Something you hear less and less about lately is Windows RT. In fact I have heard less ever since the Windows 8 launch and I know why. Windows RT does not allow you to install software into the Desktop environment. I was at a Microsoft Store in Scottsdale, Arizona on launch day and I can not count how many people were checking out the Surface RT to see what Windows RT could run. I bumped into a few software and web developers who were interested in this new platform, and after finding out that the desktop is locked they left disappointed, some choosing to focus on Windows 8 while others taking in interested in creating Metro / Modern apps instead.
Now at launch there was the Surface RT as well as an Asus tablet that ran Windows RT, it was small and light and really I liked it a lot. I can not find the Asus tablet today at Best Buy though. (it was there on launch day) In fact there are no Windows RT tablets at Best Buy at all other than the Surface RT. I think this tells us something, Windows RT is in trouble.
Lets face it Windows RT does not really offer anything new that Windows 8 doesnt and in fact is a compromise. The only thing Windows RT does that Windows 8 doesnt is run on ARM processors. However Windows 8 runs desktop applications, and right now which is more useful to people today. Granted Microsoft may be playing a long-term game with Windows RT betting on ARM becoming a real competitor to the Intel / AMD world we know today.
I would say with the interest on launch day about running applications in the desktop in Windows RT, Microsoft has two choices that would spur the demand for it. Either Microsoft needs to offer some kind of compatibility or virtualization to run the current X86 desktop applications in the desktop in Windows RT or just open the Desktop up and give documentation so developers can create desktop applications if they choose to do so. I really feel this would just be the push that Windows RT needs. It could push Windows RT to be just as good of an option as Windows 8. You may even see ARM based all in one, laptop, or desktop computers. And from what I have read online those that have found ways of installing desktop applications in Windows RT have reported that if an application works with .NET 4 or above it does not need any if little change to run. This is a huge win for .NET if it was officially supported.
Is there hope for Windows RT…Yes! however I think it will be these enthusiasts that are interested in it now that could save it.