Despite Microsoft’s standalone Word, Excel and PowerPoint being the showcase apps for Windows, the company felt it was necessary to coalesce its disparate Office apps into one new destination and create an aggregate experience on the desktop.
In the new Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18305, users will be testing out a new Office app for Windows 10 that is a bit more than just an update to the My Office link that’s been pre-bundled on devices for the past couple of public updated.
It would seem disingenuous of me at this point to not highlight the similarities of this new Office app on Windows 10 and that of how Google presents its Docs apps in Drive. Personally, I prefer the look and feel of this new Office app.
While the Office App for Windows 10 appears to be a polished version of the My Office experience, equipped with new Office icons and all, it’s also a PWA developed app that brings the denser functionality from Office.com to the desktop.
Aside from flexing their PWA developer muscles the Windows team also will be replacing the My Office app and bringing this new Office for Windows 10 to streamline productivity with the ability to:
- Quickly switch between apps. See all your Office apps in one place and switch between them with a single click.
- Get back into your work. Jump to your most recently used documents, pinned documents, and documents shared with you—whether they’re on your local machine or stored in OneDrive or SharePoint.
- Find what you need. With Microsoft Search integrated prominently, you can quickly find the apps, documents, people, and sites you need to get your work done.
- Tailor it to your organization. Organizations can apply company branding and integrate other line of business applications through single sign-on to customize the experience for their users.
The Office.com site was redeveloped last year as a destination for Office online users to go, however, it now appears that Microsoft had loftier goals of unifying that experience across platforms.
Last year, we updated Office.com with a new experience focused on two simple things: helping users get the most out of Office and getting them back into their work quickly. The streamlined site has clearly resonated with customers, and now more than 40 percent of Office 365 web users start their work by visiting Office.com.
Starting today, we’re bringing this experience to Windows 10 in the form of an app, simply called Office. It’s now available to Windows Insiders (Fast) and will roll out to all Windows 10 users soon. The app itself is free and it can be used with any Office 365 subscription, Office 2019, Office 2016, or Office Online—the free web-based version of Office for consumers.
As the company makes plans to move its browser rendering engine to Chromium and make a larger push for PWA’s, we should expect to see more development such as this come to the desktop in the coming year.