Microsoft throws hardware partners a bone, includes Office Home and Student 2013 with all Windows RT devices

Microsoft throws hardware partners a bone, includes Office Home and Student 2013 with all Windows RT devices

Summary: Versions of Word, Excel, Power Point and OneNote will be pre-installed on Windows RT tablets, including Microsoft Surface.


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.

[PhoneArena via Engadget]

More ZDNet Coverge of Microsoft Office 2013 

Topics: Microsoft, Tablets, Windows

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  • Could be great for college students...

    especially if they price them to them to compete.
  • I thought...

    it was already announced a while back that RT was only going to include Office. It's the only app on an RT device that can access desktop mode.
    • You are right, ZD Net wrong again

      Microsoft may have REPEATED that the RT versions of Windows will include a version of Office, but they had made that clear to everyone but (apparently) ZD Net earlier.
  • Whatever Microsoft Thinks...

    Office 2013 on tablets will never be as usable as a real Metro version (although with limited features) would have been.

    Spending time with it on a tablet will convince you that even with the "touch" mode enabled, it is somewhat ackward to use. Office remains a "desktop" application whatever the fresh paint coat you put on it.

    I strongly hope Microsoft will make good use of their development force and pursue the conversion they seem to have started with OneNote and provide a real Metro version for all key Office applications.
  • well now

    If this proves to be the full version apps like the Desktop, I would be willing to buy one of these!
  • Hmmmm

    Slightly improve my chances in buting a Windows RT Surface but I'd still would like Outlook as well as my "regular" Windows apps and not RT based.
  • Microsoft is desperatey scared of the iPad...

    For Microsoft to even contemplate giving away their crown jewels Office suite with anything has to be the strongest indication that they are desperately sacred of the iPad and Apple stealing the next PC growth platform from under their noses.

    The gargantuan success of the iPad and the falling sales of PCs appears to have wrought the unthinkable - Microsoft not charging through the nose for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

    How the world has changed.
    • If anyone should be scared, it should be Apple, becasue, the productivity

      software being included with Windows 8, will make the new Windows PCs a lot more attractive to people looking for new purchases. And, the WinRT tablet automatically becomes a lot more of a productivity platform than the iPad and any Android tablet. Killing multiple birds with a single multi-purpose stone. The productivity software are things that, with other tablets, people would have to pay for, from their corresponding apps stores.

      Think about it...

      The productivity software being included now with WinRT tablets, are things that would've cost hundreds of dollars in the earlier Windows/PC days, and, that productivity software would easily have cost as much as the tablet itself.

      That is a winning strategy, and Apple can't match it. Apple may not be scared right now because, they already have an established user base, and a fan-base which doesn't care what others release or how good the others are. But, going forward, Apple had better start worrying.
      • MS's record of failures to date means Apple is not too worried...

        At this point Microsoft's record with the litany of utter failures over the last decade ranging from the Zune, Kin, TabletPC, SpotWatch, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Bing, Slate PC, NetBooks, UltraBooks (shared responsibility with Intel on that one) would lead one to suspect that Apple isn't too worried at this point.

        And yes, that user-base of 400 million active credit card accounts and around 400 million iOS devices sold with 90% + satisfaction rates is indeed a very strong foundation of fans that will serve Apple well as the competition heats up.

        This is just one more example of the desperation Microsoft is showing. I mean, when has Microsoft ever paid a manufacturer a billion dollars to convince them to use Windows on their PCs? That's effectively what they did to encourage Nokia to use Windows Phone. Giving away Office for free is on a similar scale of a Hell has Frozen over event.
        • Yet, it's Apple that has just 3 basic products, which are now having to

          compete against Google's Android, and not, a more formidable competitor that comes will all guns blazing in the form of Surface tablets, and Windows 8.

          When it comes to failures, Microsoft can afford to have a few, while, if Apple has just one failure, it's a disaster, because, Apple can't afford to lose one of its THREE (3) products. And, with the iPads now getting competition from Android and Microsoft's double threat with 2, not just 1, but TWO (2) tablets, then Apple had better be worried.

          Once one of those measly 3 products starts to falter, it's going to be taps to the Apple market cap, and Apple might start looking like the Apple of 15 years ago.
          • 3 products?

            I'm afraid your arithmetic skills are severely lacking.

            Currently shipping Apple products all sporting different form factors, sizes and capabilities and Apple's various Services include:

            - 2 MacBook Air models
            - 3 MacBook Pro models
            - 2 iMac models
            - Mac Pro
            - Mac Mini
            - iPhone 3GS
            - iPhone 4
            - iPhone 4s
            - iPod touch
            - iPod Nano
            - iPod Shuffle
            - iPad 2
            - iPad 3
            - AppleTV
            - iTunes Music and Media Store
            - iOS App Store
            - Mac App Store
            - Apple Retail Stores

            And very soon we will see the iPhone 5, iPad Mini and new TV product added to the mix.

            3 products? I don't think so.
  • sure!

    sure for us, kind of unafortunated animals that have REAL work to do (I mean, not just spending hundred$ to just: see that films in fullhd, do all-day-long 'liked this and that' or emailing bullsheets. We don't have time for that (neither $ ;), REAL WORK asks a PABLET.