Microsoft Redesigns Office Web Apps Ahead of Windows 8 Launch

Microsoft Office

After releasing a preview of the new Microsoft Office Web Apps last July, the company has already completed its makeover for the software. It has an improved touch support for phones and tablets, as well as the addition of a modern sheen that complements Windows 8.

In addition, the software giant revealed that over 750,000 users opted to test the new Office Web Apps. The redesigned Office Web Apps is now available to all users through SkyDrive and Outlook.

New Look and Improved Performance

The new Microsoft Office Web Apps is akin to Office 2013, with an array of options that can be found across the top of the screen. It also has the same modern fonts and sharp angles that divide each section.

Aside from that, the Web app got a couple of light improvements for tablets. It now features large buttons, as well as a new text-selection tool that is easy to drag. It is separate from Apple’s built-in text selector, and it can be activated by tapping a user’s fingers on the screen.

There were also claims that the Office Web Apps’ performance as documents now renders 30 percent faster than its predecessor. In fact, Jared Newman of PC World said that Word’s online version “felt zippy enough on an iPad and a Chromebook.”

Although Office’s web version lacks many of the advanced featured found on the desktop version, the company said that there will be “fidelity” between two versions. However, the Web version comes for free.

Word Web App

In the Word Web Apps, users can see graphics, images, and layout with high fidelity. It also includes new support for viewing and adding comments, as well as the commonly used Word format and design features such as new page layout tools, picture tools, and word count.

Excel Web App

On the other hand, the Excel Web App provides the essential spreadsheet feature such as merge cells, context menus, auto-fit, columns, formula assistance, fill handle, and AutoSum. It also enables users to add high-fidelity charts, rename or add sheets as needed, or print them straight from the browser.

PowerPoint Web App

The PowerPoint Web App works the same as the desktop version, with support for audio and video playback. In addition, the new co-authoring and comment support improves the system’s collaboration in the cloud.

With its latest improvements, the Microsoft Office Web Apps is ideal for basic document editing across multiple devices, especially for those using SkyDrive for PC to keep their files in sync.

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