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Surface 3 with no Windows RT reportedly in the works


Surface 2
Surface 2

Microsoft is said to be working on a successor to the Surface 2, but the Surface 3 won't be hobbled by Windows RT this time around.

The Surface 2 launched back in 2013 as Microsoft's second-generation affordable tablet. It never got a successor to sit alongside last year's all-singing Surface Pro 3.

According to a new WinBeta report, Microsoft hasn't ditched the plain old Surface range. In fact, it plans to launch a third Surface device soon.

The big news here, however, is that the new Surface will not run Windows RT. Microsoft's stripped-down version of Windows 8 always seemed ill-conceived, limiting the OS where it mattered - app support.

Apparently, the Surface 3 will rectify this by running on full Windows - a first for a non-Pro Surface. Perhaps unusually, the Surface 3 will be launched ahead of Windows 10, which means that it will come with Windows 8.1 preinstalled instead.

Read More: Apple MacBook (2015) vs Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Those familiar with Windows 8.1's inner workings will have realised that it doesn't work on the ARM mobile chips that have powered both iterations of the Surface to date.

Sure enough, the report claims that the Surface 3 (or whatever it turns out to be called) will run on either an Intel Atom or Intel Core M processor.

The report reckons that we could see the new Surface tablet at Microsoft's Build 2015 conference, which takes place from April 29 to May 1.


March 26, 2015, 10:22 am

Windows RT always was a bit of a strange OS, TBH I think its Best for the windows ecosystem as a whole if it is dropped as I think a lot of people found it confusing that there was a Windows device that couldnt run their old windows software. Besides, the atom range of CPU’s are so good now that there doesn’t need to be a non x86 version of windows out there, even the current range of budget windows tablets like the HP Stream 7 have impressively snappy performance considering the cost

Now if only windows improved its storage abilities that would be good, I still find that windows starts to hog more and more memory as time goes on which is annoying, but maybe windows 10 will help resolve it


March 26, 2015, 10:32 am

Microsoft announced that you'll save up to 15GB of storage space with Windows 10 via compression algorithms and no longer requiring the recovery image.


March 26, 2015, 10:45 am

Good news, but its more the slow decrease in storage space over time that I was thinking of, it may just be me but over time I just seem to see the amount of available storage space slowly decreasing on my windows PC/laptops which means I have to go hunting to try and work out whats causing it. Possibly a simpler layout for the folder structure, or an easier way to hunt large "unnecessary" files would be a good addition to windows 10


March 26, 2015, 11:34 am

There is presumably no software upgrade path for owners of Surface running Windows RT. And I suspect that software updates to that OS will be few and far between. Anyone know if Microsoft has any kind of roadmap for updating Windows RT for those devices that run it? Or has it become an orphaned OS with device owners left holding something obsolete only a year or two after purchase?

It seems similar to the way Microsoft abandoned Windows Phone 7. With iPhones and iPads benefiting from at least three years of significant software upgrades, I don't know why anyone would by a portable Microsoft device in the knowledge that it might become obsolete tomorrow because the company changes its mind.


March 26, 2015, 3:01 pm

That will be temp file and windows update files.
You can use right click on your system partition and click the disk cleanup option. That will help with most temp files.
Windows update files are slightly harder to find and depends on your version of Windows.
Then there are things that are outside Microsoft such as installing third party apps will include some system files that are necessary for the programs to operate correctly.

Generally speaking Windows directories shouldn't grow *that much*, but if they do can be cleaned up fairly easily if necessary.

Darmok N. Jalad

March 26, 2015, 3:24 pm

It has to be Atom. Core M is an expensive chip, and Atom can more that pick up the slack. I always thought that if MS took a Surface 2 and put an Atom inside, it would likely be a very popular device, if prices well. A $500 Surface 3 may be too steep. This needs to be a $400 item, especially if the cover is separate.

Matthew Bunton

March 26, 2015, 5:51 pm

Yes this has to happen MS cannot push their vision forward if their own flagship tablet isn't running Windows 10. After all Windows 10 is being pushed as a multiple device OS.


March 26, 2015, 6:03 pm

I heard that there will be a large update to RT in-line with Windows 10, but it won't be a full OS refresh, just an upgrade of some sort which won't be Windows 10 RT.
It is quite annoying that my Surface RT won't be upgraded but then I've always found it so painfully slow that I barely use it now anyway. Better off dead in my opinion.


March 26, 2015, 6:05 pm

Agreed. Atom would suffice for a low-end tablet, so long as it's running the newer Cherry Trail architecture rather than an old underpowered chip.

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