Having come around to the idea that it needed different versions of Office for different kind of users, Microsoft introduced lightweight versions of Word, Excel, Power Point and OneNote that are neither as pricey or as feature laden as the main versions included in Office. iPad users were the first to get their hands on this new take on Office. With Windows 10, the free Microsoft Office Mobile apps have arrived for some Windows users.
Here’s how to get that free Microsoft Office in Windows 10, and what you need to know about it why it’s possible for some to take advantage and not possible for others.
How to Get Free Microsoft Office in Windows 10: What is it?
Microsoft Office is wildly successful. Everyday millions of users all open it to get work done. Millions of documents are written in Microsoft Word. Millions of budgets and sales breakdowns are created in Microsoft Excel. Everyone has created a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation at some point in their life.
Windows and Microsoft Office are synonymous. Because the two are often used together and both made by Microsoft, many assume that one comes included with the other. That’s never been true. Windows device makers often included shortcuts to trials for Microsoft Office with new PCs. Some even bundled it with their PCs, passing the cost on to buyers. Microsoft Office costs $149 if purchased outright or $6.99 a month through Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription service.
Office Mobile is what Microsoft collectively calls the free Microsoft Office apps that are now available. Word Mobile lets Windows 10 users view documents. Excel Mobile focuses on spreadsheets. PowerPoint Mobile lets users look at presentations. Outlook is separated into to apps, Outlook Calendar and Outlook Mail. Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar are absolutely free.
Read: What is Office 365
Looking at things in these Office Mobile for Windows 10 apps is absolutely free too, but editing and creating with them requires an Office 365 subscription in some circumstances. Which side your device falls on is directly tied to its screen size. On Windows 10 devices with screen sizes smaller than 10.1 inches, each Office Mobile app is free to use and edit with. It’s users who have devices with larger screen sizes that need to purchase an Office 365 subscription.
How to Get Free Microsoft Office in Windows 10: Where to Get Office Mobile
The Windows Store is Microsoft’s modern repository for all of its apps and services. Office Mobile for Windows lives there. It’s the Windows Store that also provides users with upgrades and features. Click or tap on the links below to be taken directly to the Windows Store to download each app. Note that you’ll need a Microsoft Account to use the Windows Store. Windows 10 will prompt you to create one if you haven’t already.
Microsoft Word Mobile for Windows 10
Microsoft Excel Mobile for Windows 10
Microsoft PowerPoint Mobile for Windows 10
Microsoft OneNote for Windows 10
Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar are the email and calendar apps that come equipped on your PC after the free Windows 10 upgrade. You can download them again from the Windows Store if you deleted them. Again, these free Office Mobile apps only let you both edit and read your documents if your screen size is smaller than 10.1-inches. If your screen isn’t, you’ll be able to download the apps and read documents, but not edit them without an Office 365 subscription.
The only app exempt from these editing restrictions is Microsoft OneNote. It’s free for everyone to download now. Microsoft has effectively stopped charging any money for the version in the Windows Store and the program version that’s available on its website.
How to Get Free Microsoft Office in Windows 10: What You Need to Know
The Microsoft Office Mobile for Windows 10 apps have some quirks and definitely take some getting used to.
For users at home, Office Mobile is meant as a supplement or optional replacement for the regular Microsoft Office suite of apps. Sometimes they have compatibility issues with older documents. More detail-oriented users will notice their slimmed down feature set at once. That’s by design, Office Mobile is lightweight, taking up less storage space and demanding less processing power.
By default, everything is loaded into Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service, but users can choose to save locally if they want. OneDrive is how users can create, view and edit documents from whatever device they have around them. Businesses with Office 365 subscriptions or SharePoint websites can connect to your Windows 10 device and enable editing on the Office Mobile apps too.
How to Get Free Microsoft Office in Windows 10: Office Online
Windows 10 devices that don’t meet Microsoft’s screen requirement can’t edit documents with the Office Mobile apps without an Office 365 subscription, but there is an alternative. Before Microsoft Office Mobile ever existed there was Office Online, a website with online versions of some of the Office apps meant to fight off Google Docs. Regardless of your device’s display size, you can use Office Online free here.
Online tools include the apps that you’d expect: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. Microsoft has also added new tools to the site in recent months, introducing story-telling app Sway and upgraded versions of Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar. The Office Online site also offers a free trial for Office 365.
Good luck with Microsoft Office on you’re notebook, desktop or tablet running Windows 10.