Soon, the Windows 10 Office app will actually be useful

Laptop with Office 365
Laptop with Office 365 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Office app on Windows 10 will soon let you open files directly within it.
  • At first, the Office app will only let you view files, but the ability to update them will reportedly come in the future.
  • Microsoft already has unified Office apps on iOS and Android.

Perhaps no other suite of apps is synonymous with Windows as much as Microsoft Office. While millions of people use Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and other standalone Office apps on their PCs, it appears that Microsoft is working on another option. According to a report by Dr. Windows, the Office app on Windows 10 will soon let you view files directly within the app, rather than having to pop over to a separate app or a web browser.

Right now, the Office app on Windows 10 is more of a hub to get you to other ways to access files and documents. If you don't have the standalone Office apps installed, the Office app on Windows has a button to take you to a webpage to download them. You can also see all of your files and documents within the Office app, but clicking on them takes you over to a web browser.

Dr. Windows reports that Microsoft will turn the Office app into a progressive web app in June. With this update, you'll be able to open files and documents directly within the Office app on Windows. To start, you'll only be able to view files, but Dr. Windows says that the ability to edit will come in the future. You'll also be able to open multiple instances of the Office app.

The updated Office app isn't intended to replace the dedicated Office apps on Windows 10. The Office programs within it are the web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other apps. These are fine for day-to-day use for most people but don't have all the features of the dedicated apps on Windows 10.

An improved unified Office app on Windows is somewhat similar to the Office apps on iOS and Android. These unified Office apps for mobile devices let you jump into and edit files and documents.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at