Microsoft will not be releasing full updates of its new Windows 10 operating system for any of its Surface devices running Windows RT or Windows RT 8.1.
However, the company has confirmed that it is working on a limited update for Surface devices using Windows RT, which hit the market in 2012, along with Windows 8.
“We are working on an update for [Windows RT] Surface, which will have some of the functionality of Windows 10,” the company told CNET in a statement. “More information to come.”
The software giant had already indicated that some editions of Windows would not be included in the free Windows 10 update it announced on Wednesday, which the company said on January 21 would be made free for users running Windows 7, 8.1, and Phone 8.1 on their devices.
“It is our intent that most of these devices will qualify, but some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device,” the company said in the fine print underpinning the offer on its website. “Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1.”
Given that Windows RT and RT 8.1 were designed for power economising devices sporting 32-bit ARM architecture, and never had the same functionality — to many users’ frustration — as full-blown Windows 8 and 8.1, it comes as little surprise that the RT versions of the operating system should be left out of the latest update loop.
In fact, a week before Microsoft’s big Windows 10 reveal on January 21, the company released firmware updates for all three models of its Intel-powered Surface Pro series, but neither of the ARM-based Surface tablets — the Surface 2 or Surface RT — received any new updates this month.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 event on Wednesday saw the company not only offer its Windows 10 upgrade free for a year to qualifying users currently running Windows 7, 8.12, and Phone 8; it also revealed its HoloLens holographic goggle offering and its accompanying HoloStudio for developers.
It also demonstrated new universal applications that Microsoft is building and plans to include as a built-in part of Windows 10 on phones, tablets, and PCs, including new People, Music, Maps, Photos, Calendar, and Outlook applications.