Microsoft is developing a new version of the Office application for Windows 10, the company has revealed.
The web-based application acts as the focal point for Office 365 software - such as Word, Excel, Outlook and OneDrive - giving users access to functionality found on Office.com directly from the desktop.
As per an entry to the company’s product roadmap, Microsoft is now working on a series of under-the-hood changes designed to improve the performance and capabilities of the app.
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The Office app as it exists today was first launched in 2019, replacing the native My Office app for Windows 10. It comes pre-installed with most modern iterations of the operating system and provides free access to web-based versions of Microsoft’s office software.
As part of the update, the Office app will begin to utilize the latest web technologies (assumed to mean WebView 2), which should bolster performance and stability, as well as lay the foundation for new features.
Another key addition is the ability to open multiple instances of the Office app at the same time, giving users the opportunity to work on multiple documents side-by-side.
“Users without [paid Office apps] installed will be able to view files directly in the Office App for Desktop, and be able to compare documents [by opening multiple copies of the app],” Microsoft explained.
The application’s user interface will largely remain the same, but with a few minor tweaks, such as a new-look application header.
According to Microsoft, the new version of Office for desktop will begin to roll out in June and become available to all users by the end of the same month.
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