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Microsoft to Add Outlook to Windows RT Tablets

Microsoft said early Wednesday morning that Outlook would be added to the Office suite bundled with Windows RT tablets, including the Microsoft Surface, which will also see some new function-key enhancements.

In a blog post, Microsoft said that its chief marketing officer, Tami Reller, is expected to shortly demonstrate the new features of Windows 8.1 in a presentation at the Computex show in Taiwan. 

Reller is expected to say that small-form-factor Windows tablets will receive Office Home and Student 2013 right out of the box. Those tablets include the Acer Iconia W3, first out of the gate in the smaller category.

Taken together, the new enhancements pale in comparison to the disclosures about Windows 8.1 Microsoft made last week, including the initial disclosure that the Start menu would be tweaked, and that features like boot-to-Desktop would be included. The company then tipped the Windows 8.1 features that would appeal to businesses, including enhancements to printers, and locking down access to unauthorized apps within the Windows environment.

Users in the latter camp will undoubtedly welcome the addition of Outlook, especially those who can’t (or won’t) work within the Webmail environment that they were originally forced to use. Outlook RT will be added to the Surface and other RT devices via an update from the Windows Store when Windows 8.1 is released, Microsoft said.


“We’re always listening to our customers and one piece of feedback was that people want the power of Outlook on all their Windows PCs and tablets,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “In fact, a Morgan Stanley research study found that 61% of people shopping for tablets consider Microsoft Office to be the single most important software feature.  We’re pleased to have Outlook 2013 RT join the other best-in-class Office 2013 RT applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. And just like those applications, Outlook 2013 RT delivers a great touch experience for people using tablets. ”

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