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What Does the RT In Windows RT Stand For?


Windows 8 names are confusing at the best of times, especially when Windows RT means nothing in particular.

The "RT" In Windows RT has no official meaning according to Microsoft but there is a general use that suggests its origins.

RT does stand for Runtime, which has been in long time use – long before Windows 8 – so it is natural to think there was some sort of natural progression internally at Microsoft from the early days of referencing Runtime to a shorted form of RT to WinRT to the current naming of WindowsRT.

To confuse matters more, WinRT is the formal name of the APIs used to develop Windows 8 apps and programs, as in WinRT APIs (not WindowsRT!). These APIs let developers code once for programs that would work on both the ARM processor-based and Intel processor-based versions of Windows 8.

So WinRT does not directly translate to WindowsRT or vice-versa – there is just a hint of meaning referencing each other.

It could also be a clever play on "real-time" meaning the operating system is for light-weight OSes running on phones and tablets, but once again, this is not an official naming.


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Dale Janssen

Dale Janssen is a co-founder of Techopedia and has been involved in the technical education training industry since 1989, when he first obtained his Novell Certified Netware Engineer certification. Janssen was the founder and chief executive officer of ExcelNet Ltd., a network consulting and technical training company in Canada, which grew to one of the largest of such companies in Canada before being sold to ExecuTrain. During his time with ExcelNet, he received the prestigious Audrey Award from Novell Inc. as the top training center in North America and personally won one of the top instructor awards from Novell for…