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Microsoft's Windows 10 upgrade path chart shows Windows RT is officially dead

Microsoft displayed a chart at today's WinHEC conference in China showing all of the update paths for Windows 10, which confirms that Windows RT devices like the Surface RT and Surface 2 are being denied a way to get the company's next operating system.

In January, a statement from Microsoft indicated that the Surface RT and Surface 2 tablets would receive some sort of update in the future "which will have some of the functionality of Windows 10." However, this new chart from Microsoft shows flat out that Windows RT won't get the full Windows 10 treatment, either via an automatic update or via a manual download of ISO files.

Windows 10 upgrade path

The chart does show that all versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 can be updated to Windows 10 via ISO files, and Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 S14 will have the additional option of getting the download via Windows Update. Smartphones that are still running Windows Phone 8 will have to update to Windows Phone 8.1 in order to download Windows 10 for phones.

Update: Many people are gawking at the 'Windows Mobile 10' mention. This is not a name change. There are different SKUs for Windows 10 so at some place in the backend they do need to be differentiated for hardware manufacturers and partners. However, for consumers, it is just Windows 10. Nothing has changed, there is nothing to see.

Source: Channel 9

244 Comments
  • I won't run andriod app. It's a rom that contains the windows phone OS that can run on phones shipped with andriod. Once the rom is installed, its as though the hardware shipped as a windows phone. It will run windows phone apps, and only windows phone apps.
  • why was reply thread deleted ? 
  • It's getting Windows 10 RT, not full. So doesn't it make sense it's left out of this document?
  • There isn't going to be a Windows 10 RT. Where did you hear there would be such a product? All that was said was the RT is going to get some of the features. This is probably a minor update, akin to WP7.8. Definitely not a long term continued development plan.
  • Yes
  • RT is an ARM processor ... so new win 10 wont work on RT tabs?
  • Probably, someday, no word on that yet. But the current OS running on Surface (Windows 8 RT) won't be updated. At least not now.
    RIP Windows RT.
  • MS just fucked their loyal customers that bought an RT...I'm one of them.  Way to go shitheads......
  • Agree. But MS can change RT to windows phone 10 version since both of surface and windows phones are using ARM CPU.
  • My fear of this is why I never bought into the RT world in the beginning. I find my Dell Venue 8 Pro running full Windows for less than most RT tablets was the right choice for me.
  • Agreed, this tablet cost me £600+ as a birthday present less than 2 1/2 years ago and now this happens, to say I am a little dissapoited is an understatement, this tablet has to last a long time, shame Ill be getting left behind :(
  • Phones are ARM, so it could be made an extension of the phone version.
  • That's what I'm hoping, I love my Surface RT (and the pro was waaay too expensive!) if Lumia 920 and 930 can upgrade (even my parents HTC 8S will!) then don't see why technically I couldn't I get that on my RT?
  • What the hell is Windows Mobile 10.
  • Windows 10 for small screens .. Surface to big.
  • phone OS ... 
  • All Windows devices under 8" phone or tablet
  • Good.
  • And did anyone(everyone) notice ? It's Windows Mobile 10 :D
  • Yes, unfortunately.  It should be Windows 10 across the board that simply scales according to screen size and input devices available.  Oh well...
  • This slide is for hardware partners, not consumers or commercial branding. Context is important.
  • Wishing for something doesn't make it so. While WP and Windows are converging they still ain't the same. WP 10 is what I will call it. "Windows 10 for phones" is moronic.
  • What about Windows 10 Mobile? I always thought that sounded pretty good.
  • Sounds good to me!
  • Yep, totally fine with that. People need to be honest with themselves. You know for a fact that there HAS to be a way to tell Windows 10 apart from the phone version. That doesn't mean that they still aren't based on the same code, just means an easier way of talking about the one you actually mean. And as Daniel mentions below, it's an internal name, once again, to help them tell them apart, internally. So Windows 10 IS the consumer facing name.
  • @josonjoy1986 Let me be very clear about this: it is just Windows 10. Technically, there are different SKUs for Windows 10 for mobile, PC, etc. So on the backend, they are differentiated in name for pricing/distribution. For consumers, it is just Windows 10. Nothing, I repeat nothing has changed.
  • So can I upgrade my iPAQ to the new Windows Mobile 10?........SLAP!
  • They keep calling it something different in practically every official statement they make.
  • You do realize that this is conference is for hardware partners, right? If they are making a phone and they need to order 10,000 copies of Windows 10 for phone, how do you think they request that? "Just give us Windows 10!". Probably not ;) There are different SKUs for ordering/licensing. That is all this is. For consumers, it is sold just as Windows 10. No real mystery.
  • <observation mode on> I've noticed that molehills quickly become mountains here. <observation mode off>
  • This describes Windows Central better than anything that I've ever read.  Bravo Sir.
  • That explains everything.
  • It makes sense that hardware partners need a way to differentiate, but the same is true of anyone when talking about windows 10. If we don't differentiate then consumers will be confused. Guaranteed.
  • Thank you! This is what I mean, and hence me being concerned about the confusing branding.
  • Yeah, there's really no need for it now. The only real advantage was it being lightweight enough such that we could get over 8hr battery life. New gen atom processors give us that without the crippled OS.
  • It's only crippled if you didn't know what you were buying. I love my Surface 2 with or without Windows 10. Long live RT lol.
  • No. Just no. And that's coming from a person with a 2520. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Much love to my RT. Don't think its crippled. An OS completely locked up, virus proof, lightweight. Only wished the whole Universal App concept was ready back then.
  • Same here. I love my Surface RT and my Lumia 2520. I prefer them over my Surface Pro 3 except when it comes to Visual Studio.
  • This is what they have been saying all along, its not getting full windows 10. They did say it will get many features in an update. The real question is what does that update include? As long as it will continue to be supported for security patches and it will still run apps from the store, its not "dead".
  • Yep
  • Yeah its alive like WP7. Not dead at all. WP7 is flooding with new apps in store and daily app updates.
  • No, its very different from WP7. The app platform changed and new apps would not run on WP7. Unless I've missed something, that is not happening with RT.
  • Isn't universal app platform different than RT app platform? In order to enjoy universal apps you MUST have W10 OS. So RT isn't getting any new universal stuff.
  • I imagined that the ability to run universal apps would be the most important feature that is included in the limited Windows RT update.
  • If it's not getting Windows 10 I'd almost go as far to say they shouldn't waste time retrofitting features into RT 8.1 The device is still as useful as it always was, and even after Windows 10 is out it will still get any new apps that target Windows 8.1 (As long as ARM is submitted by the developer) It's no more dead really than Android phones or tablets that don't get upgraded to the latest version
  • Exactly. There are some things like losing charms and such that I would rather not see on my Surface2 anyway.
  • ' it will still get any new apps that target Windows 8.1 ' Heh. Well, yeah, that's kind of the problem.   The Windows (RT/Modern) store is a ghost town.
  • Even better, this means that they can't take away our multitasking gesture, even if they decide to go through with that atrocity in Windows 10.
  • Sure. Most likely Windows RT will be retro-fitted to take advantage of the universal apps. So long as it can use the new apps of Windows 10, Microsoft wouldn't need to "upgrade" anything else, necessarily.
  • This
  • MSFT please release the preview for more phones
  • "Windows Mobile 10"
  • My L635 says "Windows 10 TP for phones"
  • Saw that too - pretty funny
  • No problem :) 
  • "Windows Mobile 10" makes me smile. Where's my Touch Pro 2?
  • There has no been real explanation for leaving RT users apart from the small user base.
  • You've kind of answered yourself there!
    A small user base = a failed project. Why support something that is dead anyway?
  • Says the guy on a Windows Phone website. Blind fanboys.
  • RT was a different failure, because it was an unneeded branch of the os the only confused the typical consumer. With cheap atom processors, and a wp os, we don't need a separate arm os. There was no demand, and the app store for rt is still barren. RT would have been great if it had been built from the start to natively run wp apps, and perhaps had been given some sort of legacy emulation. Instead, it nearly killed the entire Surface line.
  • Lol different failure... Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • There are many many many more Windows Phone users than RT users.
  • Can you say Windowsphone 7?
  • Windowsmobile 6?
  • Completely different. Windows Phone 7 - WP8 was a complete architechture change. New apps written for WP8 didnt run on 7.
  • Then why was Windows mobile 6. Deleted from existence.
  • Yes windows mobile 10. Is that the official name
  • It is internally reffered to as WM10. For consumers they don't need to know.
  • No, not the official name. Just Windows 10.
  • Can't they just call it Windows 10 all across the board and then just specify - for phone/onphone/whatever. PLEASE PLEASE MS don't put Windows 10 for phone in your marketing. Just call it Windows 10. Skype for Business already sounds cumbersome. Windows Mobile 10 would be just as bad imo.
  • I have Lenovo miix 2 10 ....win 10 compatible?
  • Use the chart...work out the answer doe yourself ;)
  • What a way to repay early supporters! WP7.8 ALL OVER AGAIN.
  • You bought something that was DOA. It was never going to succeed.
    Time to brush yourself down and move on.
  • Did your device stop working all of a sudden? Does it not function as advertised at the time of purchase?
  • It will soon stop functioning. I was promised "70,000 apps and growing everyday" - now that won't happen. No universal apps for Win RT. Only those that have upgraded to W10. That means no apps updates, forget about even new ones. As it is even WP8.1 gets updates on apps almost annually. You think RT will get any updates, ever?
  • It's the risk all early adopters take. If you are an early adopter you should know and except that. I do.
  • Surface 2 buyers were not early adopters.
  • Should've spent a few extra bucks on pro... just sayin'
  • WTH is happening here, Is this WC guys, From yesterday many no of article`s. Keep it up guys!
  • I guess ARM is no longer hot stuff.
  • Last time I checked, every WP is on ARM currently.
  • Weird. :/
  • And every other phone out there.
  • Dats sum bullshiiiiiittttt!!
  • My suspicion is that they'll release Windows 9 for RT. The rumor that they didn't call Windows 10 Windows 9 was because programs for 98/95 might think they were on 98/95 by just seeing the first number. Might work to put "Windows 9" on RT, so they can say works with 10 or 9 and 10, no need to say works with 10 RT. RT users are used to apps not working, so if they try a 98/95 app on 9 (which is RT), it wouldn't work anyways.
  • Lol.... Sarcasm at its best...... :D
  • It's all about ME.
  • What about Tech preview users
  • What about?
  • Free upgrade for Tech preview?
  • Users who are currectly on W10 TP, what about them?
  • Read my last lost
  • Yes, Free.
  • Tech Preview users will have to pay $1,000,000 per license. We're covering the "free upgrades" for the others. Did you miss that post?  /s
  • Windows RT was the dumbest idea in the history of tech. WTF was Microsoft thinking? SMH. Yeah come buy a platform which doesn't run Windows programs and doesn't have an app ecosystem LOL.
  • Exactly
  • You are describing windows phone there :P
  • You also described the first year or so of the iPhone. Before it had the Appstore, it had a browser, video player, ipod software, and that was just about ALL it did. There was no way to install apps, there weren't any apps yet. If I recall correctly, Cydia jailbroken iphones had the Cydia store long before Apple put their own store in the phone...
  • What you are describing is a shift in mobile devices and marketing with the iPhone Gen1. RT came out in a world filled with apps. Not the same. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Believe it or not, windows phone doesn't even compare. RT has such shitty app selections it's not even funny compared to windows phone. So yeah, they aren't the same :P
  • Not sure if you are aware but iPad doesn't run Mac software either. The difference is Apple did a better job at marketing. Some people, perhaps such as yourself, need to be spoon fed. RT was a failure in marketing, not technology.
  • Well said.
  • The big problem was that they were both called Windows.
  • Exactly the same as iPad launch... except it could run almost all iPhone apps, without updating, just in a smaller box on screen. WP required updating all the apps in the store, and often re-buying them. Problem is everything is so slow with MS and ppl got tired of waiting. Apple have isheep to buy anything they sell by the millions, so their ecosystem thrived overnight.
  • Surface 2 LTE with free Office. Use anywhere, anytime and access the main apps you need. Great battery life, access any website etc. etc. Some people don't get Surface 2, shame.
  • Windows Mobile has returned !!!!!!!!!!
  • Windows Mobile 10?? Lol.
    Well looks like my surface 2 orders being cancelled were a blessing in disguise lol. Cue the anguish from the Surface and Lumia 2520 owners!
  • Sucks to be anyone on an RT system.
  • Not really. My Surface 2 keeps on being what it is and it will continue to run new apps from the store.
  • Saying this is like saying sucks to be anyone with a Lumia 920, 925, 1020 or any Lumia from 2012-14 that cannot run Lumia Camera 5 and probably will not get full Windows 10 due to hardware requirements.
  • If a Lumia 635 with 512mb of RAM can get Windows 10 for phones, I'm thinking that the early Lumia range including the 920, 925, 820 and 1020, can handle W10. The only reason not to update them is a business one, to force any remaining users they have onto new devices.  
  • Lumia 635 can run the very early preview of Windows 10, but MS did say back in January that older phones will not be able to run all features of Windows 10 due to hardware requirements so it remains to be seen if all these older phones will run Lumia Camera 5 on Windows 10. Anyway I'm ready for a Surface phone or Lumia flagship that runs everything.
  • They said that from the get go, they also mentioned will get some sort of an update (NOT 10) tough. Either way, I like R\T, I use my SRT everyday & I'll continue to do so with or without the update :)
  • Good night sweet prince
  • It was a nice ride. My RT still does all I need.
  • Mine too and it was cheap! At least I get to keep the Charms bar which I love and some other stuff that's great about RT like security.
  • + free Office and LTE as well as plays video's perfectly, full access to websites, SD card, USB, long life battery etc.
  • Old water must leave the room, to fill it with new
  • What is the difference between Windows and Windows RT?
  • Windows is for normal users, Windows RT is for dumb users who paid for a dumb device.
  • So you're saying that everyone who purchased a windows phone is also dumb.
  • No, WP is still alive
  • What about us users that have two Windows computers, a Windows Phone, AND a Windows RT tablet, all useful for different things? Do we have to switch our normal hats with our dumb hats when we go from device to device?
  • 4 devices, 1 of them with Windows RT = 25% dumb
     
  • So as I buy more Windows computers and devices in the future, my dumbness percentage should start dropping unless I get rid of old ones before I finally sell my 2520 (in which case I'll be 100% free from dumb!). Another option is that if MS or someone else opens the bootloader and allows me to hack on Linux or Cyanogenmod, I can also regain my 100% non-dumb status as long as I kill the recovery partition (which might only have a 1-2% dumbing factor).
  • Yes, you got the idea
  • Windows can tun both modern and Win32 apps while RT can only run modern apps. Whihc means that: RT cannot open VLC (through the website download), nor BitTorrent, I think but can open Bing News, Weather, etc, I think. Windows can open both VLC, the site downloaded one, and Bing Weather.
    Quite frankly, it was foolish of MSFT to install RT on Surface 2.
  • Actually there is VLC for Modern! And TorrentzPro for Torrenting.
  • You did not read the thing in bracket, did you?
  • Windows RT was based on the ARM CPU. So it would ONLY run applcations from the store. It was designed for lower cost tablets. It made a cheap tablet that over all performed pretty well within it's limitations (some common apps and plugins woudl not work causing it to be very limited in this area) Windows is full blown windows like you have on your computer at home or work. It will allow all Windows based apllcations to run.
  • Microsoft should have allowed recompiled Win32 applications to run on RT without having to pseudo-jailbreak it.
  • Woot
  • Embrace yourselves. The sky is rising again after it fell. :D
  • This as opposed to when they've said a few times before that it wouldn't get the upgrade?
  • Well, I have a new digital picture frame.
  • What is Windows 8.1 S14?
  • It designates Windows 8.1 Update 1, released in spring 2014, as opposed to the RTM released in October 2013.
  • Well they did originally say that RT wouldn't get a full version of Windows 10. That's fine but at least make some kind of official MS announcement on what kind of future updates RT can expect. Give RT a lite version of 10 that can still run any Windows 10 universal app that comes out. Will these new universal apps also work on Windows 8, 8.1, RT 8.1, etc.? Or do they expect everyone, even desktop PC users currently on Windows 8 or 8.1 to upgrade to 10 before they could use a new univeral app? 
  • As this was a hardware conference for their partners, there was no point in announcing an update for RT as Microsoft was really the only manufacturer. The information would not have been useful for partner businesses.
  • What I would like to know is the reasoning behind it.  Since the Surface 2 is running an ARM processor why not just allow it to run the same variant for phones?  If all of the ARM based phones can run it, it seems a little silly to leave out the tablet if users want to go down that path.
  • Exactly! At least give us the mobile version of Windows 10. I'd love to know the reason behind it. Hope it's explained later this summer.
  • I'd like to know that too.  Why alienate users (small base - I know but still) when you don't have to?  I would LOVE to have W10 for Phones on my Surface 2!
  • I'd be happy with 6tag, Spotify, new Windows 10 Office & Outlook apps, and Cortana on Surface 2. Just give us the mobile version of 10!
  • That's exactly what I was thinking! The Surface 2 could essentially be a giant phone without the cellular radios in it. I would totally be down with that! I love my Surface 2 and hope something decent comes down the pipe for it. Maybe someone will hack Windows 10 for phones to make it run on Surface 2, lol. 
  • No surprise. Windows RT was born dead
  • I still think it is a great idea. Not for mass use, so I know it doesn't make business sense. But it is nice to know that my very computer illiterate father-in law has a pc that he cannot get viruses on. RT is perfect for people like him.
  • Right?! My younger sister has never had a computer survive more than a few months. Then I got her the rt and i am never even asked to do troubleshooting!
  • THIS!!!  This is exactly why iPads are so popular. The average dumb user that used to have a PC and didn't know how to keep it clean or updated over time, and then complain that it's slow, freezes, crashes, IE sucks, viruses, etc. have all moved on to iPads where they just work and they don't have to deal with the maintenance and security risks of a full PC or OS. RT was perfect for that. It's the app situation that failed RT and will fail continue to fail Windows 10 unless something is done to change the average user's popular perception of the Windows name in general. People hate Windows and are sick of using it. Just read the comments anywhere online whenever there's an article about Windows or IE.
  • RT wan't perfect for anything, that's why is dead. Did you read the headline?
  • And did you not read our responses? We each had a use case that it was perfect for. I understand it is  dead and did not have mass market apeal. But there are situations where it is a great OS.
  • Can't say I'm surprised. Why buy a Surface RT when you can get an Atom powered tablet for half the price? As much as I love my Surface RT, it's getting on a bit now and I'm going to replace it with a Surface Pro 3 (I hope!). Windows RT 8.1 runs just fine anyway.
  • Honestly, because a lot of users out there should not have the ability to install X86. For a lot of users it just isn't needed and creates a lot more headaches than what it is worth. Think of all the botnets running on comprimised hardware.
  • How is it possible to upgrade my 920 to w10 but not a surface rt???
  • Please asnwer this MSFT!
  • Windows RT is Windows 8 compiled for ARM (allowing windows to be installed on iPad like hardware) with a restriction on installing non verified files (meaning store apps only). Besides those two differences, there is not much else changed. Windows phone, despite what MS may tell you, is not just Windows. There's a lot of other changes that gives WP a phone interface. For instance, having different edge gestures, keyboards, start screen, top display bar, lack of a lot of USB features, etc. So, updating from WP8 to 10 is a different project than windows 8/RT to 10.
  • That's fine. All I care is that it can run Windows 10 Modern apps. It's fine if it can't run programs.
  • Is Windows 8.1 with Bing just classed as Windows 8.1?
  • I think Windows 8.1 is pretty much Windows 8.1 Standard with bing set as the default search engine.
  • Oh well, least I can use my Surface 2 as an upmarket photo frame haha
  • So how long until the x86 phone that can dock/project and have full desktop... Where is it... That is the thing that will finally create momentum in Windows phones. Even the roll-up screen is not here yet, surely it must be coming...
  • That is still likely many years away. The bottleneck is still hardware; Microsoft is getting closer on the software side. Power efficient Intel processors, that can run x86 Windows apps on phones, still aren't 'a thing' in mobile.
  • I am very surprised by this. We know that ARM devices are still a large part of 10. It re