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Microsoft to offer free Office on smaller Windows 8 tablets, says Outlook is coming to Windows RT

by Doug Drinkwater

June 5 2013

Tami Reller was speaking at the Computex exhibition in Taiwan this week
Tami Reller was speaking at the Computex exhibition in Taiwan this week

It’s been a busy week at Microsoft. The firm has just announced that a free version of Office will come pre-loaded on “small screen” Windows 8 tablets, and has also confirmed that Outlook is finally heading for Windows RT devices.

Speaking during a keynote at the Computex trade fair in Taiwan on Tuesday, Windows chief financial officer (CFO) Tami Reller briefly detailed that new x86-based Windows 8 tablets will ship with Office, but didn’t mention much more other than noting that Office will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

Further details were to follow. Microsoft revealed in a Windows blog post that Office Home and Student 2013 will come pre-loaded for free on “small screen tablets” like Acer’s Iconia W3, while a company rep later told Engadget that the bundled software will only be for Windows 8 tablets with screens smaller than 10-inches.

There was good news for Windows RT device owners too, with Reller also confirming that a version of the Outlook email client (which is called Outlook RT 2013) will come to their tablet when the Windows 8.1 update arrives later this year.

Windows RT devices like Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet have been able to access Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote since launch, but the absence of the Outlook email client has caused some frustration.

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