Microsoft to add Outlook email to Windows RT tablets
The Outlook 2013 app will be given to owners of Microsoft’s Surface tablet and similar devices running Windows RT. That’s a slimmed down version of Windows 8, a radical overhaul of the ubiquitous operating system used on most personal computers.
Microsoft Corp is preparing to modify Windows 8 in response to consumer complaints about the redesigned system released last October. The Washington-based company announced the addition of Outlook for Windows RT tablets on Wednesday at a computer trade show in Taiwan.
A specific release date still hasn’t been set for the upcoming update, called Windows 8.1 . A preview version of Windows 8.1 will be available June 26 when Microsoft starts an annual programmers’ conference in San Francisco.
Windows 8 includes touch-screen controls and displays applications in a mosaic of interactive tiles as part of an attempt to expand the system on to tablets. The operating system also remains compatible with keyboards, computer mice and programs created for traditional PCs.
The dual format has confused and frustrated some long-time users, contributing to lukewarm sales for devices running on Windows 8 and Windows RT.
Windows RT’s omission of Outlook was among the grievances. Outlook’s absence was magnified by Microsoft’s inclusion of other popular programs, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, on the Surface tablet and other Windows RT devices. Unlike Windows 8 tablets, RT devices can run only programs specifically designed for it, so it hasn’t been possible to buy Outlook separately.