2 min Applications

Microsoft discontinues development Office for touch screen

Microsoft discontinues development Office for touch screen

Microsoft has stopped developing its Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 on touch screens. That’s what The Verge writes.

Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and PowerPoint Mobile were first introduced on Windows 8.1. The apps are built on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and have an interface adapted for touch control.

The use of UWP means that the apps are suitable for both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. Now that Microsoft has ended its support for the latter, the development of Office Mobile is no longer a priority.

We are currently prioritizing the development of the iOS and Android versions of our apps, and on Windows we are prioritizing the Win32 and web versions, says Microsoft in a statement to The Verge.

Win32 priority

That decision is not very surprising. The Office Mobile apps were once a good example of what developers could achieve with UWP, but Microsoft has changed its strategy in the meantime. Instead of encouraging developers to develop new universal apps, Microsoft has made it possible to repack existing desktop applications for the Windows Store.

The fact that Microsoft is now giving priority to the Win32 version itself makes it clear that the traditional desktop applications remain the focus on Windows machines for a while. It is this version that is embraced by the business world and for which the most new features appear as part of Office 365. Now that Windows 10 Mobile is no longer available, it makes little sense to maintain a less efficient Office version as well.

Surface Hub

What makes the decision a bit surprising is that Microsoft is currently still using the Office Mobile apps for its HoloLens and upcoming Surface Hub 2. The current Surface Hub cannot even handle Win32 and requires the UWP apps. The specific characteristics of UWP are perfect for this hardware: the apps are adapted to touch use and are safer thanks to sandboxing. It remains to be seen how the apps on this hardware will evolve.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.