Windows RT for tablets won’t come with a completed Office RT.
Microsoft has, stealthy, announced that they won’t be able to finish Office RT (the new version for ARM tablets) in time for the public release of Windows RT next month.
Details are vague but we know that when Windows RT tablets (running on low power ARM chips) are sold from 26 October they won’t include a full copy of the accompanying Office RT as Microsoft executives promised.
Instead buyers are to receive a ‘preview’ version, meaning a public beta version that might not have all features and will certainly have bugs (sorry ‘issues’).
This isn’t really a surprise and is actually good news for anyone interested in the Windows RT tablets. Microsoft’s reputation with ‘version one’ products is very poor. The smart money is on doom (or at least a public stumble) given a combination of Windows RT with Office RT. They are both new on a new chipset with new interface.
We’d prefer the Office RT team to take a cautious approach and get the software right so the delay is a good thing.
Its standard practice to bury bad news so that people and journalists won’t find it but this blog post from Microsoft might set a new low for the practice. After over 2,400 words the vital sentence is buried in the middle of a paragraph “The Windows RT devices available at Windows RT General Availability will include preview editions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.” – the emphasis is definitely ours.
The final Office RT will roll out between November and January.
It’s a shame Microsoft feels it has to hide this away. Making Office RT was always a big task and the original release schedule was unrealistic. Why not admit it’s a complex job and more time is needed to get it right? Sadly, Microsoft thinks customers won’t understand that.