At previewing it at the Windows 10 event in January, Microsoft are now making Office for Windows 10 available. The touch friendly versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook are designed to scale from phone and tablet, all the way up to the massive 80”+ Surface Hub. While Office 2013 has a touch mode that makes some interface elements larger and easier to tap on, this version is a complete ground up rebuild, specifically designed to for interactions with run your finger or pen.
These new Office apps will come pre-installed for free on phones and small tablets running Windows 10, and available to download from the Windows Store for other devices. The Office universal apps will be available with the Windows 10 Technical Preview in the coming weeks and general availability is on track for later this year.
While this new suite of apps provide enough functionality to get most tasks done, the more advanced features of Office will still require the traditional desktop apps. Microsoft say they are hard at work on the next release called Office 2016. This will be the Office experience you’re familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse. Current expectations are that Office 2016 will reach generally available in the second half of 2015.
Below is more detail about the new Office universal apps for Windows 10.
- Word for Windows 10—Create and edit great looking documents with Word. Review and mark-up documents, then share your work with others to collaborate in real time. The new Insights for Office feature (powered by Bing) in Read mode brings additional online resources like images, web references and definitions right to you in your reading experience.
- Excel for Windows 10—Use Excel to create and update spreadsheets and gain new insights as you analyze data and visualize it with charts. And new touch-first controls shine in Excel, you won’t even miss your keyboard and mouse when selecting ranges of cells, formatting your pie charts or managing your workbooks.
- PowerPoint for Windows 10—Create and edit beautiful presentations with PowerPoint. Then use Presenter View to prepare and present with confidence, even use Ink Tools to annotate your slides in real time so your audience really knows what you are talking about.
- OneNote for Windows 10—Capture all your thoughts, ideas and to-do’s with the new version of OneNote. Getting things done with your friends, classmates and colleagues has never been easier with shared notebooks–now with the consistent Office ribbon experience.
- Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar for Windows 10—Crafting emails has never been easier or more powerful, with the familiar and rich capability of Microsoft Word built into the authoring experience. Simply insert tables, add pictures and use bullets and color to get your point across. Keep up with your inbox with new touch gestures that help you read, sort, flag and archive your mail.
Microsoft has a number of podcasts or shows, and in the latest Office Mechanics, they walk us through some of the new features coming to Office for Windows 10. New touch enabled interactions and keyboard locks are certainly an improvement on the current Office experience on a touchscreen. The context sensitive toolbars are similar to what we have today, but look to be significantly improved. There is a section in the video where they talk about annotating a PowerPoint with Surface pro 3 Pen, make no mistake about it, that is absolutely available today and has nothing to do with Windows 10.
For more information on how to join the Windows 10 Technical Preview click here. If you’re already in the Windows 10 Technical Preview you can search for Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the new Windows Store Beta today and thank you for helping us test the Office for Windows 10 apps on your touch enabled PC, laptop or tablet.