One of the key differences between a Windows tablet and one that runs Android, iOS, or another operating system is that you can run Microsoft Office on a Windows tablet (along with thousands of other classic Windows apps).
Up until recently if you wanted to do that though, you had to buy a copy of Office on your own dime or pick up a Windows RT tablet like the Microsoft Surface RT which came with Office preloaded.
But there could be another option soon: Just buy a small, cheap Windows 8 tablet like the Acer Iconia W3.
Microsoft has announced that it will office Office 2013 Home & Student for free to companies offering Windows 8 tablets with 7 and 8 inch displays.
Office 2013 Home & Student normally sells for $140 and includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. It does not include Outlook, Access, or Publisher.
While there are plenty of free or inexpensive alternatives to Office including LibreOffice and Google Docs, Microsoft’s office suite is still pretty much an industry standard, so if you need to make sure you can open, edit, and create documents and don’t want to worry about whether your teacher, boss, or friend will be able to use them, Office is still a pretty safe bet.
So bundling Office with upcoming small tablets could be a good way to increase the value of these little computers — although you may need a full-sized keyboard (like the one that Acer will offer for its Iconia W3) to take full advantage of the bundled software.
Meanwhile, Microsoft will continue to offer Office for free to Windows RT users — and the company has announced that when Windows 8.1 launches later this year users will get Outlook 2013 RT for free as well.
Outlook will be available when users download and install the free Windows 8.1 update on their RT devices, and it’ll likely be included on tablets and other devices that ship with Windows RT in the future.
via The Verge