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Finally, Microsoft is about to say good bye to one of the stupidest products it ever created. You guessed it right. The product is Windows RT, Microsoft’s woefully executed and dreadfully received operating system for tablets.
CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed that Microsoft will combine all of its various Windows iterations into one unified version next year.
Windows RT was supposed to usher in the tablet era for Microsoft. But it has two major flaws: it’s missing crucial apps, and it’s poorly designed.
The biggest failure of Windows RT was that it took away the single best part of Windows — the fact that it can run just about every app ever created.
Windows RT can only run apps built for the Windows Store. Microsoft has done a mostly adequate job building up its app store. There are 170,000 apps listed in the store — about half of the number of iPad apps — the most popular of which are YouTube, Facebook (FB, Tech30), Skype, Netflix (NFLX, Tech30) and Google (GOOGL, Tech30) Search.
Still, you can’t run iTunes. There’s no Chrome or Firefox browser. You likely can’t run your company’s custom-built software. Pretty much anything that requires a desktop is a no-go.
Unlike Apple (AAPL, Tech30) or Google, Microsoft didn’t take away the desktop in Windows RT. Curiously, Microsoft kept the desktop around so you can run a separate, more robust version of Internet Explorer.
To be fair, the concept of Windows RT was actually right, but Microsoft never made a compelling case for why you should buy a Windows RT tablet over a rival tablet except for the fact that it runs Office. And that argument just went out the window when Microsoft brought Office to the iPad earlier this year. This made Windows RT turned into one of the biggest flops in Microsoft’s history.