Microsoft finally decided, on Friday, to bring Office apps like - Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook - to phones and tablets running Windows 10 in a new 'Universal' avatar. This means that Office apps on Windows phones will no longer be branched into Office Mobile hubs, and the new apps will have more features just like its iOS and Android counterparts.
The Redmond giant states that the Office Universal apps preview is expected to be available by the end of this month, along with a new build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
It goes without saying that Universal apps will run on near identical code but will have different user interfaces for different screen sizes - tablets and smartphones. Microsoft says the apps have been designed ground-up for touchscreen devices. The commands and controls have been apparently moved to the bottom of the screen and Microsoft claims that this makes a whole lot of difference to the user experience. Moreover, the apps for phones are will feature an interface optimised for one-handed usage. The apps will be available in a freemium model where the basic features available for all users and an option to choose more advanced features on Office 365 will be offered at a price.
Additionally, Microsoft is internally calling the next full version of the Windows and Mac desktop Office apps/suites - Office Desktop. Jared Spataro, General Manager of Microsoft Office, claims that there will be more previews of the Desktop version (Office 2016) for end-users in the coming months. It is quite evident that Office Desktop apps are for professional content creation, sophisticated authoring, data analysis, visualization, and similar tasks which demands the need for keyboard and mouse input.