For people seriously considering a Windows 8 tablet as their next tablet OS here is something that might sweeten the deal a bit.
While the iPad has built in viewing capabilities for Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slidepacks the ability to edit them as part of the base operating system is absent. The situation is the same with OneNote notebooks although you can download a free app from the App Store for iPhone or iPad that will allow you to view and edit notes up in SkyDrive. The Android side of things is a bit scant in terms of native support although you can also download the official Microsoft OneNote app from Microsoft.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Microsoft is going to offer native support for Office documents in Windows 8 tablets, particularly given the support in Windows Phone 7. You won’t get the entire suite though but you’ll get Office 15 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote which should cover most bases. I guess we won’t be seeing Outlook as we know it but there will be a Metro mail app (perhaps called Outlook) that will be better designed and optimised for the touch interface.
While this might have benefits for consumers it should also have a positive influence for small businesses and enterprises still assessing what sort of tablet deployments they could potentially undertake. Sure, tablets may not necessarily be the best content creation devices but for smaller bouts and minor document modifications it’s probably not a bad thing having such capable versions of Office 15 in Windows 8 for ARM devices.