Tablet TV. He's a self proclaimed Tech Guru and spends most of his non-working hours playing with or blogging about tech gadgets. Check out Quentin's Google Plus Page.

5 Comments


  1.  
    Frenzy

    I’ll likely get both. Sometimes a lightweight is preferable if no heavy work is being done. For the days I need to code, I can take out the Pro.




  2.  
    Khat

    I would get a Windows 8 Pro version as it comes with a desk-top class computing power in a Tablet PC form, if the price is right :)




  3.  

    I will probably purchase devices running each of the operating systems, although I think the Windows 8 Pro version of the Surface will get more use! ;)




  4.  
    Cutsi Suzi

    Thanks for the tips!  I think I’ll have to go with Windows 8 Pro…the security feature alone makes it the only choice for me.





Leave a Response

(required)