Why I believe Windows RT isn’t going anywhere

Earlier today we reported on the DigiTimes rumor that suggested Windows RT would be killed off when Windows Blue launches, at least in name.

Here’s the full rumor in DigiTimes words:

Microsoft will no longer launch products under its Windows RT line and will instead merge the product line into the software giant’s next-generation Windows, codenamed Blue, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

These alleged sources say that disappointing sales for RT tablets is to blame. Consumers are turned off by the fact that RT tablets do not run older Windows apps, only Windows 8 apps, and there’s a lack of them.

I’m going to call B.S. on this one. Isn’t happening. Okay, I can’t say for 100%, but let’s just say my gut is telling me this doesn’t make sense. First, DigiTimes has a VERY mixed reputation when it comes to rumors.

Sometimes, they get it right, but many times they don’t. The bottom-line though is this doesn’t make sense.

Confidence in the Surface RT would be destroyed

Even if the Windows RT line-up, including the Surface RT, isn’t selling massive amounts of devices, they have a following. If Microsoft is killing Windows RT they are either introducing “Windows Blue” as its successor or they are ending Windows RT support.

We know that Microsoft has previously committed to keeping RT updates for the Surface RT for a few years to come, but it doesn’t say they can’t change the name. BUT WHY WOULD THEY?

Consumer confusion is said to be one of the reasons for the change. If Microsoft isn’t stopping support of ARM-based tablets, what is a name change going to do differently? If anything, it would add MORE confusion. Right now, most of us know Windows RT doesn’t run x86 apps. We know Windows 8 does.

If both Windows 8 and Windows RT had the same name (say Windows Blue) – how could we tell them apart? This would be disaster.

Windows RT and Windows will merge – but not yet

I have complete confidence that the day will come that such a merger will take place, just not yet. Until the desktop is gone, it would be confusing to use the same name for both ARM and x86 versions of Windows.

Sure, Microsoft could continue to support Windows RT on existing devices and just stopping make new ones – but I don’t think so. Microsoft realizes if they stop RT now, it will only further fuel the critics and their accusations that Windows 8 as a whole product (WinRT, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8) is a failure.

I do think that Windows RT could eventually phase out the desktop mode, but keeping the Windows RT name is probably a good idea, or at least Microsoft needs to come up with another unique new name that isn’t shared with Windows 8/Blue.

What do you think, could Windows RT disappear with Windows Blue? Share your thoughts below.

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