Microsoft confirms that Office will be free on Windows RT tablets, but says a full version of the suite won't hit the ARM-powered slates until at least November.
Announcing the news via its Office Next blog, the company said that Office for Windows RT, the ARM-based version of Windows 8, will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
These tools will initially be available through the pre-installed Office Home & Student 2013 RT package (which won’t be sold as a standalone product), with a full-featured version of Office for Windows RT being delivered via Windows Update from November until January, depending on your language.
This news backs up a report from The Verge, which last month claimed that Windows RT tablets wouldn't be getting the full version of Office until 2013.
Windows RT is essentially a slimmed down version of Windows 8 and has been optimized for tablet touchscreens and to provide a long-lasting battery life.
With battery life in mind, Microsoft has been forced to omit some features from the full version of Office for Windows RT. The Redmond firm used its Office Next blog to detail that Outlook will be absent, while there will be no support for macros, adds-ins and tools that rely on ActiveX controls or third-party code.
Microsoft has also clamped down on the ability for PowerPoint to run older media formats, for users create a Data Model in Excel or to record voice narrations in PowerPoint.
Windows RT tablets, including Microsoft’s own-brand Surface model, are due to launch from October 26. Vendors have thus far failed to announce any prices, although a source from Lenovo recently estimated that Windows RT models will cost between $400 and $500, with the Intel-driven Windows 8 tablets going for up to $300 more.