Today I’m excited to share that the Office Universal apps preview for Windows 10 for phone is expected to be available by the end of the month. With this announcement, we’re rounding out our Office on Windows line-up, and I wanted to take the opportunity to explain our strategy of Universal and Desktop apps.
Our Office Universal apps are designed for on-the-go productivity. They’re touch-first, built for tablets and phones, and optimized for viewing, quick edits, notes and mark-up. On a tablet, the Universal apps are fast, fluid, and streamlined for an immersive, hands-on experience. They’re fantastic for reading and perfect for touch- and pen-based content creation. On a phone, the Universal apps adapt to the smaller form factor. Commands and controls are moved to the bottom of the screen so you can triage your work and make edits one-handed with your thumb. (That may sound like a small thing—but wait until you try it. It makes all the difference!)
Word Universal for Windows 10 for phones
PowerPoint Universal for Windows tablets
While on-the-go productivity is increasingly important, people haven’t stopped using the Office Desktop applications for their most important creative work—and we expect that to continue for years to come. The upcoming release of our Windows Desktop apps (Office 2016) will offer our richest feature set ever for professional content creation. These apps are tuned for sophisticated authoring, easy collaboration, pixel-perfect layouts and deep analysis—and are designed for the precision and control of a keyboard and mouse. In Office 2016 some of the key investment areas include:
- Modern productivity. Updated look and feel—Office 2016 will deliver a modern look and feel that is visually aligned with Office across platforms and devices. So no matter what form factor you’re using, your Office experience will be familiar, consistent, and intuitive. Cloud connections—With a redesigned Backstage experience, we’re making it easier to use cloud services to create, open, edit and save your files directly from the desktop. In addition, new modern attachments in Outlook make it easy to attach files from OneDrive and automatically configure permission for the recipients—all without leaving Outlook. Intelligent experiences—The new Office apps will learn as you work, taking advantage of subtle cues and clues to help you stay focused on priority work. Tell Me, a new search tool available in Word, PowerPoint and Excel, will enable you to find the commands you need by simply typing what you want to do.
- Business intelligence. Office 2016 will also include a number of valuable business intelligence enhancements built right into Excel. New data visualizations will make sophisticated analysis faster and easier. And Power Query (previously offered as a separate download) will be fully integrated into Excel, giving the app native features for discovering, combining and refining data from different sources.
- IT control and manageability. For the Enterprise, Office 2016 will deliver improved controls and information management. Word, Excel and PowerPoint will include new Data Loss Prevention (DLP) features to manage sensitive information like credit card or social security numbers. Flexible click-to-run deployment options will allow IT admins more control over Office updates. And improved integration with Microsoft SCCM and Azure Active Directory will give organizations powerful controls for managing the Office apps across devices.
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. To experience them for yourself, I’d encourage you to download the apps and give them a try. The Universal apps for tablets
went live in February with the Windows 10 Technical Preview, the Desktop IT Pro and Developer preview for Office 2016 launched last month
, and the Universal apps for Windows 10 for phones are expected to be available with the Windows 10 Technical Preview by the end of April. Stay tuned to the Office blog for more updates on our Windows strategy. It’s an exciting time for Windows and Office, and there’s more to come in the next few weeks.