Windows RT version of Microsoft Office 2013 detailed

Microsoft revealed months ago that Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 that runs on processors with designs by ARM, would come with a pre-bundled version of its Office 2013 software suite. Today, the company offered up more information on how the Windows RT version of Office 2013 was developed and how it will be different from the version designed to run on x86-based processors (Windows 8).

In a post on the Office Next blog, Microsoft says the Office 2013 version for Windows RT will officially be called Office Home & Student 2013 RT and will contain versions of Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint. One of the development team's biggest goals was making sure it worked while still allowing for the Windows RT device to have as long of a battery life as possible. Microsoft states:

One example is the blinking cursor. There is no hardware or operating system support for a blinking cursor so software implements this feature using timers. To minimize the power impact, Office on Windows RT stops blinking the cursor after a few seconds if the user stops interacting with the application. When the user is away, we just show a fixed, non-blinking cursor. This requires no timer and is the best power citizenship option.

Many Windows RT-based products will likely have some kind of cellular wireless support. Microsoft says they have taken that into account with the Windows RT version of Office 2013. It states:

We can identify if the cellular network is unrestricted or if usage is metered (the user is paying for their usage), if the user is approaching or over their limit, and whether or not they are roaming. When we detect that the cellular network is metered we throttle network traffic to reduce our impact. When users are roaming or over their cap we inform them and give them the options to turn off network traffic.

The Windows RT version of Office 2013 will lack a few features compared to the regular Windows 8 version, including no support for "macros, add-ins, and features that rely on ActiveX controls or (third) party code", the lack of playing older media formats in PowerPoint RT and more. Windows RT products, including Microsoft's Surface tablet, will ship on October 26th with a preview version of Office 2013 but they will all get updates to the final version in the coming months.

Source: Office Next blog | Image via Microsoft

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11 Comments

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No macros or add-ins? Aww... Well, that kind of makes me a bit less interested in RT now... I have an Excel add-in that I just can't live without...

JaykeBird said,
No macros or add-ins? Aww... Well, that kind of makes me a bit less interested in RT now... I have an Excel add-in that I just can't live without...

That's the *real* difference between OfficeRT and the Office we're used to - RT is for the *basic* documents. However, looked at that way, RT is making more and more sense.

What had been going on (especially with the critics of the Modern UI) is that they looked at WindowsRT (and the WinRT API) and thought it was intended to replace Win32; hardly. WindowsRT and the WinRT API are meant to *complement* Win32 and .NET - not replace them (except maybe for niche usage at the low end). It's like the thinking about the Start menu; the Start menu - or lack thereof - has exactly diddly to do with Win32 (which predates the Start menu).

Wait, this comes with RT? Stop making me interested in your damn Surface, Microsoft. All I really need to hear is a price...

arknu said,
Looks like they have updated the icons compared to the Comsumer Preview build.

It's basically FREE!!!! But I'm thinking your talking about the tablet itself. I'm actually holding out for the Pro, and I'm asking the same question!

Night Prowler said,

It's basically FREE!!!! But I'm thinking your talking about the tablet itself. I'm actually holding out for the Pro, and I'm asking the same question!

I have a feeling that the surface pro would be priced at par with the Mac Book Air, maybe be slightly lower

ahhell said,
Yeah I know. I guess I should have clarified I meant Win RT as a whole (ie Surface).

Not WinRT. Windows RT. Yeah. Blame marketing for that one. WinRT is the API for Windows Store (née Metro) applications. Windows RT is the ARM edition of Windows 8.