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Hello Surface 3, Goodbye Windows RT

At the beginning of April Microsoft announced the Surface 3, its new entry point device to compliment the Pro 3 range.

It has a fan-less Quad-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom x7 processor rather than a faster but more expensive Intel Core processor. This is a high performance Atom processor with a 2.4GHz turbo boost mode and advanced power management.

Most importantly with Intel inside a Surface 3 runs the full version of Windows 8.1 plus every existing and upcoming Windows application, tool or utility.

Yet, you may recall Microsoft's previous entry-level Surface devices ran something called Windows RT. This is because the Surface RT devices used the lower-cost ARM chip rather than an x86-compatible Intel processor.

However, the problem with Windows RT apps is that they have to be recompiled specifically for the ARM platform. And, in the end, not enough of these RT-flavour apps became available. So, despite a significant cost advantage, a Surface RT consumer ended up with a far less practical computing device.

With the introduction of the Surface 3 we can be assured the Windows RT experiment is over. This particular operating system is now obsolete. A direction many observers predicted when Microsoft announced a trade-in deal for older Surface RT and Surface Pro models.

Now it's Windows 8.1 for everyone, with a free upgrade to Windows 10 when it appears later this year.

Read more Microsoft analysis posts.

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