‘Universal’ MS Office App Coming To Phones


Microsoft Office is more complicated than it used to be, with new versions coming out left right and center. Office 365 exists online for users with a paid subscription, Outlook has transitioned into a web mail client as well as a native PC app, and of course Office 2016 is also on the way. Let’s not forget the myriad of mobile phones that use Office – it’s found across all the big phone platforms, on iOS and Android as well as Windows Phone mobiles.

maybe in reaction to this mishmash of versions, Microsoft has come out with a new idea for Office – a set of so called Universal Office applications for mobile phones running Windows 10 will be arriving this month, presumably as part of Office’s transition to the new operating system.

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For PC users, Office 2016 is the way to go with Office, but apparently these new Universal applications are optimized for mobile and tablets. This is accomplished by modifying the display size and tools found in Office to appear correctly on small screens. The design changes regarding what screen you’re on, and presumably users preferences and documents can all be accessed through the app on multiple devices.

A screenshot of one of the universal apps at work.

if you;re wondering why it’s called Universal, the name is more of an indicator that it’s the version of Office for everything else that isn’t a keyboard equipped ‘true PC’, in the sense that it’s a desktop or a laptop. Windows 10 might be universally arriving on all devices, but there is still somewhat of a difference between mobile and non-mobile versions.

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The great thing is that the Universal apps are all free for Windows 10 mobile users. The distinction between Office 16 and Office Universal basically means that they’re two separate products – so one can be offered for free without having to commit to making the other free. The Office we know and love will remain a premium service with plenty of backing, whilst the less complicated mobile version is for everyone.

Microsoft are absolutely committed to getting their platform to be universal too. To compete with Apple (among others) they’re pushing hard to get a united, universal Microsoft service with a single app store and a general feel of everything being connected. Office Universal apps are just one part of this effort.

Via: The Verge

Via: Techcrunch