So Microsoft's Michael Angiulo has begun to defend it.
Angiulo, corporate vice president, Windows Planning, Hardware & PC Ecosystem, says Microsoft has no intention to ditch RT and promises that it will only get better over time. So he told CNet's Brooke Crothers.
RT is the the version of Windows 8 that runs on a low-power ARM processor but does not run older Windows apps. The only apps that work on it are the Windows 8 apps housed in Microsoft's app store. RT is meant to compete with other mobile operating systems like Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
Restricting RT to new Windows 8 apps has severely hamstrung the device because there aren't that many Windows 8 apps available. As of February, the Windows 8 store had just over 40,000 apps, reports PC World's Brad Chacos. Worse still, the rate at which developer were adding new apps slowed to a crawl.
The situation was so alarming that earlier this month, Microsoft agreed to pay developers for get moving. Microsoft's Keep the Cash program pays them $100 per app published in the Windows Store, with a $2,000 cap. Microsoft will run this program until June.
Meanwhile, RT users don't have access to any of the thousands of already popular Windows 7 apps, including some of Microsoft's own. For instance, Microsoft includes a limited version of Office with RT: Word, OneNote, PowerPoint and Excel, but not email management app, Outlook.
None of that matters, says Angiulo.
"People are talking about legacy desktop software not running, but they don't think about the customer benefit of only running modern apps ... Let's say you drop that PC in a pool. Well, you get a new one and then you just redownload [the apps]. ... So, on Windows RT, the user experience stays consistent over time. That's a big benefit. And as the number of apps grow in the store, that value promise only gets stronger."