Office apps hit the Windows Store in preview for Surface Laptop

Microsoft's Office desktop apps are launching in the Windows Store today, coinciding with the launch of the new Surface Laptop with Windows 10 S. The Office suite, having been brought to the Windows Store using Microsoft's 'Project Centennial' desktop app bridge, is available to Surface Laptop owners only as part of a preview install and update process, according to an Office on Windows 10 S FAQ initially spotted by Microsoft leaker WalkingCat.

Microsoft clarifies that, while the install and update process is in preview, the apps themselves are not. Still, during the preview period, the following apps are only available to install for Surface Laptop users with Windows 10 S:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote for Windows 10
  • Outlook (not available in preview for Office 365 Education plans)
  • Access (not available in preview for Office 365 Education plans)
  • Publisher (not available in preview for Office 365 Education plans)

It's worth noting that OneNote is the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) version of the app that has been available for some time.

Though the bulk of the suite is made up of bridged desktop versions of the Office apps, they are the 32-bit versions; 64-bit versions are not available via the Windows Store. Likewise, they are not compatible with COM add-ins, Microsoft points out.

As for the Office Mobile apps, which were previously the only versions of Office apps available on the Windows Store, Microsoft is repositioning them smartphones and tablets with screen sizes under 10.1-inches. Given their "Mobile" designation, this makes much more sense.

Again, the preview period limits the new Office apps to Surface Laptops running Windows 10 S. Microsoft notes that the apps will be available for purchase and installation on other Windows 10 devices after the preview period is over. Finally, as a bonus for Surface Laptop owners, Microsoft is offering one free year of Office 365 Personal for laptops that ship during the preview period.

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