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Microsoft Outlook ready to run on Windows RT?

Windows RT

Adding Microsoft Outlook to RT devices like Microsoft's Surface certainly won't hurt the platform. Adding Microsoft Outlook to RT devices like Microsoft’s Surface certainly won’t hurt the platform.

A fresh rumor out today holds that Microsoft Outlook is coming to Windows RT.

The popular e-mail application is conspicuously absent on Windows RT devices. That is, RT devices — which run a limited version of Windows 8 on the ARM chip platform — come with Microsoft Office sans Outlook.

Today there’s word that Outlook has been seen running on Surface RT tablets.

And that’s not all. SuperSite for Windows claims that an ARM-related firmware issue was causing Outlook to crash. Possibly offering at least one reason for its exclusion until now.

Adding Outlook certainly wouldn’t hurt, said Craig Stice, an analyst at IHS iSuppli. “Consumers can find this frustrating. They think they’re getting a Windows 8 system but there’s no Outlook,” he said.

And that’s a larger ongoing problem for RT. “They don’t know what they’re getting into when they buy an RT device,” he said. Consumers buy an RT device because it’s less expensive than a full-blown Windows 8 system but miss the fact that it’s incompatible with older “legacy” Windows software, Stice explained.

Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, whose ARM chip powers the Microsoft Surface RT tablet, said in no uncertain terms last month that Outlook is necessary for RT’s success. “Outlook god, please,” Huang said at that time, pleading for Microsoft to add Outlook.

(Note that RT products come preloaded with Word 2013 RT, Excel 2013 RT, PowerPoint 2013 RT and OneNote 2013 RT.)