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Windows 10’s touch-based Office apps are on the back burner

Microsoft has admitted further updates to the touch-friendly versions of Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 have been placed firmly on the back burner.

The company said it is prioritising the development of the iOS and Android apps, rather than pushing to boost the Universal Office, Excel and PowerPoint apps for use on touchscreen tablets and laptops.

“We are currently prioritising development for the iOS and Android versions of our apps; and on Windows, we are prioritising Win32 and web versions of our apps,” the company said in a statement to The Verge.

Microsoft has, until this point, regularly updated these apps for the Windows 10 platform, but following the demise of Window 10 Mobile, it appears the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) initiative is also on the wane.

Related: Windows 10 October 2018 update: What to expect

Earlier this week, a Neowin editor said the Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 are “pretty much dead.” Rich Woods followed up to say they’re now “considered legacy apps and new features are targeted as iOS and Android.”

Nothing Microsoft has said today specifically contradicts this, but it doesn’t appear as if there’ll be any work on those apps in the foreseeable future. This means Microsoft is staking the future of Office for Windows 10 on the traditional desktop experience, whether it’s through the on-premises apps or the Office 365 cloud platform.

Earlier this week Microsoft launched Office 2019 for Mac and Windows, but advised users to opt for the cloud option.

In its announcement on Monday, Microsoft seemed somewhat reluctant to be rolling out the update by clearly stating Office 365 is the best and most affordable option. It also says Office 2019 is explicitly for those “who aren’t ready for the cloud.”

Are you still using the touch-friendly Office Mobile apps on Windows 10? Are you upset they won’t be receiving any updates in the near future? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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