It's official: Office RT will lack some features

Well, those rumors that were going around last month were spot on. Microsoft has updated its Office Next blog with fresh details about Office Home & Student 2013 RT, the ARM-compatible version of Office 2013, and it turns out the software will indeed be pared down compared to its x86 counterpart.

Here's the list of features ARM users will have to do without:

  • Macros, add-ins, and features that rely on ActiveX controls or 3rd party code such as the PowerPoint Slide Library ActiveX control and Flash Video Playback
  • Certain legacy features such as playing older media formats in PowerPoint (upgrade to modern formats and they will play) and editing equations written in Equation Editor 3.0, which was used in older versions of Office (viewing works fine)
  • Certain email sending features, since Windows RT does not support Outlook or other desktop mail applications (opening a mail app, such as the mail app that comes with Windows RT devices, and inserting your Office content works fine)
  • Creating a Data Model in Excel 2013 RT (PivotTables, QueryTables, Pivot Charts work fine)
  • Recording narrations in PowerPoint 2013 RT
  • Searching embedded audio/video files, recording audio/video notes, and importing from an attached scanner with OneNote 2013 RT (inserting audio/video notes or scanned images from another program works fine)

Microsoft has also confirmed that Office Home & Student 2013 RT won't be sold on its own—you'll only be able to get it pre-installed on Windows RT devices. Oh, and folks who buy Windows RT tablets at launch will only get "preview editions" of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. The apps will update automatically to the final versions once those are available, though.

The company says it will disclose more details on October 26, the day Windows 8 and Windows RT officially debut.

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