Microsoft to Windows RT 8.1 preview users: Come and get Outlook 2013 for Windows RT

Microsoft to Windows RT 8.1 preview users: Come and get Outlook 2013 for Windows RT

Summary: Microsoft is advising those still running Windows RT 8.1 preview to come and get the final version of Outlook 2013 RT before the Windows RT 8.1 preview expires in January 2014.


I didn't realize that the version of Outlook 2013 RT that came bundled with the RTM version of Windows 8.1 RT was still officially a preview release. 

Update: Actually, this seems NOT to be the case. I've asked Microsoft if yesterday's blog post is just a reposting of a past entry. It looks as if Outlook 2013 RT already had RTM'd as I thought originally. Stay tuned for Microsoft's official response. 

Update 2: Microsoft's answer is the blog post contains some confusing and incorrect information. The final version of Outlook 2013 RT was part of the final version of Windows RT 8.1. Updates to the final bits will come via Windows Update and not the Windows Store.

Microsoft officials re-announced they've made the RTM version of Microsoft's Outlook mail client ported to Windows RT available in the Windows Store for download for free on October 31. (Note: Microsoft's wording of this post made it appear to me and others that those running Windows 8.1 RT RTM bits didn't yet have the final version of Outlook 2013 RT. However, this seems to just be a case of confusing wording. Sorry for the confusion, readers.)

Microsoft is advising users still running the Windows RT 8.1 preview bits to get the final version of Windows RT 8.1 before the preview expires in January 2014. Outlook 2013 RT is bundled as part of the Windows RT 8.1 operating system. To get the final Outlook 2013 RT bits, preview users need to install the RTM of Windows RT 8.1, which is available via the Windows Store.

Microsoft's October 31 blog post also reiterated past guidance to users regarding Outlook 2013 RT.

Outlook 2013 RT can connect to Exchange Server 2007, 2010 or 2013 as long as the Autodiscover service is configured, officials said.

In a post on the Office IT Pro blog, Microsoft officials noted there are some Exchange features not available in Outlook 2013 RT "because tablets have special needs for security and mobility." These include:

  • Online Archive or Personal Archive mailboxes
  • Applying Messaging Records Management (MRM) retention policies
  • Site Mailboxes
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy tips

Outlook 2013 RT also doesn't run macros, add-ins and/or custom programs developed by third parties. (The same is true of the rest of the Microsoft Office 2013 RT suite.) Outlook 2013 RT also doesn't allow users to set information-rights management on new e-mail messages, nor does it allow integration with Lync. outlook 2013 RT also cannot be configured using Group Policy.

The Office IT Pro post lists more limitations of the Outlook 2013 RT client.

Those interested in using Office 2013 RT for business purposes (and not just personal ones) should make sure their businesses have purchased commercial use rights or have a commercial license to Office 2013 suites that include Outlook, Microsoft officials said.

I blogged yesterday that I've heard talk that Microsoft ultimately may be planning to replace the Windows Mail and Calendar apps that are bundled with Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT. One of my tipsters claims that the idea is to make Outlook the sole mail client on Windows 8.X and its successors, going forward. I have no idea when this might happen.

Currently, Outlook RT is a desktop app. I wonder when/whether Microsoft plans to turn it into a Metro-Style/Windows Store one. No word on that so far....

Update 3: Microsoft has completely pulled the original blog post on which this post was based.

Topics: Unified Comms, Collaboration, Microsoft, Mobility, ARM, Microsoft Surface, Windows 8


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Not happy about Outlook.

    I like the Mail app and have no interest in Outlook. Why should I have to use Microsoft's separate e-mail client? Microsoft should focus on fixing things such as IE11 first. It keeps dropping out the app and returning to the Start Screen.
    • Because Outlook offers more...

      And some of us out there need more functionality. It is a great argument for Microsoft to bring the Surface 2 in enterprises.
      Maxime Tremblay
      • May be I missing something

        I have been happy with Metro version mail and have been using it since November 2012,mwith five different email accounts. Although my work laptop had Office2012 and now has Office2013 with Outlook, my laptop morphed to my desktop. Hence, I check my emails on the Metro UI mail with which I have not noted any problems.

        Since I upgrade to Windows 8.1 RT, I have access to the Outlook RT on the desk. But some how, I do not like it. The notification does not exist, unless I am missing something here.

        I just want to know what is special about Outlook 2013 that is missing from the Metro Mail. The calendar should not be an issue here, as the Metro Calendar is doing good job.
        • Missing a lot

          You really believe that the combination of Metro Mail, Calendar and People covers the entire spectrum of what Outlook does? You must be seriously under utilizing Outlook. Now, that doesn't mean the Metro apps aren't just fine for me when I'm on my Surface 2. I had no desire for Outlook there, and in fact I would much rather have seen Metro versions of the rest of the Office products, ala OneNote, then have the vestigial desktop. That is not the case on Surface Pro, BTW, where I still want the full capabilities of all the Office products, including macros, vb, etc. It would be disastrous for MS to dumb down Office to force capability with Metro, and leave that as the only option. Sounds a bit like the new fully compatible iWorks option.
    • Get the lastest patches.

      There a few recent patches available for IE11. I use to have the same issu but not anymore. It is now very stable and it doesn't drop out anymore.
  • Question about the mail app

    I haven't set up outlook yet, but I do have a question about the "Metro" style mail app that comes with RT. Is it possible to turn off "auto load images"?

    Because auto-loading of images gives spammers a way of tracking whether you actually received and read their e-mails. I prefer to not give them that information.
    • Not downloading...

      on my PCs it isn't auto downloading, I have blue text at the top of the emails offering to download the images in the email. By default they are all placeholders with Alt text.
  • So Outlook 2013 RT is the Metro-style version of Outlook, right?

    Because if Microsoft's naming/branding decisions actually made sense, Outlook 2013 RT would be a Metro-style application. But it isn't, right? This is just another way that Microsoft's horrifying naming and branding decisions are confusing people?
    • Outlook 2013 RT is not a Metro Style app

      It's a desktop app. When you open it, it opens in the desktop.

      Yes, agree with you that using RT as part of the name of Windows RT and the WinRT API both made things confusing for many. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • Bad decision

    Dear Microsoft: After a year of waiting, the Mail app in Metro/Modern/Windows Store Windows RT is finally a usable app. We aren't interested in having it replaced by Outlook, unless you just rename the existing app Outlook. My mother, as a typical consumer, does not want Outlook, a massive, complicated beast that is incredibly useful for work e-mail but massive overkill for consumers. Please don't screw this up, okay? I know you guys don't really know anything about marketing products to consumers, so please consult with your new Nokia employees after the purchases closes. They have a clue.
    • Then don't use it.

      A lot of people have been waiting for it, so they are happy. If you don't need it, then don't use it, simples. I have both on my tablet, I use Outlook and Mail, they work in perfect harmony. Where is the problem?
      • We may not have a choice

        The problem is that this article suggests that Microsoft may scrap the Mail app, just when its more than useable and force people to use the more powerful and complicated Outlook, which is great for some people but not all.
  • Darned it!

    I hope they leave mail and calender alone on desktop 8.1! I finally got everything working the way I want to.. I use win 8.1 and windows phone 8 and I got my emails and calendars going back and forth fine between my phone and desktop and I hope MS doesn't screw with my goodness I got going on.. I love win 8.1 and winphone 8 is a phenom! ;-)
    Nick Zamparello
  • Office included

    Microsoft need to include the full office on the windows rt. Not only the outlook
    Utomo Prawiro