Microsoft Releases Touch First Word, Excel and PowerPoint Office Preview Apps For Windows 10

Posted on February 4, 2015 by Alan Walsh

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During Microsoft’s Windows 10 event two weeks ago, the company shared details of its touch-first (Gemini) Office Apps for Windows 10 devices. These would be Office experiences built to be optimized for touch screen devices. The company already released in OneNote preview with the Windows 10 January Technical Preview rolled out, however, today they’re releasing Word, Excel and PowerPoint in preview. These Apps will be fully free, however once there out of preview, additional functionality will require an Office 365 subscription.

You can download Word Preview, Excel Preview and PowerPoint Preview and if you’re on a Windows 10 device, this will open the “Store Beta” to download these Apps. Currently, you can get them on desktops, laptops and tablets with the phone version coming when the Windows 10 preview rolls out for Windows phone devices. Of course, these Apps are Universal and designed to run similar across all screens and work across x86/x64 and ARM devices.

After launching stunning touch-first Office Apps for iOS and Android last year, it’s great to see Microsoft bringing these experiences to Windows 10 users. After many complaints from concerned dedicated Windows fans, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella (who is now officially one year as Microsoft CEO, today February 4th 2015) said that while they must release products on iOS and Android, those products will be better on Windows and that will be seen once Windows 10 launches later this year.

After spending some time using each of the Apps, it’s clear that they don’t just work and look great with touch, there also great keyboard and mouse. The Apps main page feel like their desktop counterparts, alas some features like posting articles onto blogs (which is what I use for work) are still exclusive to the desktop counterpart but you may still edit blog posts using the touch-first apps and syncing the data onto OneDrive. The Cloud integration with OneDrive works just like it does on the desktop, plus there’s also a ‘collaborate with others on this document’ feature which is something I’ll look into later. I’ve often ran into weird crashes and errors when opening documents but that’s expected in such an early phase. I’ll keep playing around with it. Below is a screenshot of the Apps running on my Windows 10 laptop.

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