Microsoft’s Office output is cluttered, and that’s not even considering cross-platform versions of the suite. On the company’s own Windows platform, there are several versions available. We can choose Office.com (web version), Win32 Office apps, or the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) versions.
In an interesting but not unexpected move, Microsoft has decided to tone down focus on the UWP touch-enabled apps. While the UWP apps work on Windows 10 desktop, they were essentially Office Mobile services for Windows 10 Mobile.
Sure, many laptops have touch screens these days, but its not an implementation that has taken off in the way Microsoft hoped when it launched Windows 8. It seems laptop users still prefer the tactile approach of a keyboard and mouse.
Either way, Microsoft says it is no longer going to provide new features for its UWP Office apps. It is worth clarifying that there are no plans to kill off the apps entirely, although that may happen eventually. For the time being, Microsoft will continue to provide security and stabilization updates, but not new features.
“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.”
No More Features
For the most part, the full suite of Office apps is available as UWP experiences. So that means, users running Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Teams, OneDrive, Sway, Office Lens, Yammer, and Skype will not longer get new features. For those resistant few still holding onto a Windows Phone device, this is bad news.