Microsoft 2013 Office RT Availability Announced

We have known about the existence of the ARM version of Microsoft’s Office suite for ARM tablets for sometime now, thanks to an unintended unofficial announcement by Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky on his Windows On ARM blog. Microsoft has now officially confirmed this in a blog post and has also announced the possible time frame during which Office Home & Student 2013 RT. will become available.

Microsoft has now confirmed that Office Home & Student 2013 RT will be available as a pre-installed app in all ARM based Windows RT tablets and that the Office suite will function as a desktop app and thus, will not available as a separate download in the Microsoft Store. Those who get Windows RT tablets during the general availability will get the preview edition of the Office Home & Student 2013 RT suite. The preview edition will then be upgraded to final edition starting from November. The upgrades will continue throughout the year and last till January. This is due to the fact that different language versions of the Office RT app will gets upgraded at different times, depending on development.

The x86 version of the 2013 Office and the RT version will differ only slightly and Microsoft has listed a few changes that will be found in the RT version of Office 2013. They are as follows:

  • Macros, add-ins, and features that rely on ActiveX controls or 3rd party code such as the PowerPoint Slide Library ActiveX control and Flash Video Playback
  • Certain legacy features such as playing older media formats in PowerPoint (upgrade to modern formats and they will play) and editing equations written in Equation Editor 3.0, which was used in older versions of Office (viewing works fine)
  • Certain email sending features, since Windows RT does not support Outlook or other desktop mail applications (opening a mail app, such as the mail app that comes with Windows RT devices, and inserting your Office content works fine)
  • Creating a Data Model in Excel 2013 RT (PivotTables, QueryTables, Pivot Charts work fine)
  • Recording narrations in PowerPoint 2013 RT
  • Searching embedded audio/video files, recording audio/video notes, and importing from an attached scanner with OneNote 2013 RT (inserting audio/video notes or scanned images from another program works fine)

A clearer picture regarding upgrade dates and general availibility will be provided by Microsoft following the official release date, which is scheduled for October 26.

Source: Office Blogs

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