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.

Comments closed
    • Vulk
    • 7 years ago

    Hmm. Well that’s going to be shite. I’m one of the 2% who uses VBA heavily. I stopped learning how to do things in Excel in 1998 and have just been coding the tasks since because I find it faster and it reduces the number of weird edge cases I run into… So now I dislike this product even more than before. Great.

    Oh well.

    Those Clover Trail atoms look cheap and are able to keep up with the A15 ARM processors still, and with the cheaper license without the bundled office that might be the direction to go.

    Wow… Win 8 is either going to be awesome or a major major headache to me and my company…

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 7 years ago

    So, did everyone here pre-order the phone with the ENLARGEMENT procedure ?

    • BabelHuber
    • 7 years ago

    Rumor has it that MS will also release versions of MS Office for Android and iOS.

    Let’s see what MS announces next month.

    Hopefully new Office-versions will be better than the current ones:

    I’ve tried out Polaris Office and Kingsoft Office on the Asus TF Prime with its keyboard, but you can forget to do some serious work. To make a minor correction in a PowerPoint presentation is working OK, but for serious work I still have to use the notebook.

    It’s a pity, because technically the TF Prime should be able to handle light office tasks like creating a PowerPoint presentation as soon as you connect the dock and a mouse.

    So I’m looking forward to read teh first tests.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Freebies called MS Office are often free… of useful features.

    • Noigel
    • 7 years ago

    No Compromises

      • Madman
      • 7 years ago

      That was about Metro, everyone will have to accept it.

      • Shouefref
      • 7 years ago

      We will not negotiate with terrorists!

    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    This is a big yawner for me, because I simply DO NOT have any need for office apps of any kind on my tablet, which happens to be an iPad.

    My iPad is for different tasks. Note taking, photos, music, email on the go, stuff like that. After much thought, I have decided that I do not need to be working on a spreadsheet or a powerpoint while on a train.

    For office tasks, a COMPUTER is still the best use of my time. So will there be a “standard” Office? I ask that because that’s what I want to use.

      • Noigel
      • 7 years ago

      Excel on a tablet sounds painful. The endless wasteland of scrolling, trying to put focus on cells, touch screen text entry.

        • mcnabney
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, the idea of entering functions and VB on a tablet is not doing it for me.

          • Madman
          • 7 years ago

          Actually automation is the only thing that could make tablets more useful. Although the vb scripts would probably written on normal PCs.

      • Vulk
      • 7 years ago

      I have an iPad too that doesn’t make me holier than anyone. I’ve also found that I can do an amazing amount of work using it with bluetooth keyboard. It’s a lot better than my laptop for a lot of things because the screen is better and it lasts 10 hours on a charge

      What your comment doesn’t do is: Make me respect you as a person, advance the conversation in any meaningful way that I can discern. What your comment does do: Makes me think you’re a tool who is seriously lacking any imagination.

      Plus look up the definition of computer. It doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means. In the classic sense an iPad is every bit a computer in that it does math.

        • rrr
        • 7 years ago

        0/10.

        Tried really hard to look legit, but ultimately “you’re a tool” gave you away.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      You’re forgetting that the Win8 tablets were demo’d with that really nifty keyboard-in-a-cover feature, so unlike your iPad, it will have options for a near-laptop form factor right from launch day.

      I think Office-on-a-tablet would synch pretty well to how I want to use a tablet. I like my hp TouchPad, but the limited compatibility with MS Office documents means I’m likely to break formatting if I try to edit anything on it. While I might not use it as a laptop replacement, there [i<]are[/i<] times where I'm looking at a document and I'll see an obvious way to change a sentence or fix a mistake or insert some editing comments, and it would be nice to just do it right there.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]so unlike your iPad, [/quote<] iPads have had keyboard covers available for a long time. Logitech and many others offer them and unlike the Windows tablet keyboard they actually do act as a cover for the screen.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<] unlike the Windows tablet keyboard they actually do act as a cover for the screen. [/quote<] wut?

    • Madman
    • 7 years ago

    OH, MY! SO TOTALLY UNEXPECTED :O

    RT is not really Windows… At least not fully.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    Those restrictions don’t sound bad to me.

    If Microsoft makes a similar version of office available for the iPad, I’ll buy it. But I’m not buying a windows tablet. So there it is Microsoft — the path to my money. Will you take it?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Of course not. Microsoft-sanctioned Office is a selling point of Win RT right now. Maybe eventually, but I think you’ve got a while to wait.

        • blastdoor
        • 7 years ago

        You may be right. Perhaps I’ll have to wait long enough for MS to decide that they’re never getting those iPad users to switch, so might as well make some money off of Office.

          • Arag0n
          • 7 years ago

          I’m going to give you the equation:

          If Microsoft releases Office for iPad at X$

          X$ * iPad Sales > Y$ * WinRT Sales Lost

          Y$ Includes

          -Average income related to Metro store.
          -Average income related to XBOX Live, XBOX Music and other services.
          -Average license price of WinRT
          -Average income per Microsoft Surface % total marketshare win tablets.

          Waiting may never provide office for you on iPad. The only way Microsoft may provide Office for iPad is if they believe that making office available in every platform boosts office revenue.

            • funko
            • 7 years ago

            they probably do, but hardware MS is probably a priority for upper management, so software MS has to work on the winRT version before they can divert talent to work on the iOS version. which probably frustrates smart upper management. It took until what….2008 for MS to release a respectable OSX office or something, no?

            • Malphas
            • 7 years ago

            “The only way Microsoft may provide Office for iPad is if they believe that making office available in every platform boosts office revenue.”

            Precisely. Which it won’t.

      • jpostel
      • 7 years ago

      Although I would prefer MS Office on my iPad (I can’t believe I just wrote that), I have had pretty good luck with the Apple suite (numbers, pages, keynote). I read a few comparison/review articles and despite being a user of DocumentsToGo back in the Palm days, the Apple suite seemed to be the best overall.

        • blastdoor
        • 7 years ago

        The thing I would like to be able to do on my iPad is review Word docs with track changes and comments, without making any destructive changes to the original file. Right now, I see no way to do that with any available app. My workaround is to print documents to PDF and just annotate the PDFs on my iPad. That’s an inferior solution, but right now it’s what I’ve got.

        The thing MS has to understand is that I’m not giving up my iPad just so that I can get the functionality with Word docs that I’m currently missing. Why? Because for me, that functionality is a “nice to have”, but a “must have”. So keeping Office RT-only means MS is missing out on getting my money. I would gladly pay $25 for MS Word for iPad if it provided the functionality that it looks like Word for WinRT will have.

        And note to app developers — if you can give me an app that will do what I describe above, I’ll give you my money and MS will never get it.

        —-edit:

        It occurred to me after writing this post that I have not investigated the state of the app art on this issue for a while. I just did a little searching and found this:

        [url<]http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/track-changes-on-an-ipad-with-office2/40471[/url<] so it sounds like maybe (just maybe) there is a way to do what I want without waiting for MS to bring Office to the iPad (and for less money than I was willing to give MS). I'm going to look into this some more to see if this really is a solution. But if it is, then MS has royally screwed the pooch here. In a vain effort to prop up their Zune Tablets, they are missing out on the opportunity to sell Office to millions of iPad users. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

      • Philldoe
      • 7 years ago

      No.

    • shaurz
    • 7 years ago

    Welcome to the future, where software has less useful features and can no longer be scripted. But hey, you can use swipe gestures! And it looks shiny!

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      and it’s free?

        • cheesyking
        • 7 years ago

        It’s not free, it’s included in the price which is different. Still that’s a pretty short list things that don’t work and mostly they look like things that can’t be helped given it’s not running on x86.

        Should be fine for home users which is what RT is all about

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          we don’t know pricing, if it’s competitive with android (supposedly free) then what does it matter?

        • Shouefref
        • 7 years ago

        It’s free, but you have to click off an add between each line you type 🙂

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          it’s not ad supported. i think you’re confusing windows with android.

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