Those rumors that Microsoft was reportedly testing an Outlook app for Windows RT devices have been reinforced. A couple of people around Microsoft’s campus were spotted using the Microsoft Outlook desktop app on their Microsoft Surface devices. Unlike those previous rumors however, Microsoft Outlook is said to be coming to consumers later this year, with a release date speculated to be around the Fall.
The Outlook RT app was spotted by Windows SuperSite’s Paul Thurrott, who says that the app is in “shipping form”. Many sources have stated that Outlook RT was not initially released with Windows RT devices due to two issues. One issue was a firmware bug with the ARM chipset that would result in constant crashes and hangups with Outlook. The second issue was related to excessive battery drainage. Both issues are reportedly fixed.
A source has also told ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that Outlook RT has become a “top enterprise request”, and has become a top priority for Microsoft’s Office team. When Outlook RT becomes available to the public, it won’t be released for free, or bundled with future Windows RT devices. You will most likely have to subscribe to Office 365 for the app. Outlook RT is also expected to be rolled out during Microsoft Office’s Gemini update, as well as the release of Windows 8.1 Blue.
It’s also speculated that once Outlook RT is finally rolled out to the public, the chances of Microsoft Office becoming available to iPad devices will drastically improve. The main reasoning for this is because many believed that it would be a terrible move for Microsoft to release Outlook for iPad devices before it released it for its own devices. Once Microsoft releases Office apps for iPads, it could possibly generate $2.5 billion in revenue. In related Windows RT news, be sure to check out our review for Microsoft’s Surface RT.