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Microsoft's Outlook RT preview: Which features are (and aren't) supported

The Windows RT 8.1 preview includes a bundled version of a new Outlook RT client. Here's which features are and are not supported in this new app.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

As part of this week's Windows RT 8.1 public preview, Microsoft also made available to testers a first public preview of Outlook 2013 RT.


Microsoft officials shared information about which features are and are not supported with the Outlook RT preview in an Outlook IT Pro blog post on June 27.

The Outlook RT app is a live tile application with "most of the familiar look and feature functionality found in the enterprise version of Outlook," Microsoft officials said. Outlook 2013 RT can connect to Exchange Server 2007, 2010 or 2013, as long as Autodiscover is configured, officials confirmed.

However, because tablets have different requirements than other computing devices, a few features in the enterprise version of Outlook are not in the RT version, according to to the Softies.

Among them:

  • No support for Online Archive or Personal Archive mailboxes
  • No ability to apply Messaging Records Management (MRM) retention policies
  • No Site Mailboxes
  • No support for Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy tips
  • No Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and COM Add-in support, no support for macros, add-ins or other custom programs (This is the same limitation that's imposed on all applications that are part of Office Home & Student 2013, which is installed as part of Windows RT and the RT 8.1 preview.)
  • No ability to set information rights management (IRM) on new email messages
  • No integration between Outlook 2013 RT and Lync (or any other of the Office Home & Student 2013 apps, for that matter
  • No integration with SharePoint, as the Outlook Contact Card does not display an active link to users' SharePoint My Site pages
  • No ability to add a fax account to Outlook 2013 RT
  • No ability to configure Outlook 2013 RT using Group Policy (same limitation as other Office Home & Student 2013 apps face)

The blog post also made explicit the licensing terms around the new Outlook RT:

"Windows RT 8 and Windows RT 8.1 Preview ship with Office Home & Student. If your organization also purchased commercial use rights or has a commercial license to Office 2013 suites that include Outlook, your users can use Outlook 2013 RT to get to business on their RT devices too."

Outlook RT runs on Microsoft's ARM-based Surface RT devices, as well as any/all other ARM-based Windows RT tablets and PCs. It is being positioned as a complement, not a replacement to, the built-in Windows Mail client on Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs. Outlook RT will function the same as Outlook 2013, in terms of how it is installed and maintained.

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