Hands-On with the New Free Office App for Windows 10

Microsoft has released a new Office app for Windows 10v that’s supposed to make it simpler for users to access the productivity suite, their files, and share documents with contacts.

Basically, the simply-called Office app should really replace My Office within the operating-system and merely behave as a hub for that productivity suite.

In other words, even though it may suggest otherwise given its name, “Office” for Windows 10 doesn’t permit you to create, save, and edit documents without paying. Instead, it connects you together with your already-purchased Office product inside a more seamless manner.

The Office app has already been available for download from the Microsoft Store, and users can get it at this time without having to pay just one cent. The app can come pre-installed in Windows 10 beginning with the April 2019 Update. Obviously, for this app to make sense at all, you need to be running Office 2016, Office 2019, and have an energetic subscription to Office 365.

Office has a rather simple and clean interface, after launching it, the purpose becomes pretty obvious.

All Office apps are provided towards the top of the screen, and clicking the shortcuts opens them instantly. You can also open Office Online if you wish to access your documents in the cloud. Depending on the Office version installed on your device (subscription or on-premises), clicking the icons open the correct application after logging into websites.

There are also buttons to install Office and buy the productivity suite towards the top of the screen when the software isn’t detected in your device.

The low part of the screen is being employed for quick access for your documents, and also the files are categorized in three categories: recent, pinned, and distributed to me.

The current category displays the documents that you’ve done recently and saved in the cloud, while the pinned section only shows those files that you manually pinned.

To get this done, within the recent category, click the three-dot menu alongside each file and click on the Add to pinned option. Exactly the same menu enables you to open a document in Office Online, open within the available Office app, remove it from list, or open its location.

The distributed to me section provides quick access to documents which have previously been shared with you by your contacts, and this option is available in particularly handy for enterprise customers or those using Office within their company.

There’s also shortcuts to upload and open documents, but additionally to quickly create new files in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Sway.

Aaaand, that’s pretty much all about the app. Your bank account details are displayed in the top right corner, while a simple shortcut at the bottom from the screen lets you open more files in OneDrive.

What I’d want to see improved within the Office app, though I don’t find it really helpful right now, would be to see recent files that have been saved on my device, not only to the cloud. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the remaining Office apps already have a built-in listing of recently-saved documents, so I see no reason to show them because well.

The official description published in the Microsoft Store claims a search feature should also be offered to look for documents offline an internet-based, but this doesn’t seem to be available today.

Most likely, nearly all Windows 10 users will forget this app exists as it doesn’t bring a significant benefit from home users, for example, and I said earlier, it makes more sense within the enterprise. We’ll see how successful it’s once it starts on offer as pre-installed.

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