Windows 8 will come in two flavors: RT and regular. The RT version is optimized for ARM processors, the kind you find in mobile devices. The obvious conclusion was that Windows RT would scrap the desktop entirely, and function exclusively within the UI formerly known as Metro. The big news about this was that Microsoft promised a version of Office 2012 optimized for Windows RT.

This was really exciting news (to us gadget geeks). After all, Apple has a provided some pretty amazing versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS. Except that few people use Page, Numbers, and Keynote for business. So Office 2013 RT, optimized for tablets, was a potentially killer feature.

Instead, we get this:

That’s right, instead of a Windows 8 app, we get the same old, impossible-to-navigate-with-a-finger desktop UI for Office 2013 RT that Microsoft has been trying to get people to adopt for years. It’s not optimized for the tablet UI, it’s just optimized for the tablet processor.

Which means that if you thought the coming Microsoft Surface and its Windows 8 tablet cousins were going to finally provide a full-featured mobile user experience, you were mistaken. This isn’t any closer to a tablet you can get real work done on than the crappy user experiences Microsoft has been pushing for years. Microsoft apparently still thinks we basically want convertible tablet PCs with pen inputs. Buzz killed.


  1. Clay says:

    Really unbelievable. There is no way using your finger on a classic windows desktop is going to work, that type of desktop is made for a keyboard and mouse. I don’t expect any change in Office. Office is their bread and butter and any change would upset a lot of people. Nobody would need Microsoft if there was an viable alternative to Office that was also compatible with .docx. Microsoft has yet to show that it is committed to make major changes. Hopefully you are right and Windows 8 is just a preview of what is to come.

    • Sam Glover Sam Glover says:

      Every time I use Pages on my iPad, I think about how nice it would be if Microsoft had a SkyDrive-connected Word app. And I keep thinking it is inevitable, if not for iOS, then for Windows RT. But now I think app versions of Office just aren’t even on Microsoft’s radar, despite the obvious need. Despite the fact that people are writing books on their iPads, Microsoft continues to believe that it isn’t possible, and that nobody would want to, anyway.

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