Office 2013 for Microsoft Windows RT tablets won't support macros, third-party add-ins

Summary:The initial version included will be a Preview edition that can be updated to the full version in 2013.

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With the arrival of Windows RT tablets -- including Microsoft's new Surface RT models -- in a couple of months , a few details have emerged about the version of Office 2013 that is to be included with the new slates . And as you might expect, there will be some missing features that will likely be available on the version for the pricier Surface Windows 8 Pro tablets.

The Verge has discovered that the RT version of Office 2013 will lack the ability to support macros or Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) scripts, both favorites of power users. You also won't be able to use third-party add-in utilities with the RT edition. According to one of The Verge's sources, there will be a few other (still undisclosed) "small" features that won't be part of Office Home & Student 2013 RT. The removals are supposedly related to preserving battery life and improving stability.

Considering that RT tablets are going to be marketed more toward consumers, the cut-down nature of Office 2013 RT shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, if you are a frequent user of macros and VBA scripts, you'd probably want to spring for the Pro slate anyway. What may be a little more surprising is that the Office version shipping with the initial run of Windows RT tablets will be labeled a "Preview" edition, which will be upgradeable to the full version in 2013. (Presumably there will be no cost to the upgrade.)

Will anyone considering purchasing a Windows RT tablet really miss these features from Office 2013? Will the missing features impact the success of Microsoft's RT tablet strategy? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section below. 

Topics: Microsoft, Tablets

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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