Microsoft shows how it optimized Office for touch

Microsoft shows how it optimized Office for touch
Microsoft recently confirmed that its Office package (sans Outlook) is coming bundled with Windows 8 RT tablets, but that wouldn’t mean much if it wasn’t optimized to work with touch. Luckily, Office for Windows 8 RT is tailor-made for your fingers and taps, and it seems that it cost a lot of effort for Microsoft as the company gives us a 4,000-word explanation on how it changed its office package.

For us, what really matters is how it works, so in a nutshell what Microsoft did was tweak the appearance so that there are less, but bigger buttons. The ribbon is still there but again with less and larger buttons. When it comes to those option-stuffed contextual menus, like say the color picker, they are still there but now with more space and again larger.

Dragging items is made easier with guidelines so images snap easier where you want them to. Also, text selection which is extremely precise with the mouse and keyboard, is changed for tapping.

Probably most interesting, is the way Microsoft changed commands. You now have a small strip with most common commands that just pops up when you select text or images. The new touch-optimized Office also brings radial menus for quick access to functions. Check out the videos below and let us know what you think - is Office that big of a deal nowadays and could it help Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 sales?

source: Office Next



1. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Looks great but to my knowledge open office and many of the other productivity suites on the App store and Google play store already have these capabilities if not very similar. Why spend the x -tra cash for what you can get on those markets for a small price or free? I use open office on my Zoom and it is compatible with all office 2010 documents, spreadsheets, presentations and the Gmail app on the tablet to me is light years ahead of MSoutlook on the PC.

6. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

Because the business world doesn't use QuickOfficePro or SmartDocs. It uses Microsoft Office. Thus sharing documents and such becomes much easier when using the same program. So as a business person, or a student who needs to email docs and such, it isn't very practical to go with other programs. Plus I would still pay for it if it weren't free I'm sure it will be a much deeper program than ones on the App Store or Google Play.

2. TechWorld_Observer

Posts: 15; Member since: Aug 17, 2011

It comes "bundled" with Windows RT so you don't have to pay for them. You buy the tablet with Windows RT, but that doesn't mean MSFT needs to give a free copy of their best selling software. The fact that they do is a win and a nice thing to do in MSFT's part don't you think? ...:::TchWldObsrvr:::...

4. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I was unaware of this fact. Thank you for pointing it out. This will definitely go a long way for MS a will be very competitive offer. I wonder if they will release the suit for the other competing brands?

3. rnk.khch

Posts: 86; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

Amazing!!! I can't wait to get my Surface with this new Office.

5. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

Is office still a big deal? Hmmm let's think about that. . . yes! A week doesn't go by in school where I don't at least use it once--usually I use it much more. And I'm a student in high school. It gets even more important in college and then the business world. Microsoft better get it right and it looks like it may have so that's good.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.