MICROSOFT'S MAIN UNIVERSAL Windows Platform (UWP) app is no longer being worked on by the company.
The touch-friendly Windows versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint have had their development frozen, while Microsoft concentrates on the desktop, web, iOS and Android versions. Y'know - the versions of Office that people actually use in serious numbers.
Although development is technically only on hold, we imagine it's paused in the same way it is for Zune or Clippy.
"We are currently prioritising development for the iOS and Android versions of our apps; and on Windows, we are prioritising Win32 and web versions of our apps," a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge.
They're not completely dead, so presumably they'll continue to get security flaws plugged - but new features look pretty unlikely. The good news for fans of the software is that most of the functionality you could want was in place already. These are productivity tools, after all, so it's not like there were likely to be enormous changes incoming.
Still, the writing has arguably been on the wall for some time. With barely anyone making Windows Phones, and only slightly more people wanting to buy them, work on Windows 10 Mobile is no more. Making apps that play nice with a dead platform shouldn't be a priority for anyone - especially when attractive alternatives on more popular operating systems like iOS and Android are more numerous by the day. Reallocating the limited Office resources just makes financial sense.
In the long run, it's likely that the web apps will eclipse the touch versions for features anyway. But with five years' development time already sunk on the UWP apps, it may be a little while before they offer a comparatively polished experience. µ
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