Microsoft will ship ‘small’ Windows 8 tablets with free copy of Office 2013

Will Microsoft Office 2013 Steve Ballmer

Earlier today, we learned that Microsoft is adding Outlook 2013 for free to its lineup of Windows RT and Microsoft Surface RT tablets when the Windows 8.1 update becomes available to the general public. But that’s not the only free software the company plans to bundle. Microsoft will also be offering a free version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 with its “small” tablets. This news comes straight from Computex, via The Verge, where Microsoft has been holding Windows-related events. Unlike Outlook 2013, this bundle should be available on a variety of Windows 8 tablets from different PC OEMs, instead of just RT tablets.

It’s completely up to the OEMs whether they want to bundle the Office package with their devices, so we aren’t entirely sure who’s going to adopt this upgrade immediately. We do know that the copy of Office 2013 will be free and it’s going to bundle with 7-inch and 8-inch Windows 8 tablets. The copy of Office 2013 will come complete with Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Word. This is welcome news for Windows tablet users who wish to be as productive during travel as they are on their desktops at work and home. Unfortunately, there’s no word on whether Microsoft will offer a credit for individuals who have already purchased a small tablet.

This offering is most likely due to Microsoft’s recent attempt to offer discounts to OEMs. Rumor has it that most developers aren’t adopting the Windows 8 platform due to the high retail cost of the OS and its counterparts. By giving developers specific discounts on its software, Microsoft may be trying to get more Windows 8 tablets to hit the market (and be bought).

We’ve only seen one “small” Windows 8-based tablet announced at this year’s Computex so far. Acer unveiled its 8-inch Iconia W3, stating that it would ship with a copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013. Let’s hope we’ll see some other small Windows 8-based tablets before Computex comes to a close, and that OEMs will take note of the cost-cutting that Microsoft is offering on its software.

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