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Dec 4, 2012

Windows RT Can’t Get Infected with Windows 8 Viruses (at least for Now)

An article written by Geoffrey James of Inc.com describes a “horror” scenario in which a fully-patched Windows 7 computer gets infected with a virus even though a comprehensive security solution was also running.

This is, according to James, one of the main reasons why consumers should stay away from the Surface. “Because the Surface is based upon Windows, it is, and will remain, inherently unstable and insecure. That's because Windows itself is a security and stability nightmare,” he said. We’ve seen plenty of people actually asking on Microsoft’s support forums if Windows RT can indeed get infected with Windows 7 and Windows 8 malware and if yes, what’s the best app to protect these devices. Well, no, Windows RT platforms aren’t vulnerable to typical Windows infections and won’t be for the time being. It can’t even run legacy Windows apps, as the Windows RT software is specifically optimized for ARM platforms.

Here’s how Microsoft describes the new Windows RT installed on several tablet devices, including its very own Surface RT. “With Windows RT, you can install apps directly from the Windows Store, but you can't install desktop programs that you used with previous versions of Windows. You can only install printers, mice, keyboards, and other devices that are certified for Windows RT.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that malware creators won’t try to attack Windows RT tablets at some point. This will probably happen sooner than anyone’s expecting, but in case a Windows RT virus gets released out there, you can be 100 percent sure that Microsoft and the other security companies on the market will react as quick as possible.

So no, you can’t get infected. The Surface RT may come with a long list of drawbacks, but malware is yet to be one of them. The upcoming Surface with Windows 8 Pro, on the other hand, will indeed be vulnerable to typical Windows infections.

Windows RT can't run legacy Windows apps
Image credits to Microsoft


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