By Bert Van Hoof, Office Engineering
Today, we’re proud to introduce the new Office; it comes pre-installed on every Windows Phone 8, which is launching worldwide today.
When we started on this journey we set five clear objectives:
- All your Office documents, where and when you want them
- The best Office document rendering on any phone
- All your notes – in one place and with you, anywhere
- Communicate and collaborate effectively from your mobile device
- The most world-ready Office experience on any phone
All your Office documents, where and when you want them
Whether you’re using SkyDrive or Office 365, getting access to your Office content is just part of the phone’s easy set up. Windows Phone 8 auto-discovery gets you connected to your accounts, so you can get things done from any place, at any time.
The Office Hub – your go-to spot for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel – is redesigned with a simple and fluid navigation. Finding and accessing your personal and work documents on SkyDrive, Office 365 and SharePoint is also easy and intuitive.
In Office 365 your documents “travel with you,” even on different devices. No matter which device you used to last view or update a file, it will show up in your list of recently used documents on the phone. Email attachments you’ve opened in Outlook Mobile will also show up automatically in the Office hub. And you can access documents on SkyDrive or Office 365, and share them with others.
And of course we’ve made sure that the Office Hub takes advantage of the new ‘Tap + Send’ feature in Windows Phone 8 to let you share documents by tapping your phone on another NFC-capable device.
Figure 1: Your list of recently used documents on SkyDrive, Office 365 and SharePoint, across all of your devices
The best Office document rendering on any phone
Viewing Office content is a natural and delightful experience, optimally adjusted for the unique attributes of Windows Phone 8. Simple edits can be made with ease. In Word, Excel and PowerPoint, we’ve made the best even better by introducing a number of noticeable user experience and content fidelity improvements. All apps put content first and have a greatly enhanced ability to render gorgeous charts.
PowerPoint seamlessly renders all shapes and SmartArt Graphics, and honors your transition effects and timing. We added portrait mode with speaker notes, and slide thumbnails make navigation between slides a lot easier.
Figure 2: Portrait mode with speaker notes, and slide thumbnails in PowerPoint
Excel also offers noteworthy new enhancements. Workbooks open at the last saved sheet and zoom level, and navigating through a large Excel worksheet is fast and fluid. New touch-friendly handles make range selection and resizing of columns and rows a snap.
Figure 3: New cell selection handles in Excel
It is now easy to read cells with lots of text on the small screen. As you navigate and tap through more cells in the sheet, the new reading panel refreshes its content.
Figure 4: New Excel “view cell text” feature
The new full-screen reading mode in Word is a true delighter: Your controls automatically move out of the way as we put the content at center stage. Controls reappear by simply tapping on the document canvas. From there you can switch to outline view for quick navigation around the document, look for comments, or edit, save and share your document. Your cloud-connected document automatically resumes where you left off reading, no matter where you last viewed your document – on your PC, tablet or phone!
Figure 5: Full screen reading in Word
All your notes and ideas – in one place and with you, anywhere
OneNote Mobile is now a separate app, always ready to capture your notes and ideas. Just tap the new OneNote Tile and take quick text, photo, and voice notes. You also have instant access to the notes you have made on other devices, search for specific notes, and get around your notebooks easily.
Notes look the same across OneNote 2013, OneNote for Windows Store and OneNote Mobile, so you always get a great, consistent experience wherever you are. Even ink content and annotations made with pen on your tablet PC will render perfectly on your phone.
OneNote Mobile accommodates both casual and advanced users. Users who just want to take simple notes on their phone, can use the Quick Notes starter experience. Advanced users who already organize their notes in notebooks and sections will enjoy the new navigation fine-tuned for the small screen.
Figure 6: New OneNote navigation on top of the screen
One of the coolest new features is taking voice notes. Speech notes are added to the new Quick Notes section and contain audio playback alongside transcribed text. You can even dictate a note or reminder while the phone is locked, so your spontaneous thoughts are always captured.
And of course, no app makes creating to-do lists easier than OneNote. Creating a check box just takes a quick tap. We moved the icon from the middle to the left making it an even easier to hit target while typing.
Figure 9: Creating checklists in OneNote is easy
Including new or existing pictures in your notes can happen from within OneNote or directly from the Photo Hub.
Just like all of the Office content, OneNote is fully cloud-enabled using SkyDrive and Office 365. This means you can access your notes from anywhere, on many different devices. Setup is seamlessly integrated with the phone’s easy configuration and you’ll have automatic access to your notebooks and notes.
The new Rooms experience on Windows Phone 8 makes it easy for family members, friends, and colleagues to share private notes. Rooms are an invitation-only place on your phone – and on the phones of the other members – where you can share a private calendar, group chat, photos or videos, and notes. When you set up a Room, a shared OneNote notebook is automatically created. No extra logins, it just works. Adding new notes is easy and everyone in your Family Room can do it. How cool is that?
Figure 8: Shared notes in the Family Room
Communicate and collaborate effectively from your mobile device
Windows Phone 8 continues to offer the best Office communications experience on any mobile device. Outlook offers integrated email, contacts, calendar, and tasks – a hallmark experience on Windows Phone. With Skype, Lync, and Yammer apps you can view and manage all your communications, including voice, video, IM, email, SMS, feeds, and presence. It’s easy to participate in meetings from your mobile device without typing in any access codes. We’ll provide more details about our enterprise social experiences in the coming months.
The most world-ready Office experience on any phone
Office on Windows Phone 8 is now available in 50 languages, supports complex script, and UI mirroring (see figure 10). For Right-To-Left languages, not only does the text alignment and text reading order go from right to left, but also the UI elements layout follows this natural direction of going from right to left.
Figure 9: Complex script in Word documents (Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Vietnamese, and Thai)
Figure 10: UI Mirroring in Excel (English, Hebrew)
Go check it out!
Microsoft Office feels right at home on Windows Phone 8 and is ready to serve! Go check it out in person later this year at your local Microsoft Store or phone retailer. The new Nokia, HTC, and Samsung phones all come pre-installed with Office. Visit the Windows Phone website for more information, and stay tuned for more news over the coming months.