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Windows RT tablets to ship with stripped-down Office

updated 02:05 pm EDT, Tue August 7, 2012

Office 2013 shipping as Preview, short on some features

Customers buying ARM-powered Windows 8 tablets will find that their devices come not with the full version of Office 2013, but with a Preview version that will be missing some features. Office 2013 for Windows RT will get an update some time after launch to a final copy with more features, but the initial version will be missing functions such as macros, third-party add-ins, and VBA support. Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans tell The Verge that the fuller version of Office will be available in early 2013.

The decision to excise some features from the launch version of Office 2013 came as Microsoft tried to ensure solid battery life and reliability. Reportedly, macros, third-party add-ins, and a small number of other features have had a negative impact on performance in Microsoft's testing, and those features need additional optimization before they can be integrated into the software.

Microsoft has yet to finalize any details with regard to what features will be included or excluded from Office 2013, but the sources indicate that Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 will come preinstalled on Windows RT tablets.

The Office productivity suite is Microsoft's largest revenue generator, and an attractive 2013 version of the software is seen as essential for ensuring that Windows 8 is an attractive option for enterprise customers. When showing off Office's new features last month, Microsoft made certain to demonstrate the software's touch-enhanced capabilities. So far, the software giant has indicated that Office will only be appearing on Windows 8 tablets.

by MacNN Staff



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