Office compatibility with Windows 8 Preview

Which versions Office can you use with Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Nerds and Geeks the world over, including us at Office Watch, will be poring over the Windows 8 Consumer Preview released today.

But what about running Microsoft Office – can you use existing versions of Office on the Windows 8 preview? We’ll be trying out Office on Windows 8 but for the moment we have to rely on Microsoft’s advice.

Office 2010 is compatible with Windows 8 – no surprise there. That applies to any bundle of Office 2010 except Office Starter 2010.

Office Starter 2010 is only supplied with some new Windows 7 computers so it would appear not to apply to Windows 8. However the Starter edition has a handy portable ‘To Go’ option that lets you run Office Starter 2010 from any computer via a USB stick. According to Microsoft the ‘To Go’ option won’t work or, more specifically, the ‘Click to Run’ component won’t work.

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For more information on Office 2010 Starter edition and the ‘To Go’ option –Office 2010: the real startup guide has comprehensive details on both including details on what’s happening ‘under the hood’ and how to make a backup of the ‘To Go’ software. It starts on page 72 ofOffice 2010: the real startup guide 2nd edition.

Office 2007 and Office 2003 are also compatible with the Windows 8 Preview.

Office XP is listed as ‘Action Recommended’ which sounds promising, as if there’s some tweak or patch that will help compatibility. The recommended action is, no kidding, ‘Get paid upgrade’ which seems to mean that you need to buy a more recent version of Office. However the ‘Get Paid upgrade’ link is to the Office XP Service Pack 3 – so maybe you just need SP3?

Office 2000 has the same ‘Action Recommended’ and ‘Get Paid upgrade’ listing as Office XP. Except that the ‘Get Paid upgrade’ link is to the Microsoft Store to buy Office 2010. So that’s really a long-winded way of saying Office 2000 is not compatible with Windows 8. Why not just say that?

Reminder for anyone trying the Windows 8 Consumer Preview – this is test software so don’t run it on a vital computer. Try it out on a second machine or better on a virtual machine – VMware workstation or similar.