Microsoft Previews A Touch-Optimized Version Of Office—For Windows, This Time

Before too long, iPad users won’t be the only ones with access to a touch-optimized mobile version of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft today offered a preview look at touch-friendly versions of Office for all Windows devices—PCs, tablets and phones—just days after it finally debuted the iOS equivalent. The company plans to bring the touchscreen-focused Office to all devices running Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, although Microsoft gave no hint as to exactly when that might happen.

“This unmistakable Office experience includes the familiar ribbon, and we can navigate the ribbon in the same hierarchical order,” Kirk Koenigsbauer, a corporate vice president in the Office division, said at Microsoft’s Build developer conference in San Francisco.


PowerPoint for Windows touch devices running on a tablet and on a Windows Phone 8.1 device.

Office documents should open the same way people are familiar with, Koenigsbauer added, and that includes smart text, graphics and tables in full fidelity. Furthermore, the apps have been built on DirectX so they run quickly, he said.

“Buttons are nice and large for easy touch navigation, and there are multiple Undo and Redo commands available for great collaboration experiences,” Koenigsbauer said. Navigation of the touch based Windows version of Office includes familiar concepts like swiping between PowerPoint slides, for example, and pinch to zoom to select any slide in a deck.

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