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Launch of Outlook RT testifies to Microsoft's app troubles

Gregg Keizer | June 7, 2013
Microsoft's addition of Outlook to Windows RT tablets is more than good news for users, it's also an indictment of Mail on 'Modern.'

Microsoft, of course, doesn't see it that way. Outlook RT is coming to Windows RT, including the firm's own Surface RT tablet, because customers asked for it.

"We're always listening to our customers and one piece of feedback was that people want the power of Outlook on all their Windows PCs and tablets," wrote Chris Schneider, a Microsoft marketing manager, on a company blog Wednesday.

What Schneider did not say, however, was why customers wanted Outlook, leaving the door open to Miller's interpretation, that the Mail app, which was supposed to satisfy users' needs for email, a calendar and a contact list, has failed.

Calls for Outlook on Windows RT have circulated since Microsoft announced the lineup of Office on the ARM-powered OS, but in recent months reports claimed that the app would not appear until the fall of 2014. Microsoft will beat that by a year.

In the meantime, Mail continues to collect negative reviews.

"Just not up to snuff," started a Wednesday review that ranked Mail as a two-star app. "Functionality is bare bones."

Another, also from yesterday, began, "Awful. It doesn't get any confusing than this."

Office Home & Student 2013 RT, currently composed of touch-enabled editions of Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Word, is included with all copies of Windows RT. As is, the suite is not licensed for commercial use, which means it cannot legally be employed for business.


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