Windows 10 tends to get all the attention as it moves closer to its expected RTM, which should be next week, and eventually General Availability (GA) to Windows 7 and 8.1 users on 29 July.
However, this week we did learn that Office 2016 is now available for Mac users and it is the first serious update to the office suite since 2011.
The Office 2016 for Mac was in preview since March of this year but a month earlier Microsoft also released Universal Office Apps for Windows 10 to bring touch friendly versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint to the up and coming operating system.
We have learned this week from Microsoft that those apps will be released on 29 July, the same day Windows 10 becomes available, and will be in the Windows 10 Store for immediate download and use.
According to a Microsoft spokesperson the free apps will allow users to perform core editing, viewing and printing of their Office files. No Office 365 subscription will be necessary for those functions but if you need a higher level of capability then an Office 365 subscription or the stand alone install of Office 2016 will be necessary.
I have been using these apps since they arrived in preview and they are quite good.
It used to be if you did not own Office and wanted to avoid the expense of buying it you would grab one of the free offerings from Open Office, Libre Office or Free Office and use that for content creation and compatibility with Microsoft Office.
These new Office apps on Windows 10 now provide a suitable and functional alternative to those other options. They easily connect with your OneDrive cloud storage and information for files you access and create in them will sync between different Windows 10 devices. Although they have been enhanced for touch use they also work just fine with a mouse and keyboard.
Combine these with the Mail and Calendaring apps in Windows 10 and you have a great alternative to the full blown Microsoft Office suite.