Windows RT: Office and Certified Peripherals information uncovered

While we all anxiously wait for the Microsoft Surface/Windows RT to arrive, a few new details have been uncovered from a variety of sources about the latest hardware/software package from Microsoft. The first bit of news is that Microsoft has quietly updated its Surface website with new text at the bottom that gives us a bit of new information about the platform.

The first bit of news is that Microsoft dropped the word Preview from the following line, "Surface for Windows RT includes Office Home & Student 2013 RT". It used to say "Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview" would be included with the Surface RT. While we would not read this to believe that a final version of Office will be shipping with the RT platform on October 26th, it is a small, but notable change to the site.

While on the subject of Office, The Verge is claiming that a preview edition will ship with Windows RT this Fall and that it will also include a few exceptions to improve battery life and performance. The source states that Macros, VBA support and third party add-ins will all be dropped which lines up with previous information that Mary Jo Foley reported that VBA and VSTO support are not authorized for submission to the Office store.

In another update to the Surface website, it looks like Microsoft may be locking down the peripherals that can be used with Windows RT. While we did our diligence to ask around and searched cache pages, it appears that the following language is a new edition to the site: "Works exclusively with printers, mice, and keyboards certified for Windows RT." This language is straight forward, if you want a peripheral, it must be certified by Microsoft to work on the platform. 

We are certain to learn more about Windows RT as we get closer to the launch of the platform in late October but until then, we will take what we can get until Microsoft decides to open up and answer all of our questions. 

Source: Microsoft | ZDnet | TheVerge

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11 Comments

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I don't think Microsoft is locking down the peripherals with Windows RT.

It is more a drivers issue than anything else since, if not coded using WinRT (which is unlikely for drivers), they must be compiled for ARM and properly signed by Microsoft before being installable on the RT devices.

Hello,

I was wondering about that. It sounds like there is no provision for third-party signed drivers on Windows RT.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

What people are forgetting is that Office 2013 won't RTM the moment this RT version is sold with the Surface. It will continue to be developed and the RTM for x86 and x64 will most definitely be a later, more sophisticated build with a different update tree from the RT release.
It's just changed because Preview is associated with buggy pre-release software.

While we would not read this to believe that a final version of Office will be shipping with the RT platform on October 26th, it is a small, but notable change to the site.

Releasing a buggy preview of Office with a release version of Windows would be insane.

Aethec said,

Releasing a buggy preview of Office with a release version of Windows would be insane.

Been using the Office 2013 Preview since July 16th and it is anything but buggy.

Aethec said,

Releasing a buggy preview of Office with a release version of Windows would be insane.

The competition releases buggy preview apps with their portable devices. Those preview apps are used as part of an extensive advertising campaign, and it is cheered by the users of those devices.