For those of us who have one of the different Windows RT devices in market, including Surface, the news this week that an ARM based Outlook 2013 will be available is great news. While the Windows 8 Mail app has received updates since launch, they have neither had the frequency nor capabilities that we needed to make this a more palatable messaging client for the Outlook dependent.
While there are some who are wishing that the Office suite was ported fully to modern UI apps (OneNote and Lync have been released), I feel the urgency on this front. When I’m working with Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc, I’m more likely to be sitting down using a mouse and keyboard versus on screen touch gestures, but over time patterns will change.
There are some implications of this that we need more details on, such as what impact does this have on the licensed usage for Windows RT devices? Something will need to change from the current Home & Student licensing, as Outlook isn’t covered, but in the bigger scheme of things I’m not too worried about this. I’ve got enough Office licenses for various editions that I should be covered anyway.
The other thing I’ve got some concerns about is around the impact on system performance and battery life. Outlook can be resource intensive at time, and for those who want to use large OST files, your storage is going to be eaten away quickly. When it comes to bandwidth utilisation, however, Outlook 2013 already respects the Windows 8 metered connection option, so it shouldn’t pull large amounts of data down unless you allow it.
One thing is for certain – as soon as I get the ability to pull down either pre-release or release updates for 8.1 and Outlook, I’ll be there! The downside for the Windows 8 Mail app team? I don’t think I’ll ever really need to use it again…