Since the announcement was made about Windows 10 futures during Microsoft's recent reveal event, there have been several discussions offline and on the web about the future of Windows RT in relation to the Windows 10 upgrade. Windows RT, of course, is the operating system that powers the original Surface RT and the Surface 2.
I spoke with Microsoft today for clarification and this is what was said…
Surface Pro 3 (and the entire Surface Pro lineup) will update to Windows 10. We are working on an update for Surface, which will have some of the functionality of Windows 10. More information to come.” –Microsoft spokesperson
And, just to clarify, any non-Pro version of Microsoft's tablet is considered "Surface" in this statement, meaning Surface RT and Surface 2. It's not necessarily that Windows RT is "dead" as some have suggested – at least not yet – but it is on life support.
Microsoft has not communicated what a limited version of a Windows 10 upgrade will offer, but one can logically assume that it will probably not be much more than a refreshed UI with the possibility of Cortana functionality and updated apps. The unification of code across Windows 10-capable devices also probably signposts that Windows RT will not be able to participate in the new Universal Store, but we'll have to wait to see.
During the Q&A portion after the Windows 10 ultimate reveal event Terry Myerson only stated that Microsoft was "working on it." So, we can at least assume, based on the currently official statement I received just today, that Microsoft regrouped afterwards to build a unified message that would give the company room enough to alter plans later. I'm sure the company will need some time to figure out exactly what will work on Windows RT and what will not. And, based on that answer, we'll know more about the Windows 10 features that will translate over.
Windows RT is great in so many situations, but it truly is a semi-disabled version of Windows. As you know, I'm an avid Surface Pro 3 fan. I own and have used non-Pro Surface tablets, but the limited capability pushed me toward the more robust device.
If this news is disappointing, it comes with enough time to start building savings to upgrade to a Surface Pro 4 that will have Windows 10 pre-installed. Windows 10 should release toward the end of summer 2015 (September, probably) and Microsoft has already stated that new Windows 10 devices will release at the same time. I think we can safely guess that a new Surface Pro version is part of that.