Sources say Microsoft is testing a version of Outlook for Windows RT, the flavor of Windows that runs on Redmond's ARM-based Surface RT tablets, but whether it will ever see the light of day is another matter. Well-connected Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley reports that no less than three of her insider contacts have confirmed …
Well, sure it works but its rather weak, even compared with lightweight browser hosted outlook/hotmail. Hopefully theres a better version in the pipeline and making something useful isn't hampered by internal politics.
Surely they can do system/OS updates for WinRT... including updates for Office in case of bugs or whatever? So why couldn't Outlook be distributed that way?
I doubt it's anything technical
Stuff like power consumption are probably largely non-issues. I'm sure MS could throttle push / pulling when the screen is off if they wanted. Or turn off polling completely and rely on push through their new framework if necessary. It would be a thorny issue but I don't see it as big deal.
IMO it's all about the wisdom of porting a thick client like Outlook to a tablet when MS and the whole industry are moving to the cloud. That's probably the debate raging inside MS - it's less about the technicals and more about the philosophy of what Windows RT should be and what is a tablet. Should a tablet slavishly replicate every function of a desktop, or give enough for people to work away from their desk for a few days, or to haul around with them? Why incur a 1-2GB footprint for Outlook when most people would be happy with the native mail / calendar apps as they are or could be satisfied if they supported some extra functionality.
I think even putting the rest of MS Office on RT there was a mistake but probably necessitated by the time frames - it was easier to hack MS Office to work over a skeletal desktop than develop a Office RT with native UI. I don't envy anyone the job of attempting to port MS Office code. It's possibly easier to start from scratch.
Outlook on RT works fine
So I am running Outlook on the RT. The installer is not integrated into the store, it's just a normal setup.exe style solutin which runs a very normal looking office installer.
It appears to work just as well as Outlook 2013 on Win8. I haven't run into any power issues whatsoever, and the build date of the product is from November last year. It seems to me that it's a purely marketing decision not to release it, nothing technical.
A little rebranding, Sir?
Y'know, Outlook Web Access isn't too bad these days. It used to be risible but MS really worked on it. To the extent that packaging OWA into a Windows Store app would be a quick and dirty way to show "Outlook" running on Surface. Kind of like how you can roll a set of HTML pages into an app on the Apple App Store.
Of course, OWA only works if the Exchange priests have done their thing...which Microsoft will be only too happy to tell them what to do.
Personally, I still miss elm.
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