Learn what versions of Office are supported on the Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro device and how that device differs from the Surface with Windows RT device for deploying Office.

Back in November, we blogged about which versions of Office are supported on Windows 8 and on Surface with Windows RT. Last week, Microsoft started selling a new version of the Microsoft Surface. This new Surface runs Windows 8 Pro.

As an IT Pro responsible for deploying Office in your organization, you might be wondering the following:

  • What versions of Office are supported on this new Surface?
  • How is this new Surface different than the Surface with Windows RT device that was released back in November?

 

Office versions supported on Windows 8 Pro

The Windows 8 Pro operating system that comes with the new Surface is the same version of Windows 8 that you can deploy to laptops or desktops in your environment.  So everything discussed in the November blog post about Office and Windows 8 holds true for the new Surface. 

As a quick summary, the following versions of Office are supported on Windows 8:

There are also separate versions of Lync and OneNote that have been specifically designed to take advantage of the touch capabilities of Windows 8. Both of these apps are available for free from the Windows Store.

Office on Demand, Office Web Apps, and apps for Office are also supported on Windows 8.

 

Differences between the two types of Microsoft Surface devices

Even though the two Surface devices look similar, there are some key differences as to what is supported on the two devices.  The table below focuses on areas of interest to IT Pros that deploy Office.

Support area

Surface with Windows 8 Pro

Surface with Windows RT

 Office version

You can deploy any supported version of Office, such as Office Standard 2013 or Office 365 ProPlus, on this Surface.

 

You can also install the Lync app and the OneNote app from the Windows Store.

 

This Surface comes with Office Home & Student 2013 RT. You can't install any other version of Office on this Surface.

 

You can also install the Lync app and the OneNote app from the Windows Store.

Deployment methods

You can use any supported deployment method to install Office, such as a network share or System Center Configuration Manager, on this Surface.

 

You can also install the Office apps from the Windows Store (Lync app and OneNote app).

This Surface comes with Office Home & Student 2013 RT already installed.

 

You can only install apps from the Windows Store.

Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain

This Surface can be joined to an AD DS domain.

This Surface can't be joined to an AD DS domain.

Group Policy

(requires AD DS)

You can use Group Policy to manage and control the configuration of Office on this Surface.

 

 For more information, see Group Policy for Office 2013.

You can't use Group Policy because this Surface can't be joined to an AD DS domain.

Other standard business applications

You can install any applications on this Surface that are supported on Windows 8 Pro.

 

To find out whether other user applications will work on Windows 8 Pro, go to the Windows Compatibility Center.

You can only install apps from the Windows Store.

 

For additional comparisons between the two Surface devices, see Which Surface is right for you and specifications.

For other comparisons between Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro, see Which Windows is right for you?