Microsoft Enables Office Web Apps With Touch For Windows 8 & iOS [Updates]

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Microsoft introduced the Office Web Apps a few weeks ago. Sure enough, it has now got its first big update. OWA (Office Web Apps) is being prepared for the touch-based future of computing. Browsers that support touch – IE on Windows 8 and Safari on iOS – will be able to take full advantage of the newly introduced touch features. Touch is an integral feature of the new Office 2013, and users of Office Web Apps won’t feel left out.

The Microsoft Blog post underlines some of the radical design changes and the thinking it took to develop touch for a better end-user experience. Some of the points that gets underscored here are that users don’t have to learn a new feature and they can easily move back and forth between touch and mouse/keyboard experiences. The Microsoft Office Blog mentions:

Making something easy to touch is dependent on the size of the target. Many user interface elements such as the ribbon controls and context menus fell well below the “touchable” size limits defined by Windows 8 and Microsoft Office. All of these elements have been made easy to touch in the new Office Web Apps.

The UI has been redesigned with more space between the controls, without losing screen real estate. The touch controls have been made intuitive. You will need only five actions to navigate through the web apps.

There is also a Touch Mode which helps you toggle between touch and mouse. You can try out the new Office Web Apps Preview on Skydrive.com or on Office 365 on an iPad or if you have the Windows 8 Preview installed on a tablet and find out your comfort levels.

Source: Microsoft Office Blog

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