SOFTWARE COBBLER Microsoft is shipping the Preview release of its Office Home & Student 2013 RT software suite with the Surface tablet, meaning that customers will have to wait "a few days" before the software automatically updates to the full version.
Despite originally having been led to believe the final version would come preinstalled when the Surface is released, communications lead for Microsoft's Office division Oliver Roll said in a blog post on Tuesday that the Surface tablet, like all Windows RT devices, "comes with the preview release of Office Home & Student 2013 RT preinstalled".
Roll added that customers who buy a Windows RT device will automatically receive the final release of Office Home & Student 2013 RT "a few days after they first use their new device".
When we asked Microsoft about why the Surface tablet couldn't ship with the full version of the office software suite, it said, "Office for Windows RT will be available as a Preview on Windows RT devices on October 26 and will be updated with final product starting in November through January, depending on your language. We have nothing further to share at this point".
Not sheading any light on our queries, our guess is that the firm just didn't have it ready in time.
Roll did say that those worried that they won't be able to take advantage of the full edition of the Office software bundle can "manually download the final release immediately via Windows Update", though this will be an inconvenience for many wanting to use it straight out of the box or without an internet connection.
Microsoft first unveiled the latest version of its Office suite back in July, showing off a Windows 8 style user interface that integrates more closely with Skydrive.
Speaking at the launch of the preview, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that Office 2013 will be "a service first and foremost", although he also said that for the present at least, it will still consist of the familiar set of desktop applications that users can download and install.
Although the new release has been designed with Windows 8 in mind, Microsoft has informed us that it will also run on other Windows operating systems such as Windows 7 and the upcoming Windows Phone 8. µ