Windows 8 – What it can do and what it couldn’t do

I hear there’s a lot of confusion, even among sales staff of what Windows 8 is, and what is Windows RT, and why they should buy one. Hopefully, these FAQs would answer a lot of questions.

Will my old software run on Windows 8?

If you bought a tablet that comes with Windows RT, it will not run your old software, because it uses ARM chips and not intel chips. If you bought a tablet that comes with Windows 8 that runs on Intel chips, then it will run your old software.

So what software will Windows RT tablets run?

Windows RT tablets will run new touch-optimized apps available from the new Windows Store. These apps are designed to be battery-friendly and more secure because every app is vetted by Microsoft before it is made available on the Windows Store.

Why would I want to buy Windows RT tablets then?

If you were considering buying an iPad or Android tablet, but have been putting it off because you want to be able to run Microsoft Office as well, then Windows RT is a better choice. Windows RT contains a copy of Microsoft Office that has been modified to run on ARM chips.

Will Windows 8 tablets with Intel chips run Windows Store apps?

Yes. Windows 8 will run all Windows Store apps.

Will Windows 7 run Windows Store apps?

No

Can I run buy an app from outside the Windows Store and install it on my Windows RT tablet?

No. Windows RT tablets can only run Windows Store apps. Windows 8 tablets on Intel chips can continue to run apps downloaded or purchased elsewhere. Most of these apps will not work well with touch, and are not able to take advantage of the battery optimizations.

I run a business on Windows 7 computers. Can I build apps that can run on the Window Store as well as run them on Windows 7

Yes. Build web applications.

Delphi can be used to build touch-optimized apps that run on Windows 7 and Windows 8. These do not run on (the cheaper) Windows RT tablets.

These all sound very confusing. Can you please state it all in an easier manner?

Windows RT is like the iOS that runs on iPad. It can only run apps that have been custom designed for it. iPad doesn’t run iMac applications either. Having said that, Windows RT includes a copy of Microsoft Office. There are some rumours that Microsoft may sell an iPad version of MS Office, so if you still want to buy an iPad and run Office, it may be possible one day, but this has not been confirmed.

Windows 8 is just like Windows 7, except it can also run the Windows RT apps. In contrast, iMacs cannot run iOS applications. Whether this is relevant or not is a moot point. There simply aren’t that many Windows RT applications to start with.