On Wednesday, Microsoft took its universal Office mobile apps for Windows 10 out of preview, meaning that they are now generally available to anyone using the new OS. As such, these apps will now require an Office 365 subscription on PCs and larger tablets for full functionality, as previous announced.
Microsoft noted that it has added “Mobile” to the app names on PCs and big tablets to help distinguish them from the desktop-based Office application suite, but that actually happened quite some time ago. On phones and small tablets—i.e. on Windows 10 Mobile—these apps will simply retain their normal names (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), with no Mobile added.
That’s … weird. But it’s not super confusing. This is:
With Windows 10, the dividing line between Windows 10 Mobile and the more full-featured Windows 10 versions (Windows 10 Home, Pro and Enterprise, plus a few others I keep trying to pretend don’t exist) is a screen size of 8-inches. That is, a new PC/device with a screen size of 7.99-inches or smaller must be sold with Windows 10 Mobile, whereas anything 8-inches and up gets some other Windows 10 version.
But with Office, the dividing line between getting the full functionality of the Office mobile (or “Office Mobile”) apps for free is … 10.1-inches. That is, if you are running a phone or a tablet/PC with a screen size at or under 10.1-inches, not only can you download and install the Office Mobile apps, but you will be able to use their full functionality for free. But if you have a tablet/PC with a 10.2-inch or bigger screen, you will need an Office 365 subscription to get the full functionality for free. If you do not have such a subscription, you can’t use any editing features.
Microsoft first explained that latter bit back in March. Why Windows and Office aren’t aligned on this is semi-unclear to me, but I suspect it’s tied to the tweener devices: tablets with 8-inch or similar screens. Obviously, Office Mobile should be free on those devices. But those devices will run Windows 10, not Windows 10 Mobile.
Anyway. 🙂 There you go.
Here are the download links for each Office Mobile app for Windows 10.
And of course, the OneNote app for Windows 10, which doesn’t have the Mobile name added. That’s hilarious, but since the desktop version of OneNote is free, you should get that instead if you’re using Windows 10 on a PC or tablet.