At Computex, besides showing off the Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft also revealed that any future 7 and 8-inch Windows 8 tablets will feature a free copy of Office 2013 out of the box.

Windows CFO Tami Reller told the audience at the Taipei electronics show that Office Home and Student 2013 will come pre-installed on “small” Windows 8 tablets. But interestingly, the company has left it up to OEMs to bundle the software, which includes access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

Small windows tablet like the Iconia W3 will get Office 2013 out of the box

Small windows tablet like the Iconia W3 will get Office 2013 out of the box

In addition, Microsoft also announced that ARM-based Windows RT 8.1 running tablets will get an app for Outlook 2013. However, Outlook 2013 won’t be bundled into smaller tablets like the Office suite. The inclusion of Office 2013 for smaller tablets will certainly give Windows devices an edge over the likes of iPad mini and Android slates as Microsoft has not launched Office for either iOS or Android.

As we reported earlier this week, there are some rumours that Microsoft is about to cut licensing costs for Windows RT and its Office apps to make the platform more appealing to OEMs and especially, to boost Windows presence in the small tablets market. So far the only small form factor tablet running Windows 8 is the newly-unveiled Acer Iconia W3 (see our hands-on), which was announced at Computex too. At the announcement, Acer did say that the W3 will ship with Office Home and Student 2013. We will have to wait to see if other manufacturers follow Acer’s lead, but after today’s announcement, we can expect a slew of smaller Windows tablets.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,