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Microsoft has released the next version of Office, and it’s touch-tastic.
Office has been at the realm of traditional keyboard and mouse PC users. But Microsoft wants Office to be a part of phone and tablet customers’ lives as well. The company has been in a constant process of evolution over the past and a half year. Microsoft released Office for the iPad and Android. Microsoft said it will release a host of touch-based Office apps for Windows 10users.
To get people using the apps, Microsoft said the new Office apps will be pre-installed for free on phones and small tablets that run Windows 10. It may be noted that office apps are already free for Android and iOS users.
The new Office universal apps mostly look like the original. For example, they all have the familiar ribbon at the top with the “Home,” “Insert” and “View” tabs.
They, however, come with touch-specific features, including a special “read mode” in Word and swipe gestures in Outlook that let you delete or flag emails.
The new move is a part of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s new strategy to transition the company into the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. As PC sales slide, Microsoft wants to ensure its software is still getting used.
But the company is fully aware of the fact that lot of people still want to use Office the old-fashioned way. For those customers Microsoft will release a new version of Office called Office 2016 in the second half of the year.
Office has become the biggest cash cow over the past year for Microsoft, even eclipsing Windows sales. Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription plan is catching on in a big way, with 6 million consumer subscribers as of October. And Office for mobile devices have received millions of downloads.