Can Windows RT Run Windows Applications?

Can Windows RT Run Windows Applications?

Q: Since Windows RT has a desktop, does that mean all my existing Windows applications will run on Windows RT?

A: Windows RT is focused around the new Windows Run Time (WinRT), or "Metro" style applications, which are primarily obtained from the Windows Store. These applications are written on WinRT to be usable on x86 and ARM.

Windows RT is the OS for ARM systems. Typical desktop applications aren't compiled to run on an ARM architecture and therefore won't run on Windows RT even though Windows RT does have a desktop.

The desktop is primarily available in Windows RT for a few purposes:

  • Office 2013, which has a special ARM compiled version but needs to run on the desktop
  • Internet Explorer desktop version, which contains extended flash support
  • Accessing Explorer
  • Using Task Manager and the registry editor
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