When Windows 10 was announced back in late January, Microsoft promised universal apps that would allow developers to create software from a single codebase that would work on PC, tablet, smartphone, and Xbox One platforms. Today, Microsoft is delivering on that promise, announcing that the universal Office suite for Windows 10 that was demoed back in January will be coming to Windows Phones later this month (likely just in time for Microsoft’s BUILD conference).
Compared to its tablet counterpart, Office Universal apps for the phone have their commands and controls move to the bottom of the screen to make it easier for you to “thumb around” when holding the device one-handed. As Microsoft General Manager for Office Marketing Jared Spataro states, “That may sound like a small thing—but wait until you try it. It makes all the difference!”
“With the preview release of the new Universal apps for Windows 10 for phones, we’ll have an exciting line-up of Windows 10 apps across form factors,” Spataro added. “The Universal apps will deliver tailored tablet and phone experiences for on-the-go productivity, and the Desktop apps will offer our broadest, deepest feature set for professional content creation.”
Microsoft’s wording makes it seem as though the upcoming Office Universal apps will be delivered exclusively through the next build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones. The next build is scheduled to arrive at the end of April, so hopefully Microsoft will have fixed the kinks that popped up in Build 10051 on the Lumia 520, Lumia 525, and Lumia 526 by then.
After all, the Lumia 520 is Microsoft’s best selling Windows Phone device to date, so it would be a shame for those customer to miss out on the best that universal apps have to offer.