Microsoft Shows Microsoft Office For Windows RT At Tech Ed

We’ve heard that Microsoft has a version of Office in the works for the iPad and Android tablets, but what will Microsoft Office look like on Microsoft’s own tablet OS, Windows RT? During their Tech Ed Keynote demo of Windows RT, Microsoft briefly revealed a window running Excel.

Excel for Windows RT. It looks like a desktop app.

The screen was labelled as a “Preview Edition” by a ribbon within Office. Now why would Microsoft bother sticking that label on their app? This suggests that there may be a consumer preview release of Microsoft Office 2013 coming soon…

WithinWindows, a tech blog focused on Windows, compared a number of changes between the Office technical preview “15” for Windows 8 and the version of Microsoft Office 2013 RT demoed for Windows RT. The changes seem fairly minor: a missing ribbon pin, changed fonts, and a few tweaked icons. We’ll see if these changes make their way back into the desktop version of Office.

I am amazed that the ARM version of Office looks so much like the version Microsoft plans to release for desktop PCs. Many desktop apps need to be retooled for the transition from mouse and keyboard to touch screen. Apple’s heavily retooled its iWork suite to work on the iPad. This demo of Excel for Office RT must be running in Classic mode. Does Office 2013 RT have a more metro-like interface for tablet users, or is Microsoft insisting on the full desktop experience? We will find out when Microsoft releases a beta.

Another clue could come from Windows’ upcoming iOS and Android app. The Daily reported that the interface looked Metro-like. If this turns out to be true, then there is no reason why Microsoft would leave this interface out of their tablet-focused version of their Office suite.

If the iOS version is set for Metro compliance testing...

Do you still use Microsoft Office, or have you switched to one of the alternatives? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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