As Windows 8 approaches liftoff, a lot of people seem very confused about differences between Windows 8, Windows RT, and WinRT.
Here’s your quick-reference guide to the new nomenclature.
The source of all the confusion is — us?
If you’re not really clear about the differences between Windows 8, Windows RT, and WinRT, you’re in good company. Just within the past week, I’ve had three editors misapply these names, primarily confusing Windows RT with WinRT. These are experienced, knowledgeable editors who have written about Windows for more than a decade — the best in the business. If they can’t get it right, you can certainly be forgiven for confusing them, too.
The mix-up is understandable. After years of shortening Windows XP to WinXP, Windows 7 to Win7, and Windows Vista to something unprintable, people will inevitably shorten Windows RT to WinRT.
Unfortunately, that’s just plain wrong.
Who’s to blame? Let me explain the situation, and then you decide.
The semantic underbelly of Windows 8
Windows 8 is the true successor to Windows 7. Like Win7 — and all the Windows versions before it — Win8 runs on processors manufactured by Intel and AMD. All recent versions of Intel and AMD processors can handle either the 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows 8.