Earlier this week, one of my colleagues wrote about how Windows is a nice app to have on the iPad. This, of course, is accomplished through the use of Splashtop, which allows you to remotely connect to your home computer with minimal performance issues, and cloud storage services. But personally, I’d rather have the tablet experience and Windows desktop combined into a single machine, leaving a traditional computer for instances where you need a lot of processing power like high-end games and video editing tools.
In many ways, Windows RT is very similar to an iPad or Android tablet – although the yet-to-be-officially-launched Windows Store is still admittedly small at the moment. But Windows RT is unique in that it supports the desktop in a limited capacity, bringing with it a free copy of Office Home & Student 2013, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. I have yet to find a word processor on iOS or Android that suits my needs, so including Office with Windows RT eliminates one of the big reasons to remote desktop into your home PC.
Then there’s the built-in support for Flash. It’s safe to say that most people don’t like Adobe Flash, but a vast number of websites are still very reliant on the plugin. This often makes it difficult to browse the internet on a device which doesn’t support it natively, like the iPad. Even Android, which used to support Flash, no longer does so. But both Windows 8 and Windows RT will support the technology on most websites. Once again, this eliminates one of my primary uses for remote desktop.
Of course, if you don’t want to worry about remote desktop at all, Windows 8 is the way to go. Each Windows 8 tablet will have full support for the desktop, so all of your applications will continue to run like they have on past versions of Windows. A common misconception is that all Windows 8 tablets will be big, bulky, and expensive. This, however, is thankfully not the case in most circumstances. And with Intel’s new Clover Trail processor, these devices will be able to match – and in some cases best – the thickness and weight of the iPad.
So while an iPad or Android device with an app like Splashtop works quite well, it seems odd to settle for something that relies on a constant internet connection. With Windows 8 and Windows RT, you get the best of both worlds. And the desktop truly is an app.