Options for Accessing Exchange Server Mail on Surface Tablets

By Brian Posey,

Although Surface tablets do not include a copy of Microsoft Outlook, there are several other ways users can access their Exchange mailboxes.

By now, you're probably familiar with the Microsoft Surface tablet, which runs on Windows RT. The Windows RT operating system is designed to run on ARM processors, similar to those used in smartphones, rather than on traditional x86 or x64 CPUs.

Because Windows RT relies on ARM processors, the OS is somewhat limited when it comes to running certain applications. Case in point, Windows RT can run certain Modern UI-based apps and embedded desktop apps, but cannot run legacy Windows applications. This made me curious to see what options Windows RT offers for connecting to Exchange Server mail.

Forget about Outlook 2013

Although Office 2013 is built into Surface tablets, Outlook 2013 is not included. Because Microsoft designed the Surface tablets to be consumer devices, only Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote are included. In contrast, Surface Pro devices can run traditional x86 applications, but do not include Microsoft Office.

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Will tablet and Smart phone use be a big part of your OWA 2013 deployment?