New ‘universal’ Office apps no longer tied to a device, and will work across smartphones, tablets and desktops
Microsoft has confirmed that Microsoft Office apps including Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint, are now available on the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
This means that developers and other people testing the forthcoming version of the Windows operating system can now use those mobile apps on their desktops and tablets.
This decision shows how Microsoft is embracing the mobile trend with the launch of new Office apps that are not only universal, and can work across a range of devices.
Unlike traditional desktop applications, these mobile apps are also optimised for touch as well.
“Today, Office is making available their Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for PCs and tablets running the latest build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview,” blogged Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc. “If you’re already on the Windows 10 Technical Preview, just search for them in the Windows Store Beta (the grey tile in the Start menu or on the taskbar).”
“In the coming weeks, we’ll open up our preview for the same apps on phones and tablets running Windows 10,” blogged the Office 365 team. “These “universal” Office apps are optimised for touch and mobile use and are a great way to take your work on the go, no keyboard or mouse required.”
This means that Microsoft will be able to offer touch-optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook, that will work across small screen devices (Surface tablets, Windows Phone) as well as desktop and laptop machines.
“They are designed from the ground up to run on Windows 10, built for touch and offer the unmistakable Office experience you know and love,” said Microsoft. “As ‘universal’ Office apps, they truly are the same app across device size, providing a consistent way for independent software vendors and developers to extend and integrate with Office apps.”
And even good news for those sticking to the Windows environment is that these new Office apps will be pre-installed for free on phones and small tablets running Windows 10. The apps will also be available to download from the Windows Store for other devices.
General availability is expected later this year.
The Microsoft team also revealed some additional information about next version of the desktop Office suite, known as Office 2016.
“This suite will remain the comprehensive Office experience you’re long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse,” said Microsoft. “We have compelling new experiences coming as part of this Office suite,” it said.
General availability for Office 2016 will be in the second half of 2015.
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