Report: More Office apps for Windows RT in the works

Earlier this month, Microsoft confirmed that it will launch an Outlook 2013 RT client later this year, as part of the free Windows 8.1 upgrade for Windows RT. The first version will be released next week as part of the public preview launch. Now there's a report that claims Microsoft may be planning to offer even more Office software for Windows RT.

Paul Thurrott wrote this week on WinSuperSite.com that internal test builds of Outlook RT at Microsoft also bring up a number of other install options, such as Access, InfoPath, Publisher, SharePoint Designer, Visio and SkyDrive Pro. Currently, Microsoft has released versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote that are pre-installed on all Windows RT devices.

The same story said that when the test version is fully installed, only InfoPath, SkyDrive Pro, Publisher, and SharePoint Designer show up alongside Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Outlook, leaving out Access and Visio. However, it would at least appear that Microsoft is testing out new Windows RT Office apps.

It's possible that Microsoft could release the rest of the Office software family for Windows RT users for an additional fee sometime in the future, or possibly if the person has signed up for a subscription to Office 365. In any case, this development should please Windows RT device owners, especially those who own Microsoft's own Surface RT tablets.

Source: WinSuperSite | Image via WinSuperSite

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15 Comments

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Releasing "desktop" apps for RT is somewhat useless. As of now, the RT market is fully dominated by Surface tablets.

These devices are "touch first" and deserve proper "Modern" apps. The desktop mode will NEVER be workable on small screen devices, whatever the ribbon or other UX gimmick added.

RT must be made self sufficient by removing all remaining "desktop" dependencies and fully concentrate on the touch-first experience.
The Office division already lost enough time and should be releasing scaled downed, Modern versions of its software suite.

I'm guessing you don't actually have a Surface RT.

I do, and the office apps have been far from useless. And once I get Outlook on my RT, life will be even better.

I don't disagree that there should (and I'm sure will be) 'store' versions of these apps. But that will take time. I'm happy with what I have now in the interim and glad they did it that way.

Hm - honestly, I can use a Surface RT as a primary work device, although right now I have to RDP into another machine to use a specific legacy desktop app (not Office-related). That internal app has moved to the web, although I still use the desktop version because I also have Outlook running in that VM to organize rules and do voting and other calendar/meeting options there that the native mail app can't handle (although the native mail app is better since the very last update for it a few months ago, it still isn't Outlook). Once Outlook runs on RT, I actually will have no required ties to an x86 desktop to do my job - it's all at once scary and cool, as a guy who's used Windows 100% since about 2005.

scumdogmillionaire said,
I'm guessing you don't actually have a Surface RT.

I do, and the office apps have been far from useless. And once I get Outlook on my RT, life will be even better.

My first thought as well. The Surface RT (and Pro for that matter) is by design a convertible device... a tablet and a laptop/netbook. I use the desktop a lot on mine, and it works just fine. Office makes perfect sense as a desktop application because I'm going to be using a real keyboard when using them. I want to see more desktop software made available for Windows RT... it will only make it a more useful a device in my opinion.

TheCyberKnight said,

These devices are "touch first" and deserve proper "Modern" apps. The desktop mode will NEVER be workable on small screen devices, whatever the ribbon or other UX gimmick added.

RT must be made self sufficient by removing all remaining "desktop" dependencies and fully concentrate on the touch-first experience.

Sounds like you should just go buy an iPAD. Oddly enough, half the people I know that own iPADs have purchased blue-tooth keyboards to go with them.

It annoys me to no end that some people seem to be advocating that everything needs to be a modern ui touch app. I know touch is the latest craze, but it is NOT the best interface for everything. Office applications being a prime examples of use cases where touch just slows things down. Not that it can't still be useful to have a touch screen when using Office, as sometimes I will still use the screen to scroll in documents, but I sure don't want to use an onscreen keyboard for data entry.

Edited by domboy, Jun 24 2013, 1:31pm :

I don't know why this wasn't done before (likely because it wasn't ready).

Word, Powerpoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook - available to everyone.
All of the other business Office apps - requires Office 365 subscription.

theyarecomingforyou said,
You really need to add a sarcasm tag, as otherwise people will think you're being serious.

you mad?