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Microsoft details Office 2013 RT, confirms Preview release and lack of Macros or add-ins

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Microsoft has detailed its features for Office 2013 RT and confirmed a Preview version will ship with Windows RT tablets later this year.

Steve Ballmer Office 2013
Steve Ballmer Office 2013

We got a brief look at Office 2013 RT for Windows RT tablets at IFA last month, but Microsoft is revealing the finer details of the software today. In a post on the company's Office Next blog, Microsoft has confirmed that the company will ship a preview version of Office 2013 RT with Windows RT tablets later this year. A final edition of Office 2013 RT will be distributed by Windows Update once it's available, expected between November and January.

As for features, Office 2013 RT will not include Macro or add-in support, and certain legacy features such as older media formats has also been removed. Microsoft says that certain email features will not be supported as Windows RT does not include support for an Office RT version of Outlook. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote 2013 RT versions will all be part of Windows RT tablets that ship from October 26th. Data model support, recording narrations, and searching embedded audio / video file support has also been dropped from the Office 2013 RT edition.

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," says Microsoft. In our brief experience, the default touch mode experience still appeared to be catered to a mouse and keyboard environment, but with updates due later this year Microsoft still has some time to improve Office 2013 RT for touch. A specific update schedule will be published on October 26th on Microsoft's Office blog.