MICROSOFT HAS SHOWN its commitment to the ginger stepchild of its product line with a major update to Windows RT.
The update, which is yet to be formally announced, brings the welcome addition of the Start menu to early models of Surface tablets.
Microsoft has made good on its commitment to bring the Start menu to RT even though a full update to Windows 10 is considered impossible for technical reasons.
Start menu on Windows RT 8.1 pic.twitter.com/k2dOfYd2fh— Tero Alhonen (@teroalhonen) September 15, 2015
Early Surface tablets used ARM rather than Intel processors, and a stunted version of the operating system was required. Windows RT is limited in functionality and its popularity hindered the growth of the Surface range. Later models moved to the familiar Intel chipset and a full featured Windows 8.1 which is now being updated to Windows 10.
Users of Windows RT, which is based on the much disliked tiled interface formerly known as Metro, can opt out of the new Start menu and stick to the original tiled start screen.
For most, the escape from this is very welcome but we have read the odd comment that it's not what they want, or a waste of time on a 10in screen. Perhaps Metro wasn't as hated as we thought.
The promise of Update 3 included an update for the lock screen as well, but users have said that they have yet to notice any significant changes there.
Microsoft's lack of confirmation that this download exists makes it difficult for us to comment, as it may have hidden depths that we don't know about.
It acts as a shining example of the growing discomfort with the new style of silent updates that Windows-as-a-service brings. There are mounting calls for Microsoft to return to a Patch Tuesday-style bulletin to explain what is being updated, along with the option to download it or not. µ
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