Microsoft to rebrand its Office Web Apps suite to 'Office Online' and improve app visibility

Microsoft has already unveiled the new name for SkyDrive – OneDrive. This rebranded cloud storage solution will continue to co-exist alongside the suite of Office Web Apps available for consumers to utilise without firing up local installations. The Office Web Apps as they're currently known is a selection of free tools for consumers to use within the web browser. Unfortunately, for the time being, it can prove to be confusing to get started with Office through SkyDrive.

According to and The Verge, Microsoft may be looking to both rebrand and improve discoverability of its Office Web Apps.

How Microsoft currently has its Officie Web Apps set up requires you to go through SkyDrive to access the likes of Word, Access, OneNote and PowerPoint. To create new documents with each app, you need to hit "create" and then select which app you'd like to use. With this create menu, not only are you able to form new folders for your SkyDrive (OneDrive) to keep everything neat and organised, there are also some bonus options (you may have not been aware of):

  • Word document
  • Excel workbook
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • OneNote notebook
  • Excel survey
  • Plain text document

Microsoft Web apps

Yan Zhu from has shared a few screenshots with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, which show the possibility of Microsoft rebranding its Office Web Apps as Office Online, with individual apps renamed to Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online and OneNote Online. See the below image for an idea as to how the company may be looking to improve the discoverability of each available 'Office Online' app. Compared to what's currently listed in the main navigation bar, this would be quite the improvement.

Microsoft Online Headers

How the new headers could look when using Microsoft's online services

Microsoft recently published a blog entry covering some navigational changes coming to Office Web Apps, including the revamped navigation bar. Since the post went live, the content team have removed any mentioning of changes coming to headers, but it's believed these improvements are still on their way, which would make navigating between the different Web Apps and other Microsoft cloud services far simpler and more convenient.

Office Online

One of the screenshots shared by Yan Zhu

Should Microsoft carry out said changes to its online suite of Office apps, this would make it more inviting for consumers to use. The free tools would be better positioned for marketing – Office Web Apps versus Office Online – and would fit in with changes applied to not only Microsoft as a company, but Windows and other products / services. We'll keep our eyes open for any details to come to light, as well as reach out for more information.

How would you feel about such changes coming to the Office Web Apps, and do you have any issues with using the suite as it's currently set up?

via: ZDNet, The Verge

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.