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Microsoft Supporting Windows RT Until 2017

By - Source: ZDNet | B 8 comments

Microsoft has revealed when Mainstream Support for its Surface RT tablet will come to an end.

ZDNet reports that Microsoft plans to support its ARM-based Surface tablet with Windows RT until at least April 2017.

The news arrives by way of an update to Microsoft's support lifecycle page. For the Surface hardware, Microsoft will provide four years of mainstream support, including firmware updates. During this time, hardware repairs or replacements and parts will be made available. Services are free for products under warranty and available for a fee for products out of warranty.

As for Windows RT, the new ARM-based version of Windows 8 on Microsoft's Surface tablet is covered by the typical 5-year operating system support lifecycle policy. That policy also applies to the handful of Windows RT-based PC's supplied by its OEM partners.

"Microsoft will make software updates, including security updates, available for Windows RT. Additional information regarding the Windows RT lifecycle policy will be communicated as available," the company states. "Office Home and Student 2013 RT has the same lifecycle policy as Windows RT."

According to this Microsoft FAQ, any Surface software installed, embedded or downloaded on the Surface device is subject to the software lifecycle support policy for that software – unlike other hardware devices such as the Xbox 360 console.

"The hardware support lifecycle policy applies only to the Surface hardware (and as stated above not the Surface software). For Surface devices, that policy affects only the tablet device and hardware based accessories (and for example not to soft goods accessories such as cases), the FAQ adds.

Thus, consumers who purchase a Surface RT tablet should expect software updates until April 2017 at the very least. Security and platform updates will also include Office Home and Student 2013 software which comes pre-installed on the Windows RT tablets and desktops.

CNET points out that this support schedule is highly generous, as Apple has already killed OS updates for the original iPad which launched back in 2010. Currently, consumers have no idea when the just-launched Google Nexus 10 Android tablet will cease receiving updates, or with any other Android tablet from Google or 3rd-party partners for that matter.

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  • 17 Hide
    kawininjazx , November 27, 2012 12:07 PM
    This is good news for people who bought the Surface. Not trying to start a war here, but you sure don't get five years of support for your iPad. The iPad 1 only got a little over 2 years before it was dropped from updates.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    kawininjazx , November 27, 2012 12:07 PM
    This is good news for people who bought the Surface. Not trying to start a war here, but you sure don't get five years of support for your iPad. The iPad 1 only got a little over 2 years before it was dropped from updates.
  • -5 Hide
    tpi2007 , November 27, 2012 12:21 PM
    Well, 5 years is the time it will take for Microsoft to fix all the problems Windows RT has, including the slowdowns while typing in Word, etc.

    /joke


    On a more serious note, this is a good thing, and even though it's not expected that Surface (at least the RT version) will get much marketshare, it would be excellent if Apple and Google provided a longer, more consistent and predictable support period for their mobile products.

    It's understandable when feature phones or cheap smartphones are no longer supported after a year or two, but Apple sells equipment for quite a lot of money and there are plenty of high-end devices using Android that are basically computers in a small form factor, so a little more appreciation for customers is very welcome.
  • -8 Hide
    mariusmotea , November 27, 2012 12:23 PM
    On tablets you don't need support like on PC, only if the OS has many security breaches and bugs.
  • -1 Hide
    DjEaZy , November 27, 2012 2:32 PM
    ... meh...
  • 0 Hide
    bystander , November 27, 2012 2:33 PM
    This is pretty typical for MS OS's. They all lose support after a few years, but if RT is hugely successful and people don't want to move away from it, they'd continue support, but that is unlikely for a tablet OS.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , November 27, 2012 2:43 PM
    tpi2007Well, 5 years is the time it will take for Microsoft to fix all the problems Windows RT has, including the slowdowns while typing in Word, etc. /jokeOn a more serious note, this is a good thing, and even though it's not expected that Surface (at least the RT version) will get much marketshare, it would be excellent if Apple and Google provided a longer, more consistent and predictable support period for their mobile products. It's understandable when feature phones or cheap smartphones are no longer supported after a year or two, but Apple sells equipment for quite a lot of money and there are plenty of high-end devices using Android that are basically computers in a small form factor, so a little more appreciation for customers is very welcome.


    the problem with providing longer life spans is that in 5 years time, the tech will be at least triple the speed it currently is, if not faster, that means that all the code must work with a legacy platform... that said, i cant understand why windows 8rt takes up 12 gb of info if it had to all be put on arm... i understand an x86 having crap tons of space taken up, but rt... that i don't understand.
  • 3 Hide
    dgingeri , November 27, 2012 2:49 PM
    Microsoft has always supported their products long after other software makers quit. How many times have you bought an app that needed patches, only to find out the maker quit patching after a year or so, and just came out with a new version? It's happened dozens of times for me. Nero and AnyDVD are also exceptions, as they release patches all the time, but any Antivirus program I've had just wasn't patched anymore after the new version came out. All they'd release would be virus signature updates. Adobe is the same way. They stopped any patches on CS3 products the moment CS4 came out, and then the same thing when the CS5 products came out. Their idea of solving issues with the old version is "buy the new version."

    EA is absolutely horrible about putting out patches after the initial release. They don't seem to support anything, at least anything I've purchased, beyond the first couple weeks after release. I quit buying EA products almost a decade ago because of that. I couldn't even count the number of cheaper programs I've purchased that had totally disabling bugs, yet no patch was ever put our for it. I also quit buying those cheap programs because of that.
  • 0 Hide
    technoholic , November 28, 2012 6:40 AM
    dgingeriMicrosoft has always supported their products long after other software makers quit. How many times have you bought an app that needed patches, only to find out the maker quit patching after a year or so, and just came out with a new version? It's happened dozens of times for me. Nero and AnyDVD are also exceptions, as they release patches all the time, but any Antivirus program I've had just wasn't patched anymore after the new version came out. All they'd release would be virus signature updates. Adobe is the same way. They stopped any patches on CS3 products the moment CS4 came out, and then the same thing when the CS5 products came out. Their idea of solving issues with the old version is "buy the new version." EA is absolutely horrible about putting out patches after the initial release. They don't seem to support anything, at least anything I've purchased, beyond the first couple weeks after release. I quit buying EA products almost a decade ago because of that. I couldn't even count the number of cheaper programs I've purchased that had totally disabling bugs, yet no patch was ever put our for it. I also quit buying those cheap programs because of that.

    So you use no software at all? :D