Microsoft announced the availability of the Office for Android phone Preview apps today. The beta release will enable Microsoft to gather feedback from Android users and refine the apps before the official release expected later this year.
I’ve been saying for years that Microsoft needed to stop holding Office hostage as some sort of extortion to drag customers to use Windows. Instead, Office should be offered universally across all platforms and devices so Microsoft can retain those users as customers of its products and services no matter what device they choose. Microsoft finally took my advice and has been working diligently to deliver a consistent experience across every platform.
I wrote a post about the new Android apps:
Microsoft has been working diligently over the last year or two to ensure Microsoft Office is your go-to productivity tool no matter what device or platform you’re using. The latest step in making the Office experience consistent is the Office for Android phone preview apps launched by Microsoft today.
In a blog post announcing the Office for Android preview the Office 365 Team says, “Over the last 12 months, we’ve transformed Office from a suite of desktop applications to a complete, cross-platform, cross-device solution for getting work done. In January, we delivered the Office apps for Android tablets—and we’re really proud of our 4+ rating in the Google Play store!”
Initially Microsoft worked to just get some version of the Office apps out there for competing platforms like iOS and Android. The focus lately has been on ensuring the look and feel are consistent across all of the different devices and operating systems. It’s nice to be able to use the same basic tools on different devices but users shouldn’t have to re-learn how to use Word, Excel or PowerPoint depending on which device they choose. It should be simple and intuitive to use a Microsoft Office app no matter which platform it’s on.
One cool touch is that Microsoft has moved the ribbon bar to the bottom of the screen. The change puts the navigation and menu options in easy reach for your thumbs when reviewing or editing files with one hand on a smartphone.
You can read the full post at Forbes: Microsoft Rolls Out Office For Android Phone Preview.