Businesses can't use Office on Windows RT tablets!?
UPDATED: You'd think this would be a no-brainer, but the version of Office that coming on Windows RT-powered tablets expressly forbids its "use in commercial, nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities." It turns out you can only legally use it for business if you have an additional license for "Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Small Business Premium, Office Midsize Business or Office 365 Enterprise."
One of the attractions of Windows RT tablets to business was to have been that it was coming with a baked-in version of Office 2013. And, so it will, it's just that you may, or may not, be able to use that edition for "commercial, nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities." Say what?
The Windows 8 Pro tablets and Surface devices, with x86 processors, are meant for the mainstream IT market and will support a business version of Office 2013.. Still, Windows RT and Microsoft's ARM-powered Surface tablets, are meant to take on Android tables and iPads in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) market. There has been no news of a "full" extra-cost Office suite for RT.
What's the Gospel truth? It wasn't until Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet's top Microsoft reporter, did some digging that Microsoft finally clarified its position. Foley discovered that you can use Office RT for business if you also buy a license for Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Small Business Premium, Office Midsize Business or Office 365 Enterprise. Otherwise, you're out of luck.
While the mystery has been solved, it is odd that on the very eve of Windows RT and Office RT's release Microsoft left its enterprise, small business, and non-profit customers confused as to whether or not they'll be able to legally use Office RT for business purposes.
With a tip of the hat to Adrian Kingsley-Hughes and Mary Jo Foley for their help in reporting this story. Updated with information found by Foley.