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Outlook 2013 RT Coming to Windows RT Tablets as part of Windows 8.1 Update

Today at Computex 2013, Tami Reller, CFO and CMO of Microsoft’s Windows Division, announced that Outlook 2013 RT will be available on Windows RT tablets as part of the free Windows 8.1 update coming later this year.  This means that if you have a Microsoft Surface or a Windows RT tablet made by one of our hardware partners, or you are planning to buy one, you’ll soon have access to the familiar tools in Outlook that help you communicate with others, manage your contacts and appointments, and find information fast. 

We’re always listening to our customers and one piece of feedback was that people want the power of Outlook on all their Windows PCs and tablets.  In fact, a Morgan Stanley research study found that 61% of people shopping for tablets consider Microsoft Office to be the single most important software feature.  We’re pleased to have Outlook 2013 RT join the other best-in-class Office 2013 RT applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.  And just like those applications, Outlook 2013 RT delivers a great touch experience for people using tablets. 

The new Outlook has so much to offer including a streamlined user experience that reduces clutter and makes your content king.  From cool new features like quickly responding to email with inline reply, to using ‘peeks’ to view your calendar or contacts without having to manually switch between tabs, Outlook brings great new tools to your fingertips.  And with today’s news, Outlook will soon be available across Windows PCs, phones and tablets.  To learn more about what’s new in Outlook, check out the Outlook section on Office.com.

 *Morgan Stanley Research, “Tablet Landscape Evolution“, May 2012

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17 comments
  1. Will Outlook RT support COM add-ins? Or will it bring a new extensibility model?

    • Hi Eugene,
      VBA is not supported in Outlook 2013 and so it will no support COM add-ins. You will still be able to take advantage of apps in the Office store.

      • Hi Chris,

        Thank you for the answer.

        There are a lot of good COM add-ins can be installed for Outlook (x86 or x64). Note, Office Apps provide a restricted access to the Outlook Object Model and don’t allow do a lot. It is to be regretted that Outlook will not provide any extensibility model…

  2. Great news, but is this a desktop app? Owning a Surface RT, I love it but have always felt it feels "too PC" as opposed to competitors’ tablets. The more that can be done with Modern UI apps from the Start Screen, the better (IMHO).

    Although, if on the desktop, will this resolve the issue of not being able to connect to Google calendars? That unfortunately went away when the mail/calendar apps were updated and I’ve never heard mention that Windows 8 will incorporate (the retired) CalDAV like Windows Phone 8 plans to do (via a whitelist).

    • I actually hope it is a desktop application. Unlike you, I like the fact that my Surfact RT still feels a lot like a regular windows computer. And if I am going to be working on email, I’m going to be using the type keyboard (as opposed to the onscreen) and in laptop mode (i.e. kickstand out). So Outlook 2013 RT as a desktop application is just fine, and actually much preferable in my view.

  3. Will this come with the Surface Pro 8.1 update?

    • No, This is specific to Surface RT. People who own Surface Pro can chose Office 365 subscriptions, such as Office 365 Home Premium, or versions of Office 2013 such as Office Professional 2013 that include the latest version of Outlook.

  4. Have you added colors to notes like in Office 2010 and previous versions since 1997? Or have been continually degraded applications with less functionality, less colors, no 3d, no transparencies, no gradient colors like 1980’s apps?

    • Who cares about gradients? It’s all about usability and consistency between devices. That’s really more important than two colors with 32 steps in between.

  5. This is excellent news. I hope that Visio 2013 can be ported to RT as well. That would be excellent!

  6. so this is a desktop Outlook 2013 for RT?
    Good news

  7. this a desktop app .. so no notifies on start screen??
    if someone use the tablet with Modern UI it’s not a good news..
    i have to go to desktop to check for new email…. and keep Outlook active…

    how about a better integration between desktop programs and modern UI apps?

    i use outllok 2013 in my desktop but i think i continue to use the standard mail app

  8. windows 8.1 is powered by microsoft.

  9. why does email not get to me? I cannot even send it to myself.

  10. To be useful on a tablet Outlook desperately needs to support EAS selected downloads. My outlook.com account has several gigs of email, and there is no way I need nor want all my emails from the past 10 years in my ultraportable device.

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