Outlook RT to arrive with Windows 8.1; small Windows 8 tablets to ship with free Office

Microsoft has revealed some details about Windows tablets and Microsoft Office at Computex. The company has announced that small Windows 8 tablets (those sporting 7 or 8-inch displays) will ship with a free copy of Microsoft Office 2013. Windows CFO Tami Reller notes that while plans are in place to bundle Office Home and Student 2013 with said Windows hardware, it's up to OEMs to bundle the software, which would provide consumers Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

Acer has announced the Iconia W3, an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet that will ship with Office Home and Student 2013. While other manufacturers are yet to follow suit and unveil new hardware, we'll bet the release of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8.1 update will bring forth more announcements. One may have noticed that we didn't mention Outlook with the Microsoft Office 2013 bundle that will ship with Windows 8 tablets, but fear not if you're on Windows RT as Microsoft has you covered with Outlook 2013 RT.

Say hello to Outlook 2013 RT

The app will be made available on Windows RT tablets as part of the Windows 8.1 update that's set to arrive later this year. Those of us who have already purchased a Windows RT tablet, Outlook will be accessible with familiar features and tools. The software joins Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote as part of the Office 2013 RT suite. So what will be part of Outlook 2013 for RT hardware?

The new software will sport a streamlined user experience that reportedly reduces clutter and will focus on content. Newly introduced 'peeks' can also be utilised to view contacts and calendars without manually switching between tabs. We'll be eager to see what else Microsoft has up its sleeve with the latest in the Office 2013 RT chapter.

Source: Microsoft, The Verge

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.