Home : Software Terms : Windows RT Definition

Windows RT

Windows RT is an operating system developed by Microsoft for mobile PCs with ARM-based CPUs. It was released on October 26, 2012, the same day as Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface tablet.

The Windows RT user interface is identical to Windows 8 and includes the same tile-based Start screen. It also provides access to the traditional Windows desktop, where you can manage files and folders and run applications. While you can use Windows RT with a standard keyboard and mouse, it is designed primarily for touchscreen input. The operating system features an "always on" design, which means it receives mail, contacts, and calendar updates even while in standby mode.

While Windows RT looks and feels like Windows 8, it cannot run all of the applications that Windows 8 runs. Instead, Windows RT can only run software programs downloaded from the Windows Store. If you attempt to install an unknown third party app in Windows RT, you will see an error message saying the app cannot run on the PC. In order to install a new program on Windows RT, you must first click the Store tile on the Start screen and download the program directly from the Windows Store.

Updated: November 1, 2012

Cite this definition:


TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definition of Windows RT. It explains in computing terminology what Windows RT means and is one of many software terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this Windows RT definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!

Subscribe to the TechTerms Newsletter to get featured terms and quizzes right in your inbox. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe at any time.
Questions? Please contact us.