You can now download Microsoft Office directly from the Windows Store for the first time. Unfortunately, the Office apps are only available to Windows 10 S users at the moment. So anyone using your bog-standard, run-of-the-mill Windows 10 will have to wait a little longer.
Microsoft recently unveiled the Surface Laptop, a premium device designed to compete with MacBooks. However, the Surface Laptop will be powered by Windows 10 S, a streamlined version of Windows 10 designed to compete with Chrome OS. Which is a tough ask.
Windows 10 S looks like a neat little operating system, but it’s limited to running apps available from the Windows Store. This is by design, as it allows Microsoft to control exactly what works with Windows 10 S. Which now, just in the nick of time, includes Microsoft Office.
Microsoft Office on the Windows Store
Microsoft Office is now available on the Windows Store, with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, and Publisher all available to download and install. However, these Windows Store apps are only available to people running Windows 10 S, and the OneNote app isn’t actually ready yet.
There are other limitations too. Namely that these are only available as 32-bit applications, and COM add-ins are not supported. What’s more, all of the Office apps are considered to be in preview until the install and update process has been fully tested. So, things could get buggy.
We don’t yet know how long the Windows Store versions of Microsoft Office will remain in preview, but they will eventually be available to everyone. Until then, Microsoft is offering a free one-year Office 365 Personal subscription to anyone who owns a Windows 10 S device.
Frustrating Windows 10 S Users
Microsoft needed to make Office available on the Windows Store at this point, or Windows 10 S users would have been left frustrated beyond belief. There is always the browser-based Office Online to fall back on, but most people prefer actual apps they have installed on their computers.
Do you use Microsoft Office? Or have you switched to one of the free alternatives such as LibreOffice? If you still use Office, are you excited at the prospect of its arrival in the Windows Store? Do you own a Surface Laptop? Please let us know in the comments below!