Thursday, June 6, 2013

All sub 10-inch x86 Windows 8 tablets to ship with free Office apps

Microsoft apparently has a little trick up its sleeve to challenge small tablets like the iPad mini, Nexus 7, and Kindle Fire. All x86 Windows 8 tablets under 10 inches in size are getting free Microsoft Office apps.
That wasn’t the case with the first batch of Windows 8 tablets, of course. There weren’t any sub-10-inch models anyway, but while their ARM-powered Windows RT cousins came with Office Home and Student pre-installed, the x86 slates did not.
Why the change of heart? The fact that Windows RT tablets haven’t sold all that well might have something to do with it. Acer executives still firmly believe that Windows RT isn’t good for much more than confusing consumers. After all, it looks like Windows and it acts like Windows, but users can’t install some popular Windows desktop apps like iTunes — because they’re limited to ARM-friendly Windows Store downloads.
Another contributing factor might be the arrival of Intel’s next generation of processors. They’re packing more power and offering endurance that rivals ARM chips, and manufacturers may be more interested in offering the full Windows 8.1 experience to potential tablet buyers rather than the hobbled Windows RT version.
And Acer has proven that an Intel-powered Windows 8.1 tablet can even compete on price. The 8-inch Iconia W3 will be one of the first small Windows 8.1 slates on the market, and it’s expected to sell for iPad mini prices.
An iPad mini-sized tablet that comes with the full Microsoft Office suite installed for free? That’s a huge value-add for, say, parents who want to buy a compact tablet for the students in their homes.
If you’re after a bigger tablet and still want Office for free, it looks like you’ll need to stick with Windows RT. Microsoft’s blog post doesn’t show any indication that devices with a larger screen will be getting in on the freebies any time soon.
One more bit of good news to come from the announcement: all tablets that get Office apps for free will now be getting Outlook in addition to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
Now read: Surface RT’s now-free keyboard nicely sums up Microsoft’s tablet failure


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...