Update for Office 2013 RT Preview is Important (but optional for now)

So you finally have your shiny new toy, the Surface RT from Microsoft. Whether you preordered it like I did, or you went to your local Microsoft Store, you’ve unboxed it, logged in, and are ready to go. Eventually, you fire up one of the Office programs, watch the short video telling you how awesome this will be, and then… Wait, why does it say I’m using a Preview version? I thought I read somewhere that the update to the final version was already out? Why wasn’t my copy updated?

It turns out the update (KB2748583) is an important update. It won’t be automatically installed until early November. I missed the Microsoft Office Updates blog post from the 24th that discussed this, Updating Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview. I also missed the part of the the post on the Office News page says we’ll get the update a few days after we first use the Surface.

Why not push this out automatically right away? I’m guessing they didn’t want people’s first experiences with the product to be an Office Update right out of the gate, but do they want people’s first impressions of the Office product to be the Preview? Hopefully there aren’t any issues in the Preview that might turn off a user who doesn’t know an update is available.

About that update…. You can update now (and why would you wait?) by doing the following:

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
  • If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, then click Search.
  • Enter Windows Update in the search box, tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Install optional updates.

Of course, you probably already knew that, right? Of course you did.

Now go have fun getting to know your new Surface RT!