You could forgive Microsoft's hardware partners for feeling more than a bit miffed at the software giant's plans to obstensibly compete against them with its new Surface tablets. They should be a little happier (though probably just a little) today knowing that Microsoft has announced that the RT edition of Office Home and Student 2013 (first previewed last month) will be included with all devices running Windows RT.
In theory, Microsoft could have gone for the jugular and made it more difficult for tablets other than Surface to make use of the new office suite, but that would have hurt its efforts to get users to try Windows RT devices, which will use ARM processors and therefore won't be able to run Windows programs based on the x86 platform. After all, built-in Office programs (Word, Excel, Power Point and OneNote) will be a key differentiator of Windows tablets from competitors, which have yet to get Office apps of their own. (Though Windows IT Pro claims that apps for the iPad, iPhone, and Android will eventually be released.)
With its Surface Touch Case accessory (which includes a physical keyboard), Microsoft hopes that Office 2013 will break through the perception that tablets are best for entertainment consumption and not for everyday productivity. Will having Office 2013 RT pre-installed on a Windows RT device make you more likely to buy one? Let us know in the Talkback section below.