Bad news for customers expecting the Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Professional (or Surface Pro for short) to include Microsoft Office out of the box. The Redmond, Wash. company confirmed today that the Surface Pro will not include Office pre-installed as a default option, unlike the earlier Surface RT which had shipped with a stripped-down version of the popular suite of applications. This came by means of a reply to a customer query, where the user had asked whether Windows will be including any Office version with the Surface Pro, regardless whether it’s a stripped-down version or not.
All in all, this is a surprising revelation on Microsoft’s part, being that the Surface RT included a “lite” version of Windows 8, namely Windows RT, a version designed for devices that run on ARM-based processors. The Surface Pro, on the other hand, comes with a complete version of Windows 8 Professional, and runs on an x86 processor. It is a device whose target market is the business sector. So for a seemingly high-end and flexible tablet not to include Microsoft Office out of the box, this is befuddling to say the least, although buyers will reportedly have the option to include Office bundled in with the Surface Pro when the tablet is released.
Microsoft has yet to announce an official launch date for the Surface Pro, although the device is expected to hit stores in the last week of January.