Touch-First Microsoft Office Apps Coming To Windows Phone

Microsoft says preview version of universal Office apps should be made available this month in Windows 10 technical preview for phones

Previews of the ‘touch-first’ Microsoft Office universal apps for Windows Phone are set to be released by the end of the month as the company finalises its cross-platform vision for the productivity suite.

A preview version for tablets has been available since the February launch of the Windows 10 technical preview, while the IT pro and developer preview for Office 2016 went live last month.

Universal apps are a core component of Windows 10, which Microsoft claims will work the same on PC, tablet and smartphone. The Office apps are designed for on-the-go edits, notes and reading and adapt to the screen size of the device they are operating on.

Microsoft Office universal apps

Microsoft Office universal apps Windows 10 (1)On smartphones, commands and controls are moved to the bottom of the screen to facilitate on-handed edits, whereas on tablets, the view is expanded for touch and pen controls.

Office had originally been touted as one of the main advantages of the Windows Phone platform, but Microsoft has altered its strategy in recent times in order to expand reach and increase the volume of Office 365 subscriptions. Applications for Android, iPhone and iPad are now available, with many features free of charge.

However despite the focus on mobile and touch, Microsoft is aware that many users still prefer to use desktop versions and a mouse and keyboard. Office 2016 for PC and a version for Mac are also in the works.

Jared Spataro, general manager for the Office marketing team, said: “With the preview release of the new Universal apps for Windows 10 for phones, we’ll have an exciting line-up of Windows 10 apps across form factors. The Universal apps will deliver tailored tablet and phone experiences for on-the-go productivity, and the Desktop apps will offer our broadest, deepest feature set for professional content creation.”

The universal apps are expected to be included with the next version of the Windows 10 technical preview for phones.

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