Microsoft reveals Office features coming to Windows Phone


Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will extend remote access features integrated into its forthcoming Office 13 productivity suite to mobile devices running the company's Windows Phone 8 operating system.

Office 13, scheduled for release later this year, includes signature tools like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote alongside new features like a touch interface and social networking-enabled collaboration tools. Office 13 also will leverage cloud storage and services like SkyDrive and SharePoint to make synced documents available to users across any connected device--for example, if a user opens a Word file on a Windows Phone smartphone, the software will recall which paragraph they were reading/editing when they last opened that document on another device.

"Your world is changing quickly and the number of devices--smartphones, tablets, PCs--that you use on a daily basis is multiplying," states Microsoft Partner Group Program Manager John Jendrezak on the Office Next blog. "Each of these devices has computing power, local storage, connectivity and a form factor optimized for specific tasks, but is also able to do just about anything you can do on the other devices as well. Examples like Skype, Spotify, Netflix and SkyDrive show us how applications recognize you when you sign in and delivers you your content targeted to specific devices. We see the Office experience the same way. Your content and applications should be available to you wherever you are and on whatever device you are using in a way that is consistent and familiar to you… This is a contrast to the past where Office was very aware of what you had in your local environment but stopped short in the connected, multi-device world we live in today."

Jendrezak confirmed Office 13's cloud storage, sync and roaming features will extend to mobile devices. "For example, your Windows Phone will show your recent files for one-touch access while you are on the go," he said, adding "It doesn't matter if you have your hands on a PC, a Mac, a touch-enabled Windows tablet or a mobile phone: Office takes full advantage of your hardware to give you the best possible experience and access to your work wherever you go."

Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8 last month. The mobile OS shares core features with the new Windows 8, which runs tablets and PCs as well as use of multi-core chipsets to bolster smartphone performance and optimize battery life, a choice of three screen resolutions, integration of VoIP and video chat, Near Field Communications support for mobile wallet and data transfer features; and a customizable start screen. Windows Phone 8 devices are expected later this year.

For more:
- read this Office Next blog entry

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