With the release of Microsoft's Surface tablet and Windows 8, many users wonder differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT. Now, this post from MiniTool is what you need. Now, you can continue to read to get more details about Windows 8 vs Windows RT.

First, you need to know what Windows 8 is and what Windows RT is. Windows 8 is a backward-compatible new-generation legacy Windows operating system, while Windows RT is an operating system focused on tablets and mobile devices.

Windows 8 and Windows RT look nearly identical. Both of them have the new tile-based Start screen interface and an available desktop mode. However, in fact, they are different. Then, we will introduce Windows 8 vs Windows RT.

Windows 8 vs Windows RT: Interface

The first aspect of Windows RT vs Windows 8 is the interface. Both Windows 8 and Windows RT run the new Metro interface. Windows 8 can drop down to the traditional desktop for legacy apps, while Windows RT cannot.

Windows 8 vs Windows RT: Hardware Support

The second aspect of Windows 8 vs Windows RT is the hardware support. Windows 8 can only be run on x86 devices, while Windows RT can only be run on ARM-powered devices. Windows RT won’t run natively on Intel- or AMD-powered PCs, and Windows 8 won’t run on ARM-powered devices like the new Surface tablets.

Windows 8 vs Windows RT: Features

Both Windows RT and Windows 8 get multilingual support, IE, Xbox Live, Windows Defender, Exchange ActiveSync, Play To streaming for Windows, and VPN. The following are the differences:

Web Browsers

Windows 8 users have the same browser options as previous versions of Windows. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox all run on this operating system. In Windows RT, users can only use Internet Explorer 11 to browse the Internet.

Office Tools

Every Windows RT device has been pre-installed Office 2013 Home & Student RT. It is a version of Microsoft Office that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and  Outlook (since the Windows RT 8.1 update). Windows 8 can run the Microsoft Office suite, as well as many other documents and email software that RT cannot. Both Windows 8 and Windows RT can access Onedrive and Google Drive.


Windows 8 comes preinstalled with music applications, Windows Media Player, and Windows Media Center. It has other music and video players such as iTunes, VLC, etc., while Windows RT does not. However, Windows RT devices have preloaded the Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps.

Windows 8 vs Windows RT: Upgrade

If you are a Windows 7 user, you can upgrade to Windows 8. However, you can’t upgrade to Windows RT from any system. If you want to use Windows RT, you need to find a device with RT pre-installed.

Windows 8 vs Windows RT: Price

The Windows 8 operating system is priced at $119.99, the Professional version is $199.99, and the Student version is $69.99. Windows RT cannot be purchased as a standalone operating system.

Which One to Choose

If you want a fully functional operating system with a really useful desktop mode, you should choose Windows 8. If you want a tablet or mobile device that functions like an iPad, Windows RT devices are great for you.

Final Words

This post has introduced information about Windows 8/Windows 8.1 vs Windows RT in 5 aspects – interface, hardware support, features, upgrade, and price. You can get the details on the above content.

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