By Jimmie Geddes email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 26, 2013 10:31 AM EST
Microsoft is rumored to have completed testing internally on a version of Outlook that runs on Windows RT-based devices like Microsoft's very own Surface RT tablet. It's facing one last hurdle, however. Microsoft has not decided when and if it will ever release Outlook for Windows RT.
What makes the situation strange is that Microsoft has preinstalls the Surface RT with "Office Home & Student 2013 RT". One of Microsoft's selling points with Surface RT is that it comes with Office built-in and is ready to use out of the box. Most consumers would expect this version of Office to include Outlook just like every other version of Office does. Office Home & Student 2013 RT includes Word RT, Excel RT, PowerPoint RT and OneNote RT. However, somewhere along the way they forgot to include Outlook RT. Instead, Microsoft has included separate Mail, Calendar, and Messaging apps in Outlook's place.
You would think Microsoft would have wanted to include one of its most popular and widely used programs on Windows. It certainly spent time and money in creating and developing a version of Office to run on the Surface RT, so the lack of Outlook only makes Surface RT even more confusing in people's minds than it already is.
According to ZDNET's Mary Jo Foley Microsoft is struggling to decide whether it will release Outlook RT. The team in the Windows unit wants to keep the Mail/Calendar/Messaging apps as they are, while members of the Office team are pushing to release the "real" Outlook for Windows RT as a standalone application.
So it's really anyone's guess why Microsoft decided to leave out such an important and popular application like Outlook from its Office suite for the Surface RT. Sometimes I wonder if Microsoft makes these kinds of decisions knowing fully well that it is going to confuse its customers. That might be a major clue as to why Windows 8 isn't doing well and its Surface RT tablet has not seen any major success.
Microsoft, stop confusing your customers so much and then maybe you'll have a hit on your hands.