Microsoft's Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 not a priority, but not dead

During its Ignite 2018 conference this week, Neowin reported that Microsoft is shifting its attention away from its Office Mobile apps for Windows 10, treating Android and iOS as the priority going forward. This caused speculation that the apps may be dead, but support still remains, albeit limited when compared to other versions of Office on the market.

In a statement to ZDNet, a Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed that the Office Mobile apps have not been deprecated, but the company is prioritizing its development resources towards the iOS and Android apps, along with the Wind32 and web versions. From Microsoft:

The Office mobile apps for Windows have not been deprecated. But for mobile, we are currently prioritizing development for the iOS and Android versions of our apps; and on Windows, we are prioritizing Win32 and web versions of our apps.

The Office Mobile apps–which include the standard roster of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and others–are built for Windows tablets and mobile devices with a screen size of 10.1 inches or smaller. While these apps will continue to be available and supported (for now), it's unlikely we'll see much in the way of new features rolling out to them in the future. Given Microsoft was spotted toying with a new radial color picker in Word Mobile as soon as last week, it's a striking move, even if not entirely unexpected.

With Office Mobile no longer remaining a priority, Microsoft is likely to push everyone it can to use its desktop and web apps on PCs and tablets. And given the company's embrace of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) as of late, it will be interesting to see if it opts to package and list the web variants on the Microsoft Store at some point in the future.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl