Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile Apps for Tablets First of Three Office Deliverables This Year
Overshadowed in Microsoft’s (MSFT) release of the Windows 10 operating system on July 29 was the official availability of Office Mobile apps on the upgraded platform for tablets.
The mobile app suite, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, is the first of three Office deliverables this year for Windows 10, including Office 2016 for Windows desktops in September and Office Mobile for Windows Phones later this year.
Microsoft has positioned the touch-enabled apps as a free version aimed at providing basic editing functions on tablets with screens 10.1-inches in size or smaller, serving as an interim step prior to the full-featured Office 365 subscription editions.
“It’s a big day for Microsoft and we are excited to be part of it! Today, we’re pleased to announce the availability of the Office Mobile apps on Windows 10—bringing us one step closer to our vision of reinventing productivity,” wrote Kurt Koenigsbauer, Microsoft Office Client Applications and Services corporate vice president, in a blog post.
The apps now are available for download and installation from the Windows Store, he said. “Each of the Office Mobile apps,” said Koenigsbauer, “is uniquely designed to help you be productive on the go.”
Each of the apps has a tie in with Microsoft’s OneDrive online storage, which means the docs automatically save in the cloud.
“Tightly integrated with OneDrive, the Office Mobile apps are fully cloud connected, making it easy to access your documents from anywhere, pick up where you last left off, and co-author with others on documents and projects,” Koenigsbauer wrote. “Your docs are now automatically saved for you, ensuring you won’t lose a change and that others can see your edits as you work together. And there are new intelligent features, like Tell Me, that make it easier for you to do what you want in fewer steps.”
An ExtremeTech reviewer noted that the tablet Office apps worked well on a Dell 8-inch display but on a 10.1-inch Asus tablet–the outer limits of when the apps are supposed to function–a pop-up window appeared indicating an Office 365 subscription was required to edit a file.
In addition, the reviewer observed that moving files to a OneDrive cloud storage folder was more limited than expected.
“If you want to use features beyond basic editing, it turns out you might need to pay for an Office 365 subscription,” ExtremeTech reported. “In my experience, even the relatively low-powered and low-priced tablets for Windows 8 work reasonably well with the regular desktop versions of Microsoft Office. Since the Office Mobile apps are merely good, but not great, for use with touch screens, I’m not sure there’s much incentive to use these minimally featured Office apps.”