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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 (opens in new tab), The Verge

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is 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 over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Free MS Office with Windows 8?
    Goodbye RT, I'm buying one of these things!!
  • I don't think you really understand what the article is about.
  • LOL, he doesn't :)
  • Failure to read the article.
  • He just wanted to be first comment. Hence the "wft" comment :P
  • Hate to ruin your pr0phecy, but unlike some mad commenters out here, I don't really have to have the first comment (as if that wins you anything)
  • "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."
    Enlighten me exactly what you assume I didn't understand
  • You misunderstood nothing, it sounds like they were in fact the ones rushing to the commments. Soon as I read it I understood what you meant perfectly. I was in fact of the same mind if I am buying a device under 10" it would not be RT because you lose all x86 compatibility and the trade off was a free office. Now when you remove that I find it pointless as well.
  • If you want all your x86 apps to run on a 7" tablet, I think you are misunderstanding the point of a tablet.
  • ^ THIS
  • It will be available on Windows RT with the 8.1 update.
  • Small devices only.
  • You guys do know that you can dock this to a bigger screen right? Don't be so narrow minded. Small form factor for metro apps. Dock to bigger screen and you can use full windows. This is great!
  • I think I see a palm print on a face...
  • lol, you can forget stand alone office apps for iOS!  MS is giving Apple the middle finger with this deal!  I'm guessing MS couldn't come to an agreement over the subscription cut apple wanted for O365 so this is what they get!
  • If this is true I might buy the Acer Iconia W3 8" Atom tablet.
  • This is the cherry on top.
    A Halo game and Outlook confirmed in the same week!!
    MS are unstoppable at the moment.
  • I'll guarantee you one thing: if WP8 were to sell over a million in the USA by the end of this month, then the universe will be divided by zero! ^_^
  • Hahaa
  • Outlook for my Surface RT is cool and all, but I really want VPN support, so I can stop begging my network admin to not block TeamViewer.
  • Wish granted. They announced that yesterday on the business side.
  • No kidding! Awesome!
  • I use VPN on my Surface RT.
  • It doesn't support most Entreprise class vpn's (Cisco, Juniper), funny enough iPhone/iPad supports it, my work colleagues use their dated devices perfectly.
  • yes, VPN works on RT, just not that proprietary push button Cisco shit that every lazy IT outfit has.
  • No need to that kinda of remark, my organizations deals with virtually every employed citizen of my country (yes, that big), and we use Cisco. Our community gains nothing to call lazy or dismiss a big partner like Cisco.
  • Anyconnect is lazy.  Microsoft already provides superior Ipsec solutions built in to server and provides additional superior DirectAccess solutions via Forefront.
  • if Citrix can provide a modern UI application for access to their remote desktop, then why has it taken Cisco so long to do the same?  To me, it reaks of Cisco's lazyness!!  My wife can VPN into her work network via stuck using $hitty Teamviewer to get into my work computer.  Cisco needs to step it up and just make a modern app.
  • At least TeamViewer (TV) did an app for us, in fact aside for the fact of the need to beg and pay the odd coffee here and there to my network admin, TV made it possible for me to go outside enjoy Lisbon's fine weather and still be productive.
  • I agree - I am still waiting for a CISCO METRO client for my RT device.  If I had known they were not going to make one - I would not have bought the RT device. It is frustrating becuase I actually love the device and use it everyday - but I have to lug a laptop around for a vpn client as all other options are blocked by our parent companies IT department.
  • The irony of a Windows admin saying this is priceless. 
  • Now just announce a 8 inch Surface RT with 64GB or more and I will begin throwing money at them
  • I'm hoping that full Windows 8 users who purchased Office 2013 also get the "Metro" version of Outlook as that would be great.
  • Windows 8 users also got the Metro version of OneNote so I don't see why not.
  • There is no Metro version of Outlook.
  • That's correct. The Outlook RT client being discussed will run on the desktop alongside Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. It's a stop-gap for RT users, who want the richer Outlook experience but can't actually install such a program. If you want to manage mail/calendar/people in the Metro UI, then you have the Mail, Calendar, and People apps. I'm sure an Outlook "MX" app will come down the road, but that's not what they're talking about here.
    Here's the thing: Asus and Lenovo are already offering true Windows 8 (not RT) tablets under $500. The Asus even comes with a Office 2013 Home & Student.;jsessionid=BFD40CF6F70641268F9D76803B2D1E85.bbolsp-app01-168?id=1218976381640&skuId=8986043
    Because it's "real" Windows 8, you can install whatever the hell you want on it. So, other than battery life, what makes Windows RT competitive with that price point?
  • This.
    Windows RT was poorly coordinated seeing it was made at the exact time Intel entered the SOC market with relatively cost efficient, aggressive & high performance chips. Microsoft failed dismally in capitalising on a massive opportunity with Atom: almost any consumer would pay a price premium of $80 for x86 compatibility. All RT has really done is segment the market and stain windows 8 through consumer confusion and overall uselessness.
  • USB port, micro SD slot, keyboard, and high build quality for USD $ 399 if you're savvy.
  • I am looking forward to some budget 8 inch 8 OS tablets. Don't really care for free office as I already have the office subscription. And 8.1 is looking great
  • This is fantastic. I don't know if I want to hold out for the new Acer 8 inch or just pick up another RT device like the Dell. Not having Outlook was the only thing holding me back from buying an RT device.
  • I'm loving these announcements! The Empire Strikes Back indeed!
  • @south dude, nicely put!
  • I just bought a win8 surface tab and I just downloaded a free trial of ms13. Hopefully when I upgrade to 8.1 I get the full version. There is also a free OneNote app for win8 which in my opinion looks better then the desktop version.
  • If it's the Surface Pro, you won't get it for free with 8.1. If you bought an RT, you already have the free full version of Office and thus will get Outlook for RT when 8.1 is released. 
    Edit: I did just see the update about MS offering Office for free on Windows 8 (x86) tablets under 10 inches, so that's pretty sweet. I did a double take though and unfortunately the Surface is 10.6", so the Pro is still left out of the equation.
  • I just got an RT here at teched. Cool that outlook is coming very nice :)
  • Lovin my Surface RT, and with Outlook now announced, even better. Only device that will replace my Surface RT is a Surface Pro with Haswell.
  • Is this a modern app or original app? And when will Microsoft just make Office into a modern app? In my personal opinion, it's the only thing holding back RT.
  • it would be nice if Outlook would simply replace the Mail app.  just like Skype should either replace the Messenger app or integrate with it. 
  • Good news but this sounds like a desktop app. Using RT, I feel there shouldn't really be (as much of) a desktop mode. To get a hold on the "iPad audience", it needs to feel more like a tablet.  I only go to the desktop for:
    --Office - with no VBA, this isn't much more than Office Web Apps; making this a Modern UI app doesn't seem like much a stretch, like One Note
    --IE (to add favorites) - like Windows Phone's simple app, the Modern UI app should have the ability to manage favorites
    --Control Panel - sounds like Control Panel might not be necessary to mess with if all settings will come together in the settings charm in 8.1
    --Remote Connection - technically, it's on the Desktop mode but launching it from the Start Screen you don't see no big deal where it is/isn't
    The other elephant in the room is Google calendar. The update of the productivity suite hosed the calendar connection. Windows Phone is being supported on EAS until WP8 gets CalDAV, but Microsoft has said nothing about this for Windows 8. Right now, I have read-only views of my Google calendars in my Outlook account so I can see them on the Surface RT, but obviously it'd be best to manage events. Unless a desktop Outlook app wouldn't have the limitations caused by the Google/Microsoft slapfight...that'd help a little I guess.
  • Is this app related or the other outlook?
  • Hell yeah cant wait for outlook rt :) really dont like the basic mail,calendar and contact apps.
  • I'll be interested to see if I can use this with an ActiveSync connection. I doubt RT will work with the SSL VPN solution my company has since it does local desktop checks like AV software.
  • I just hope that Oulook desktop for RT will support POP mail accounts. Otherwise it will be just as usless as the current Mail app.
  • Finally outlook on rt. Sorry if this has been answered before but are all the office products going to be made into the modern app style to avoid switching to desktop? I agree they need to make rt feel more tablet and less switching into desktop. Eventually get rid of the option to even go into the desktop.
  • Outlook is my biggest gripe I have with my RT and now that could soon be history :)