No Office 2013 for Windows XP, Vista Users

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft recently touted the new features in its upcoming Office 2013 software suite, including enhanced touchscreen and cloud storage capabilities.

That was the good news, but here's the bad: the new Office suite will be available only for the Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.

Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer offered that revelation at a press presentation in San Francisco on Monday, July 16, 2012. Left out in the cold will be users of Windows XP and Windows Vista; they won't be able to run Office 2013 at all.

More Than Half of PC Users Still On XP, Vista

Besides the new Office suite's operating system (OS) requirements, Microsoft also outlined its hardware standards: A minimum of a 1 GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM (for 32-bit systems), or 2 GB of RAM (for 64-bit systems), and a DirectX 10-compatible graphics card.

Microsoft is also requiring users to provide 3GB of available hard drive space. (Source:

These hardware requirements are relatively easy to meet, which is why observers are paying more attention to the company's refusal to offer a version of Microsoft Office 2013 for Windows XP or Vista.

As many PCs running those operating systems can meet the software's hardware requirements, Microsoft's unwillingness to support XP or Vista is considered a particularly significant decision.

Vista users may be the most upset, given that their OS was released just five years ago. Windows XP is now more than a decade old, but many computer users continue to prefer it over its two successors.

Recent industry statistics from Net Applications show that, together, Vista and XP machines are the primary OS on more than half of all PCs now in use. Just 42 per cent currently use Windows 7. (Source:

Tough Love Tactic Might Not Work

There's little doubt Microsoft is using the the new Office suite to arouse more interest in Windows 8, due in retail stores later this year. However, some analysts don't see this tactic paying off any time soon.

"Most organizations are still working on Windows 7 and Office 2010 deployments," noted Gartner analyst Michael Silver. "I don't think they'll be spending too much time worrying about Office 2013 until late 2013 or early 2014."

As with Windows 8, Microsoft has yet to announce a specific release date for Office 2013.

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