Windows RT was an awkward, lumbering beast and nobody knew exactly why it existed. This past week, Microsoft officially killed its weird mobile operating system as the last Windows RT tablet rolled off the production line.
That last tablet was called the Nokia Lumia 2520 and it represented the final Windows RT tablet of its species. Earlier this year, in January 2015, Microsoft discontinued its Surface 2 tablets, which was the last major Windows RT device still being produced.
In a statement to The Verge, Microsoft said that hardcore fans of Windows RT (if they exist) can still buy Windows RT tablets across the country:
“We are no longer manufacturing Nokia Lumia 2520; however, those still eager to buy Nokia Lumia 2520 should visit Microsoft Retail Stores, MicrosoftStore.com, third-party retailers and resellers for the latest availability,”
Okay, thanks for the heads up.
Why Did Windows RT Exist?
Windows RT was Windows 8 without most of its functionality: users could only use the “Metro” or “Modern” UI and Windows RT tablets could only run apps from the Windows App Store. That wasn’t good, because the Windows App Store didn’t have all that much in it.
Windows 8 let you install normal Windows software – just like every Windows computer ever made. Windows RT only let you install apps and it forced you to stay on the Modern UI screen.
Few manufacturers ever produced Windows RT tablets, which means Microsoft and its subsidiary company Nokia were the only companies still making the tablets.
As Microsoft looks forward to Windows 10, Windows RT just had no place in the market.
At one point, Microsoft had lost $900 million in unsold Surface RT tablets – so the fact that nobody wanted a half-functional tablet will be an expensive lesson for Microsoft to learn.
In any case, we can now officially write the Windows RT obituary: and it’s going to be tough to find any bright spots in the OS’s 2.5 year old lifespan.