MS Office with PowerPoint for Windows RT

It was announced via Office Next blog that Microsoft will deliver Office Preview for Windows RT. What is Windows RT? Windows RT is the ARM-based version of Windows 8 that is designed for smartphones and tablet devices. Now Microsoft plans to offer Office with its programs like PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Word for Windows RT.

MS Office with PowerPoint for Windows RT

These tools will initially be available through the pre-installed Office Home & Student 2013 RT package but offering a full-featured version of Office for Windows RT being delivered via Windows Update. The deliver will be available between November until January, depending on your language.

If you didn’t gear about Windows RT version, it is essentially a slimmed down version of Windows 8 and has been optimized for tablet touchscreens and to provide a long-lasting battery life and including support for accelerometer, WLAN, Camera, Graphics, NFC (Near Field Communication) and other nice features like ambient light sensor or magnetometer and gyroscope.

Microsoft has been forced to omit some features from the full version of Office for Windows RT in order to save battery. Apparently, Outlook will not be included in the suite of programs (well, now you can access online) and there will be no support for macros, Office adds-ins and tools that rely on ActiveX controls or third-party code.

Differences of standard Office and Office for Windows RT will be the following ones:

  • 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)

Customers of Microsoft Office products will also notice that Office on Windows RT will stop blinking the cursor after a few seconds if the user stops interacting with the application. This is intended to save battery power given that there’s no hardware or operating system support for a blinking cursor.