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Microsoft Testing Outlook App for Windows RT

By - Source: ZDNet | B 11 comments

Teams within Microsoft are fighting over whether Windows RT should have a standalone Outlook client.

Unnamed sources have told ZDNet that Microsoft has completed and is now internally testing an Outlook client for Windows RT.

According to the sources, Microsoft has not determined a commercial launch date for Outlook RT because there's a good chance the client may never be released. That's because there's reportedly a back-and-forth going on between teams within Microsoft over whether the company should or should not release the app.

Insiders told ZDNet that some people within the Windows unit want to preserve the Mail/Calendar/People app bundle as it stands now. Then there are others who are in favor of renaming the existing Mail app to "Outlook". There's also a group that wants to distribute Outlook as a separate, native application.

Do Surface RT users even need an Outlook client? As it stands now, they can access their email simply by clicking on the live tile and adding their account – new arrivals are clearly shown on the Start screen. However many critics have described this app as lackluster, and perhaps not even as good as the client offered on Windows Phone.

Currently Microsoft offers Word RT, Excel RT, PowerPoint RT and OneNote RT in the Office Home & Student 2013 RT suite that's bundled with the Windows RT platform. As ZDNet points out, they're not even Modern UI/Windows Store-style apps either, which is surprising given Microsoft’s push for the new interface.

When asked about the possible standalone Outlook app for Windows RT, a spokesperson for the Office team told ZDNet that Office Home & Student 2013 RT does not include Outlook – well no kidding. The spokesperson then added that "Microsoft Office doesn't come with Surface 8 Pro, but can be purchased separately."

 

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    esrever , January 26, 2013 9:30 PM
    Shin-sanEven though Surface RT isn't selling much, they should. Porting it to another platform would be beneficial. If the next Xbox has ARM on it, this would make a version of Outlook available on that as well

    why would you want outlook on an xbox?
Other Comments
  • -1 Hide
    Shin-san , January 26, 2013 9:08 PM
    Even though Surface RT isn't selling much, they should. Porting it to another platform would be beneficial. If the next Xbox has ARM on it, this would make a version of Outlook available on that as well
  • 10 Hide
    esrever , January 26, 2013 9:30 PM
    Shin-sanEven though Surface RT isn't selling much, they should. Porting it to another platform would be beneficial. If the next Xbox has ARM on it, this would make a version of Outlook available on that as well

    why would you want outlook on an xbox?
  • Display all 11 comments.
  • -6 Hide
    spentshells , January 26, 2013 10:26 PM
    Wow they really missed the boat , what a shame. I can only think of one reason it was not released the day the surface was released BAD PLANNING AND EXECUTION
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 26, 2013 11:27 PM
    Outlook App is not required, neither does it need to be absorbed into the Mail App
    ...
    Outlook.com website looks the part and has all the functionality you need
  • -5 Hide
    lradunovic77 , January 26, 2013 11:34 PM
    What a failure by MS Windows 8 and Surface is....
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 26, 2013 11:38 PM
    lradunovic77What a failure by MS Windows 8 and Surface is....

    Shame really because I think it works really well, and time will tell on the Surface as the Pro is due in less than 2 weeks.
  • -1 Hide
    iniudan , January 27, 2013 1:58 AM
    back_by_demandOutlook App is not required, neither does it need to be absorbed into the Mail App...Outlook.com website looks the part and has all the functionality you need


    I don't think you understand the main reason for an outlook app, exchange integration for enterprise, for which outlook is the central piece on client side. But I admit could always use the web access also (if made available), but the interface most likely not suited for a tablet.
  • 1 Hide
    fancarolina , January 27, 2013 4:47 PM
    Surface RT can't join a domain. It isn't targeted at the enterprise market. If it were then Outlook RT would be a no brainier. But as it stands most, most not all, home users don't use Outlook so it isn't nessessary. Those who are buying Surface Pro have to purchase Office separately and it can run the x86 version of Outlook.
  • 2 Hide
    obsama1 , January 27, 2013 5:16 PM
    Shin-sanEven though Surface RT isn't selling much, they should. Porting it to another platform would be beneficial. If the next Xbox has ARM on it, this would make a version of Outlook available on that as well


    Why would the next Xbox have an ARM chip? That would mean no backward compatibility, and ARM still can't match the power of x86 and PowerPC (PowerPC is used in the Xbox).
  • 0 Hide
    iniudan , January 27, 2013 9:28 PM
    FancarolinaSurface RT can't join a domain. It isn't targeted at the enterprise market. If it were then Outlook RT would be a no brainier. But as it stands most, most not all, home users don't use Outlook so it isn't nessessary. Those who are buying Surface Pro have to purchase Office separately and it can run the x86 version of Outlook.


    Ok thank for the info, didn't know of that limitation on RT and I got to admit it a freaking odd and stupid one for Microsoft, especially with how well integrated remote desktop and hyper-V are now in Server 2012, so a Windows RT could be has useful has a full windows in certain enterprise environment, if given the proper tool.
  • 0 Hide
    hannamoore97 , March 26, 2013 3:26 AM
    When Surface 8 Pro released then Outlook users might be disappointed because of they have a need to purchase office pack separately. With starting research on Outlook apps for Windows RT is really good news for anyone who like Microsoft-office.

    It is really appreciated step taken by this organization to expand the area for Outlook user's accessibility.

    Regards:
    Hanna