Applications and Features
With both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, a new application model has been created to create touch-enabled, immersive applications which we commonly refer to as “Windows Store apps.” In most cases, the applications created using this application model can be used on both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 operating systems, as they implement the same underlying programming API (called WinRT). This makes it easy to support both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 in your organization from a single application.
Deploying Line of Business Applications
Most organizations will want to deploy their internal line of business apps themselves (rather than making these apps publicly available to everyone through the online Windows Store for anyone to request and install). To support this, Windows RT 8.1 (like Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Enterprise) supports the installation of applications through a process called “sideloading.” After a Windows RT computer has been enabled for sideloading, line-of-business Windows Store apps can be installed.
Office Home & Student 2013 RT
Windows RT 8.1 includes Office Home & Student 2013 RT, which consists of cloud-enabled versions of the Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote desktop applications that have been optimized to run on Windows RT hardware, and ensures they are power-efficient and touch-friendly, while maintaining document compatibility. Some functionality has been removed; see
Building Office for Windows RT for more details.
Outlook 2013 RT
Windows RT 8.1 also includes Outlook 2013 RT, a full version of the Outlook client that enterprises typically use on their existing Windows computers. Outlook 2013 RT provides all the capabilities that you would expect, including support for Exchange and IMAP mail accounts, support for e-mail rules, support for Office apps, and more.
Mail, Calendar, People, and Messaging
Windows RT 8.1 includes a set of core communication apps that work together with both Exchange ActiveSync (which is the protocol used by Exchange and Outlook.com) and IMAP-based e-mail services (such as those provided by many ISPs), as well as various social networks. Together, these apps provide key e-mail, calendar, and contact functionality.
The communication apps do provide support for “remote wipe” capabilities of Exchange ActiveSync. This enables enterprise administrators to ensure that e-mail, calendar, and contact information is removed from lost devices or devices belonging to departed employees. Additional capabilities are provided through Remove Business Data Removal MDM capabilities, described below. Also, the built-in automatic device encryption in Windows RT is used to ensure that only authorized users can access these files.
Windows RT 8.1 includes Internet Explorer 11, an enhanced web browser that supports the latest web standards and is perfect for touch. Internet Explorer 11 has two different browsing experiences: a full-screen, immersive browser that’s ideal for tablets, and a traditional desktop version for legacy web browsing.
Windows RT 8.1 includes an application to play a variety of media file formats. See
Supported audio and video formats (Windows Store apps) for a full list of the formats supported. These formats can be used from any Windows Store app, including custom line-of-business Windows Store apps.
For organizations that use Lync as their communication platform, an app supporting Windows RT 8.1 is available in the Windows Store. This app provides the core voice and video calling capabilities, instant messaging, and meeting support. See the Lync app in the Windows Store for more details. (Note that the Lync app will allow viewing shared desktops, but the user’s Windows RT 8.1 desktop cannot be shared using the app.)
The Skype app is built into Windows RT 8.1. This app provides voice and video calling, as well as instant messaging capabilities.
Windows RT 8.1 also includes a variety of additional apps, such as Finance, SkyDrive, Sports, Travel, News, and Games. Like all of the in-box Windows Store apps, these can be uninstalled through the Start screen or through PowerShell if they are not desired. See How to Add and Remove Apps for details on how to remove Windows Store apps. (Note that users can reinstall them from the Windows Store if needed.)