At Ignite 2018 Microsoft has confirmed that it will no longer be adding any new features to the UWP Office Mobile apps on Windows 10, and will instead be concentrating on improving the Office Mobile apps on iOS and Android.
Office Mobile apps started on Windows Phone handsets, and later migrated to small Windows 10 tablets, where they offer free apps to Windows 10 users with screen sizes below 10 inches.
As can be seen from the screenshot above, while the UWP apps do not offer a dramatically different user interface they do offer significantly improved usability over the desktop apps for tablet users.
With Microsoft deprecating the apps it suggests once again that tablet mode on Windows 10 is not a significant priority for the company, and that, like on phones, they expect users on tablets to be using either iOS or Android devices.
The one app spared is the OneNote app, where the UWP app will, in fact, become the standard app for all users, with the desktop app actually being end-of-lifed. I suspect this had likely something to do with Microsoft’s Andromeda ambitious, which was meant to be a note-focussed user interface with integration with OneNote in some way. It remains to be seen how long that plan will last in the face of demands by OneNote users for full feature parity before they switch.
Do our readers think Microsoft is making a mistake by giving up on their Windows 10 tablet apps, or are they merely bending to reality? Let us know below.