It's no secret that Microsoft is prepping up for its October event where it will be announcing its latest operating system, Windows 8
. The OS will also be accompanied by the release of Microsoft's first Windows RT-based tablet, Surface
The latest announcement from the Microsoft stable is that Office 13 will be ready to ship to Windows RT users by November. A blogpost
form the Office Team mentions that Windows RT will contain a preview , that is beta versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for Office 2013.
The post also states that updates to the final version will roll out via Windows Update in early November, which will continue through January, with the exact date depending on the operating system language.
A release date for the x86/x64 version of Office hasn't yet been disclosed, though speculations hint at early 2013 . The timelines for the two versions may also be different, the x86 version of Office has more applications and more features.
The Office Team explained those feature differences in some detail. The software giant has already said that Office on Windows RT won't include macro support or any additions that rely on ActiveX controls, such as embedded Flash.
Say goodbye to old PowerPoint files since they won't work at all and equations from Equation Editor 3 can be viewed, but not edited. PowerPoint won't support recording narrations. Excel will also lose some of its data handling capabilities. The company also said that certain email features will not be supported as Windows RT does not have support for an Office RT version of Outlook.
Users will be disappointed to learn that OneNote will lose the ability to search embedded audio and video files, record audio and video notes and import from scanners. OneNote's ability to record audio simultaneously with taking notes is an important feature and Windows users will be surprised with the feature being dropped.
Microsoft says its Office 2013 RT edition has been designed for touch support and longer battery life. "Office applications are enabled for "touch mode" by default, so the touch experience is better out of the box," the blog said.
Microsoft will publish a specific update schedule on its blog on October 26.
Microsoft Surface in pictures