One of the key differences between Microsoft’s upcoming Windows RT platform and competing mobile operating systems such as iOS or Android is that Windows RT will come with Microsoft Office preloaded.
That means you won’t need to spend extra money to buy an office suite, and you won’t have to wonder whether your device will have compatibility issues when trying to open MS Office documents.
But that’s only part of the story. Today Microsoft is laying out more details about Office for Windows RT. And it’s not all pretty.
The good news is that Office for Windows RT will include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. But you won’t get Outlook, Access, or Publisher.
You also won’t get all the same features on Windows RT that you get with Office 2013 for x86 devices. For instance, there’s no support for macros, add-ins, or ActiveX.
When Windows RT ships on October 26th, Microsoft will include a preview version of Office Home & Student 2013. A free update to the full version will be available once it’s ready for public consumption.
While the new version of Office has been retooled so that certain functions are easier to use on tablets and laptops with touchscreen displays, you can still use Word, Excel, and other apps with a keyboard and mouse or touchpad.
Windows RT may be designed for devices with ARM-based processors, but that doesn’t exclusively mean slate-style computers without keyboards.
This is a complete failure on Microsoft’s part. Had the version of Office for Windows RT been full on like its’ x86 counterpart it may have given MS the upper hand in the tablet world and may have been able to propel Windows RT tablets into the spotlight. Now with this news no one is going to want a RT tablet simply because Android w/ one of its’ many office suites offers more than MS does for its’ own documents. Simply put a hobbled Excel and no Outlook makes it nothing more than a glorified MS document viewer. FAIL
So in short, it won’t run regular Windows applications, the only apps it’ll run are the – very, very few – Windows 8 apps, and it doesn’t even have a full version of Office? Why would anyone want this over x86 Windows or Android? I could have seen enterprise customers buying them, but with a crippled Office suite and no Outlook?
Battery life. Price, as it is expected to be considerably cheaper. 50% lighter so more portability. Expectation that big applications will be ported, depending on uptake, may also influence the decision. Perhaps the comparison is like Mike said above, comparing this with iPad which won’t run “regular Windows applications”, and won’t run the Office suite either, rather than comparing it to x86…
Actually, considering what you are getting (i.e. the vast majority of Office features that the vast majority of users will ever need), Microsoft could be onto a winner.
A fully functional free version of Office could well be a difference maker in the forthcoming battle with the iPad (in particular). They need a compelling reason to draw customers away from their competitors, and for those who use their tablets as a work tool (yes, there are some) will no doubt look very closely at this next time they’re feel the urge to upgrade.
If they’re wise, they’ll be talking more about Office and less about Win8/RT when the time comes to ship.
Comments are closed.