Microsoft confirmed today that it will include a free version of Microsoft Office on all Windows RT tablets.That’s great news for consumers, particularly students.
Windows RT is Microsoft’s term for its ARM-based tablets. These are Windows devices geared toward consumers, with lower prices and longer battery life.
A second type of PC/tablet that runs on Intel processors is aimed at businesses. Microsoft called these devices Windows 8.
Today Microsoft spelled out more details on the version of Office that will run on RT. Microsoft is calling it Office Home & Student 2013 RT.
Yes, Microsoft still struggles with the whole naming thing.
The big news is that it will be free, even though it won’t be ready when the first Windows RT devices become available on October 26. These will include a preview version and will be automatically updated with the full final version for free via Windows Update. That will happen between November and January.
Microsoft promises that this version of Office includes all the features that consumers really care about. It left out a few features and most of them really shouldn’t be missed much.
For instance, Office RT won’t support Flash videos. But what’s the last Office documents you’ve seen that includes a Flash video?
On the other hand, it also carefully doesn’t include all the features that enterprises care about, namely email. Microsoft Outlook won’t run on Windows RT. To email a document, you’ll have to open a mail app, such as the one included with RT, and insert the Office document.
Microsoft doesn’t want this device to be too attractive to business users. It doesn’t want to tempt enterprises into buying less costly Windows RT tablets instead of pricier, but more powerful, Windows 8 combo tablet/PCs.
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