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You have mail: Windows RT finally gets Outlook 2013

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July 16, 2013

Microsoft's Surface RT will get a touch-optimized version of Outlook 2013 as part of the u...

Microsoft's Surface RT will get a touch-optimized version of Outlook 2013 as part of the upcoming Windows 8.1 update

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One of the problems with the Microsoft Surface RT and Windows RT in general, was the lack of a decent email client. While the Surface RT comes with Office Home and Student Edition installed for free, it doesn’t include Outlook. This leaves users with the bleak and underwhelming Mail app, or bouncing between web-based email accounts in IE. But Microsoft is about to patch this hole with the upcoming of release of the Windows RT 8.1 update.

In June, Microsoft officially announced that Outlook 2013 would be coming to Windows RT tablets as part of the Windows RT 8.1 update. I installed the Windows RT 8.1 Public Preview (beta) when it was released on June 26th during the company’s annual Build Developers conference. True to its word, Outlook had finally arrived on my Surface RT.

It runs on the desktop and is not a modern Windows 8 app like OneNote, looking and working as you’d expect from Outlook. You can connect all of your IMAP and POP email accounts as well as Exchange Active Sync accounts.

Outlook RT is optimized for touch control by default

By default the RT version is optimized for touch. That provides more space between menu items and makes touch targets much easier to tap with your finger while on the go. If you have the keyboard connected while sitting at your desk, you can switch it to Mouse Mode.

Also, by default the Ribbon is set to display only the menu tabs which is a happy medium. It provides you with more screen real estate to view your messages on the smaller screen tablets. For even more room, you can set the Ribbon to auto-hide, or if you want all the commands you can set it to show the full set of Ribbon tabs and commands all the time.

In an attempt to improve slow Surface RT sales, Microsoft lowered the price of its 32 and 64GB models by US$150. Will the lower price tag, addition of Outlook, and the 8.1 upgrade be enough to breathe life into the hybrid device? Maybe. I own a Surface RT and buying a Touch or Type Cover is a necessity, especially when using Office 2013 programs. The Touch Cover adds $119 to the price and a Type Cover is $129.

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About the Author
Brian Burgess Brian Burgess resides in Minnesota. A technology enthusiast his entire life, he worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. In addition to contributing to Gizmag, he’s the Editor in Chief at groovyPost.com and has written for other notable tech sites Byte, InformationWeek, and How-To Geek. Away from the keyboard, you're likely to find him listening to heavy metal, playing guitar, or watching Star Trek.   All articles by Brian Burgess
6 Comments

Amazing that any version of Outlook would be classified as an upgrade. Surface mail must be pretty bad.

Synchro
17th July, 2013 @ 03:21 am PDT

You would think Microsoft would prioritize these apps for their flagship product. Nope, typical Microsoft. Terrible marketing, terrible availability. I really don't understand it. Microsoft has so much potential but it all goes to waste. I think Ballmer needs to be fired.

The covers should be included with the tablet, even if that means making the price higher.

Imma Testenitout
17th July, 2013 @ 03:07 pm PDT

Outlook on Surface RT is a real bonus to this device.

Rann Xeroxx
17th July, 2013 @ 10:49 pm PDT

Given that I have suffered for two weeks trying to get my Windows 8 to work (like the 7 that replaced it *did* work, prior to Microsoft updating the C++ libs that broke some applications, with the vendor not willing to backtrack that change into aged product) I say no to Microsoft every time I get the chance. I have an iPad and a Nook. The Nook of course is Android and works well enough, but good luck getting better than the iPad. Apple just has a better GUI team, period. People who have to work for Ballmer must be pretty depressed, even the H1-Bs, who probably comprise the majority of the programming staff. They can't die off too soon for me.

Alan Wells
19th July, 2013 @ 12:19 pm PDT

At last windows RT has launched an outlook.Usually apps ion windows would really take hard time.So Microsoft must look on this and try to acquire user needs and work on this.Since all other platforms are keen on this.

Princyxavier
13th August, 2013 @ 04:44 am PDT

At last windows RT has launched an outlook.Usually apps ion windows would really take hard time.So Microsoft must look on this and try to acquire user needs and work on this.Since all other platforms are keen on this.

Princyxavier
13th August, 2013 @ 06:00 am PDT
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