The next chapter of Office on Windows

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Today’s post was written by Julia White, general manager for the Office Product Management team.

Two weeks ago we shared our plans to introduce new, Universal Office apps for Windows 10 including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, that can be installed on PCs, tablets and phones. Today, we’re excited to announce that Word, Excel and PowerPoint are now available for technical preview on PCs, laptops and tablets running the Windows 10 Technical Preview! In the coming weeks, we’ll open up our preview for the same apps on phones and tablets running Windows 10.

These “universal” Office apps are optimized for touch and mobile use and are a great way to take your work on the go, no keyboard or mouse required.

For more information on how to join the Windows 10 Technical Preview click here. If you’re already in the Windows 10 Technical Preview you can search for Word Preview, Excel Preview and PowerPoint Preview in the new Windows Store Beta today and thank you for helping us test the Office for Windows 10 apps on your touch enabled PC, laptop or tablet.

Yesterday’s unveil of Windows 10 showcased a new generation of experiences that will empower people and organizations to achieve more. In partnership with Windows 10, the Office team is bringing a fantastic new set of Office experiences to this platform, furthering our mission to bring the unparalleled productivity of Office to everyone, on every device. Over the past 12 months, you’ve seen us reimagine the traditional Office experience for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. The next step in this journey is the delivery of touch and mobile optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook for Windows 10.

Hopefully, you got to see the new Office experiences that Joe Belfiore demonstrated as part of the Window 10 announcements; if not–check out the demo of Word for Windows 10 here and the demo of PowerPoint for Windows 10 here using a Windows Phone.

Office “universal” apps on Windows 10 deliver a touch and mobile-first experience across devices

Office for Windows 10 offers touch-optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook that work great on small screen devices like your phone and tablet—all the way up to the Microsoft Surface Hub. They are designed from the ground up to run on Windows 10, built for touch and offer the unmistakable Office experience you know and love. As “universal” Office apps, they truly are the same app across device size, providing a consistent way for independent software vendors and developers to extend and integrate with Office apps.

These new Office apps will be pre-installed for free on phones and small tablets running Windows 10, and available to download from the Windows Store for other devices. The Office universal apps will be available with the Windows 10 Technical Preview in the coming weeks and general availability is on track for later this year.

Simultaneously, we are hard at work on the next release of the Office desktop suite that will be called Office 2016. (Unexpected, I know!) We will have more to share on 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. We have compelling new experiences coming as part of this Office suite–stay tuned to the Office Blog for more details. We expect to make Office 2016 generally available in the second half of 2015.

With that context, let’s dive a bit deeper into the new Office universal apps for Windows 10. All of the new Office universal apps are designed for touch and mobile, working beautifully across devices.

  • Word for Windows 10—Create and edit great looking documents with Word. Review and mark-up documents, then share your work with others to collaborate in real time. The new Insights for Office feature (powered by Bing) in Read mode brings additional online resources like images, web references and definitions right to you in your reading experience.


  •  Excel for Windows 10—Use Excel to create and update spreadsheets and gain new insights as you analyze data and visualize it with charts. And new touch-first controls shine in Excel, you won’t even miss your keyboard and mouse when selecting ranges of cells, formatting your pie charts or managing your workbooks.


  • PowerPoint for Windows 10—Create and edit beautiful presentations with PowerPoint. Then use Presenter View to prepare and present with confidence, even use Ink Tools to annotate your slides in real time so your audience really knows what you are talking about.


  • OneNote for Windows 10—Capture all your thoughts, ideas and to-do’s with the new version of OneNote. Getting things done with your friends, classmates and colleagues has never been easier with shared notebooks–now with the consistent Office ribbon experience.


  • Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar for Windows 10—Crafting emails has never been easier or more powerful, with the familiar and rich capability of Microsoft Word built into the authoring experience. Simply insert tables, add pictures and use bullets and color to get your point across. Keep up with your inbox with new touch gestures that help you read, sort, flag and archive your mail.


If you’d like to see a demonstration of the Office universal apps for Windows 10 on a tablet, including differentiated experiences like the power of the pen and Insights for Office, check out this video from Office Mechanics:

The next chapter of Office on Windows is here.

—Julia White

  1. Hope to see an “Outlook Tasks” universal app. It’s my favorite part of Outlook

    • That should be in the Outlook Mail/Calendar app not as a standalone app. I hope OneNote has integration with tasks in Outlook too.

      • I agree there needs to be at least a separate live tile if not a separate app.
        Tasks is very hidden in Windows Phone 8, requiring three clicks (calendar->dots->tasks) to get to instead of one.

    • I also am hoping to see Outlook Tasks included, either as a separate app or as a part of the calendar app. It was the way that tasks connect to mail, calendar, and OneNote that moved me away from GMail and Remember the Milk to Outlook.

  2. YAY!!! This looks amazing and looks more feature-rich than the iOS and Android counterparts. Can’t wait to try this out on Windows 10 preview for phones. 🙂

  3. Conspicuous by its absence in this post is MS Access. Where does Access fit in your vision for the future?

    • On the desktop! People who use databases aren’t the touchy-feely type!

  4. Will I be able to use these apps on a traditional desktop based Windows 10 installation or does have to be on a mobile based devices such as a Windows Phone or Tablet with touch support?

    • it will work on any windows 10 device (PC , tablet and phones)

    • The Office apps for Windows 10 are touch optimized for phones and small tablets, and they are installable on all Windows 10 devices, to include traditional desktops/laptops. But for those types of devices that are more keyboard and mouse driven, you might want to opt for the Office 2016, the traditional desktop suite.

    • it’s not as important as Windows version . mac have a very small user-base , but anyway they already said that it’s coming in 2015

    • Hi Dustin – Watch this space, we’ll soon have more to share on Office for Mac.

  5. Please let us have these apps as soon as possible. I have tried them on my iPhone and they are great. Can’t wait to get them on my Windows Phone.

  6. is it possible to get pre-release apps of office

    to get for my lumia 1520 , 730 and 830 using same microsoft id on trio

    please as from my college notes to everything goes from word , excel to outlook calender

    please under nda terms – please register my email and send me a beta apps

    • aakash006sharma – Thanks for your offer to assist in testing the new Office apps. You’ll be able to test out the new Office universal apps across your devices when they become available through the Windows 10 Technical Preview in the coming weeks.

  7. the most important is that finally modern Onenote will have audio recording , I hope it will work great and sync the ink with the sound timing

  8. These look great and for 95% of people will be all they’ll ever need (as well as being simple for an IT dept. to maintain)

    I realise this is early days yet but will these apps be useable in a business environment or will the user have to have an Office licence to use them at work?

    My understanding is that you cannot use Office for Android or iOS without an Office licence IF you’re using them in the workplace FOR work.

    • Hi Richard – Just like with iPad today, consumers will be able to have core editing, viewing and printing for free on Windows Phones and small tablets with the launch of Windows 10. Commercial customers will need to have a qualifying commercial license. We’ll have more details on licensing as we get closer to general availability.

  9. Wow, I may never need to buy the full Office suite ever again. This looks great!

  10. Looks good! Not sure I like the curved Ribbon tabs though, kinda breaks the Metro look, but otherwise, I can’t wait to see what Office 16 brings!

  11. Now that Surface RT and RT 2 (or Windows RT devices in general) won’t get Windows 10, will they be able to at least install the touch-optimized version of Office? Or is it yet another empty promise from Microsoft?

    • Hin, the new Office universal applications require Windows 10.

  12. Hope you guys finally support password-protected note in the new onenote?

    • I second that. And per-note sharing!

  13. I have an active office 365 subscription so will get an upgrade to Office 16 for free?

    • Zebrassox – Yes, with an Office 365 subscription you get the latest releases of the Office suite, as well as full versions of mobile apps across Windows, Android and iOS.. So when the final release of Office 2016 becomes available later this year, you’ll be able to upgrade as part of your service.

  14. Hi !

    Will it be possible to format the text when we write an email ?

  15. Any news on when there will be a public preview of the client and server bits?

    • donalmc – We’ll have more to share on the desktop client soon. Keep watching here on the Office Blogs, where we’ll announce next steps for all things Office on Windows 10.

  16. Why in the world are you optimizing the experience for mobile when the vast majority of actual work still still be done on desktops using a mouse and keyboard?

    I mean, haven’t you heard of presentation layers? Separation of presentation from logic? These are really really old concepts.

    • Did you read the part where they’re working on Office 2016? They’re not forgetting desktop users at all.

    • Thanks, Corndogger! ericsoles, we agree! While many have been asking for new more mobile/touch Office experiences, we also know that there is still a need for the classic desktop suite. The next release, Office 2016, will be available later this year.

  17. On devices like the Surface Pro 3, we need the desktop Office experience but optimized for touch when the keyboard is disconnected.

    So, will there be something like Continuum for Office?

    This is far better than making us fire up another Office application which might have compatibility issues with the full desktop version.

    • Great feedback panayiotist. We did a fair bit of work in Office 2013 to make it more ‘touchable’ and the user experience teams continue to make touch control a priority for the next release of the desktop suite.

  18. The one thing I hope for is the ability to sync Outlook via a cable to my phone. If I had that I’d get a Windows phone. But since the only company that allows this is HTC using Android, I was forced to do it that way. How MS dropped that ball the last time out is beyond me. Considering how unsafe the cloud is turning out to be, I’m surprised that MS hasn’t seen the light. Maybe this year, they will!?

  19. While I admire the many changes that the Office team have made for the prospective Office 2016 edition, I am still taken aback that these design changes are not being translated for the Mac OS X editions. Is there a systemic instruction that Office for Mac should always be a generation behind?

    • krudant, great feedback. Traditionally Office for Mac has always trailed Office on Windows by 6-8 months to ensure consistency across platforms. It’s been a little longer this cycle as we were also investing in Office on a variety phones (iPhone, Windows Phone, and Android) and tablets (iPad and Windows).

      Late last year we released the next version of Outlook for Mac, which carries a design approach more consistent with what you see on the Windows desktop version. At the same time, we shared a first look at our Office for Mac roadmap, where we give some more insight into what you can expect to see from Office on Mac this year. Read more here:

  20. Really looking forward to the OneNote update. Can anyone point me to a list of changes that will be made for the app? We are an educational institution and use the OneNote Class Notebook creator to manage classes and for student note taking. For the most part we love OneNote for educational usage but there a few things that would make it perfect. 1. The Ability to Embed/attach video and not have to go to an external site (YouTube) to watch it. 2. Review and track changes that work similar to that function in Word. We have to use a third party app to help with that at this point.

  21. What about Publisher and Access? And can we get Visio on subscription for Home and Personal Users?

    • Hi Cymumtaz – We haven’t shared any details on the next versions of Publisher, Access or Visio. We’ll have more details soon, and will share them here on Office Blogs first. Thanks!

  22. Looks good and I do look forward to Office 2016.

    I am the typical early adopter in IT, meaning somebody who desperately hopes the new product will solve the old problem…. I have two of them:

    Word: A lot of business and consultant’s reports are due and a good report of course contains lots of tables. Your new version should finally allow the format (header and footer) your page in landscape, whereas the table as a whole should be switchable to landscape. I know, DTP software makes this possible, but why not Word?

    Excel: I remember early versions of this otherwise cute package offered geographical maps (chloropleths) where countries within Europe or Asia or states or provinces and lower levels could be colored according to your statistical data (e.g. percentages of women in parliament, number of new businesses registered, origin of refugees, percentage of Boeing aircraft in the national airline’s fleet…). I have found no real userfriendly way of doing this. This often gives a better overview than a bar or pizza chart. Is it true that this facility will be reintroduced in Excel?

    Thanks for enlightening me.

    • Hi danstanmart – Thanks for the specific feedback. We’ll make sure to get it to the Word and Excel teams, if they haven’t seen it already. We’ll share more information on Office 2016 soon, along with application level improvements. As an IT early adopter with Office interests, you may want to consider joining the Office 365 Technical Network where you can talk directly with Microsoft engineers and product managers about Office 365 and the individual workloads, like Office. Find it here:

  23. I had a feeling that the view of the Microsoft Office apps in iOS would be the vision of the future for Windows machines. I have discovered over the last three years that I really do not need Microsoft Office, especially at the cost of Microsoft Office for my personal needs. I get more done with iWork and I can work anywhere with it. I do not need to subscribe to software and indeed I will not ever subscribe to the software in the future. It may make sense for businesses to subscribe to the software, but for the home user, it is really unnecessarily and expense that they do not need to pay. When you think about it, because of the way that it would work, you would need to always subscribe to the software in order to be able to edit old files. I am completely done with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.

    • Hi Jfreedle2 – Thanks for your feedback, sorry to hear that Office isn’t for you. We do work hard to ensure document and file compatibility across versions and devices. For example, Office Online, available at supports editing of new and old Office file types, and it is free for home and student use.

  24. Will Office 2016 be offered as a standalone package or will it only be offered online like Office 365?

  25. I’m reading the post with mixed feelings.

    I was very excited when the Office for iPad was released, and after using it i got very disappointed, because Right-to-Left languages are not supported, And I keep testing after each update, and so far is seems that those languages has been simply ignored while developing those Office Touch apps. 🙁

    Will this newly released Office version fix this issue???

    Thanks in advance.

  26. Great! Finally, Office for touch-first UX is coming.

    Meanwhile, there one thing I would like to bring to your attention. I’ve been closely watching the product on other mobile platforms and it seems that the same “mistake” is about to be repeated on Windows. iOS is notable for its UX that rely on screen-top located UI elements that often require important hand displacement and, usually, screen crossing – because these UX components are predominantly located at the left-hand side.

    “Modern” on Windows 8.1 brilliantly eliminated most of this nasty behavior by having clever gestures that leverage the screen sides.
    – Task switching, that required no dexterity (don’t forget that 80% of the population is right-handed), could be easily done using the left hand thumb.
    – Opening the Charms was also that simple, even for left-handed people, no dexterity required.
    -Activating “Modern” apps menus is done by a simple screen-top or screen-bottom gesture that can be done close to the sides, never hiding the screen.
    – All of these operation never required screen crossing.

    Although the Office team is trying hard to have the suite behave properly using fingers, the new UX requires constant screen crossing. This is due mainly because the UX is based on predominantly left-side located UI elements, even if 80% of its users are right-handed. Also, having the UX screen-top located, inherently forces the user to cross the screen content when accessing it. This is something the “Modern” Mail application avoided by having most of its interactive UI elements located at the bottom of the screen (for menu actions) and mostly right-hand side for the others. The “Modern” Internet Explorer also leverages these rules with great success, yielding unsurpassed efficiency.

    I understand that the current UX resembles the “desktop” Office and its ribbons, that it brings a sense of already-know-the-concept to users. Meanwhile, a touch-first device required a UX that places finger driven interaction at the center while minimizing unnecessary screen-crossing and hand displacement. These rules evidently do not apply to direct object manipulations but, for UI elements, I think it should be a golden rule.

    Now what you may ask? Favor the right hand side, 80% of the user base will benefit (in fact, the system configuration should be aware of the hand predominance and the UX should change side accordingly). Explore the possibility of leveraging the screen bottom instead of the top. I understand that it may initially look disruptive but, in the end, once the initial shock goes away and the habit installs, it is a humongous amount of screen-crossing, screen-hiding and useless hand displacement that are saved.

    Don’t get me wrong here. I absolutely just can’t wait to use “Touch” Office on my Surface. I just want it to be unbeatable in term of UX on Windows 10.

    Food for thought. Pass along if you think it is worthy. Have a nice day.

    • Thanks, CyberKnight. I will definitely pass your thinking along to the UX team, input from passionate users is always appreciated!

  27. Please tell me you’re not overriding the system theme again? It’s a bit rude.

  28. Thank you for improving office.. however, some key elements of word are not addressed. You provide excellent support of master document concept similar to adobe framework and hence as I develop my book I need an excellent layout tool. Publisher is a nightmare cause it does not support word styles nor can it generate TOC or Indexers so if I stay in word than you should as a minimum at least provide some of the excellent features of publisher like guidelines, connected text boxes etch so word becomes one place I can do almost all my work.

    Another key problem with word is the export to PDF format. The export to PDF does not have the ability to embed fonts that were used in the documents so I have to resort to using adobe acrobat pro which pulls the word documents and does an excellent job albeit slow. You need to fix this issue.

  29. farshid_mi

    How can I send a request for new feature in Office 2016?
    Persian Calender is add to win 10 and I want to send a request for Office team witch add persian calender in Excel and Access.

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