Microsoft will begin offering Windows Phone users a preview of the future of its Office suite on mobile devices by the end of this month. Jared Spataro, the general manager for the Office marketing team, said in a blog post today that the new apps will be available to members of the Windows Insider Program who have a preview version of Windows 10 installed on their phone.
Unsurprisingly, the new apps are designed to give people access to the powerful productivity tools on their phones that they have on their PCs and Windows tablets. On mobile, the apps are primarily designed for viewing, quick edits, and marking up documents, rather than the sort of hard-core editing that’s better suited for larger devices.
One of the key features of the new apps is that they provide a consistent look and feel across all devices, including smartphones, tablets and more traditional computers. It’s an extension of the new Office apps for Windows 10 that have already made their way to desktop computers, and shows off one of the key new features of the operating system for developers.
Instead of building apps for phones, tablets and traditional computers separately, developers can use Windows 10’s universal app platform to create one central code base and then build out an interface tailored for each device class.
The feature is designed to make it easier for desktop app makers to build apps for Windows-powered phones and vice versa. Right now, it seems to be paying dividends for users, since they’ll be getting new versions of Office just two months after Microsoft deployed the new Office apps for desktop users of Windows 10.
Today’s news comes a week after Microsoft deployed its latest version of Windows 10 for smartphones, expanding the preview to a wider variety of handsets and adding new apps including its Project Spartan browser.