Microsoft releases the first preview of Universal Office apps for Windows 10, and starting immediately Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are ready for download through the Windows Store (beta), which deliver touch and mobile-first experience across Windows 10 devices.
The apps are only available for PCs running the latest preview of Windows 10, but none of the Universal apps are currently available for tablets or phones. Microsoft says that will release a preview version of Office for phones and tablets in the coming weeks.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft isn’t creating different apps for phones, tablets, and PCs. The Office apps are “universal”, which means that the app with the same code works across devices.
The apps are lightweight, less than 90MB each, they are compatible with Intel and ARM-based devices, and you’ll also notice immediately that the new version of Office apps look really similar to the Office mobile apps for iOS and Android. This is a very important aspect to note as the apps play an important role on Microsoft’s quest to run the same apps and services on every platform possible with compromises.
The software maker also confirmed today that the Office desktop suite will be called “Office 2016”, and the company will share more information about Office 2016 in the coming months. “[…] but this suite will remain the comprehensive Office experience you’re long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse.” — Microsoft says. Although, today Microsoft is only making available for download Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the Universal Office apps for Windows 10 also includes Outlook and OneNote. (Remember that OneNote Preview already comes pre-installed with Windows 10.)
While the software maker has already announced that Office 2016 will arrive later this year, presumably by the Windows 10 launch timeframe, you can get started testing the preview apps today.
The links below will take you to the download page of each app, when you land on each page, you’ll be prompted to allow to download the Office preview app through the Windows Store (beta).