I use a Surface RT. I love my Surface RT. Really. It’s a great companion for my Lumia and works great for business. I keep it on me all the time and it can handle all of my Office and tablet needs. However, I can’t imagine buying another RT device and it’s hard to find anyone who is a buyer.
See, the lure of RT was originally the power sipping ARM chips and the thin designs since the CPU doesn’t require a fan and Intel was taking its sweet time releasing any competitive chips. All that plus, when you factor in a free Office license, the price was right. But here we are, on the verge of Windows 8.1 and Haswell and Bay Trail are shipping. And the new lineup of Windows 8.1 tablets offer everything that RT offers – they’re thin, light, have all day batteries and have price points starting in the $300 range. Heck, even if you get a 10” Windows 8.1 Pro device for $350 and add a full Office license it’s still less than what I paid for my Surface RT. And let’s call it what it is – RT is slower than Pro. RT runs less apps than Pro. RT lacks backwards compatibility and the Windows Store isn’t overflowing with RT apps.
So, is RT dead? Well not yet. It has another year or two. At this point RT still has a purpose. It’s job is to unify the Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 operating systems (hi Blue). And that’s a good job it needs to fulfill. However, Intel is nearing release of a mobile chip that is going to compete with ARM on all grounds. Once that happens then the gloves are off and RT (and ARM) are done. Something would have to drastically change to stop this…and quite frankly I think the death or ARM and RT is inevitable. And I’m not so sad to see them go. Finally, a unified architecture across devices. Even if you aren’t a Microsoft enthusiast, the lure of one and done applies across the board.