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Microsoft pulls Windows RT 8.1 update

The update that went live on the 18th left an unknown proportion of RT tablets unusable

Microsoft has had a really hard time convincing buyers that Windows RT is a worthwhile operating system that deserves a place alongside Android and iOS. But despite ad campaigns and even a new Surface tablet to replace the Surface RT, Microsoft doesn't seem to be gaining any traction. On top of that, the software giant really shot itself in the foot when it released the 8.1 update for the mobile OS.

8.1 was the patch that was supposed to fix many of RT's shortcomings much as Windows 8.1 was developed to address many of the issues users had with the full version of Windows 8. Much hyped additions such as Outlook RT were meant to bridge the gap and allow RT devices to reach the productivity goal that Microsoft claimed they were capable of.

Unfortunately, the much hyped patch left an unknown percentage of RT devices bricked and unable to turn on. A fix has since been posted on the Microsoft site that requires creating a bootable flash drive from another computer. The alternative is to send the tablet in for service.

With tablets running the full version of Windows 8.1 selling for as little as US$299 with a free copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student included (Dell Venue 8 Pro), you have to wonder why Microsoft is wasting its efforts on an OS that is pretty much only supported by devices made by Microsoft itself (including Nokia of course).


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Craig Munro, 2013-10-22 (Update: 2013-10-22)