Q

How Windows RT apps differ from those for Windows 8

Tablets running Windows 8 RT may use only Metro apps downloaded through the Windows store; 34- or 64-bit applications won't work, says our expert.

Can non-Metro apps be built with Windows RT, or must they still be based on Win32?

Windows RT is designed to run on lightweight tablet PCs and similar mobile devices with ARM CPUs, such as the Microsoft Surface and Nokia Lumia 2520. Only apps you download from the Windows Store (sometimes referred to as Modern UI apps or Metro apps) run in Windows RT; you can't install Windows 32- or 64-bit applications like those you use in Windows 8 and 8.1.

Windows RT comes with Office 2013 RT, which many people associate with desktop-type applications. Office 2013 RT includes RT versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Windows RT 8.1 also includes the RT version of Outlook 2013.

Like other editions of Windows 8, Windows RT also has a desktop where you can run Office 2013 RT as well as Internet Explorer, File Explorer and Control Panel. However, Microsoft prevents you from installing non-Windows Store apps.

One handy feature of Windows RT is that you can use a device as a virtual desktop infrastructure client. The Windows Store provides the app.

About the author:
Kim Lindros is a full-time writer, content developer and project manager who has worked around IT since the early 1990s. She co-authored MTA Microsoft Technology Associate Exam 98-349 Windows Operating System Fundamentals (Wiley, 2012) and PC Basics with Windows 7 and Office 2010(Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010), among other textbooks. Lindros has also developed numerous college and corporate courses focused on IT security, Microsoft technologies and Microsoft Office.

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This was first published in July 2014

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Have you encountered any other challenges with Windows RT apps? What sorts of apps would be useful?

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