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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; 32- 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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Have you encountered any other challenges with Windows RT apps? What sorts of apps would be useful?
In truth, any one who has purchased an RT tab has knowingly done so for the following reasons:
1. Lower Cost
2. ZERO need for windows apps designed for Windows 7/8 desktop.

We purchased RT because we found that the free store apps social (fb etc.) mail, office, skype, etc. were all some of us needed to browse the internet or as a byot device for my student.

In retrospect, my RT tab was a better investment than my earlier Toshiba Android Tab which everyone found extremely frustrating to use for its bug ridden apps, and lackadaisical response times. In contrast the RT tab is surprisingly smooth, and is responsive ... the wifi idiosyncrasies we experienced were ironed out.

My android tab was rendered obsolete by last of support with the Toshiba flavored O/S, they simply orphaned 1000's of users who even after rooting the tabs found little recourse even though it has a superior h/w configuration. Plus the fact that Android has ghost processes (read apps) that startup and keep running when you don't want them to (even after you kill them) killing the life of the battery and hogging memory.

Not so with Windows 8/RT. In Windows 8 / RT, if you do not want something running in the background you can prevent them from doing so, and you do not have to back out by hitting the back button endlessly to back out of an app in Android. Swype and you're out!

My point was that RT beats Android hands down and as far as Win RT is concerned you have all the apps most of us need for free! RT is meant to be free of windows apps, and therefore lite weight and is definitely worth every penny more so in its discounted form today. FYI I own Surface RT ver 1, not 2 or 3 which in my opinion would make it an even better hardware choice!