Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it will be killing off the Office apps for Windows 10 Mobile in January 2021. It was a fitting time to make the announcement, being that Windows 10 Mobile itself got its final update today.
The good news is that if you’re still using these apps on a Windows 10 PC, they will still be supported, at least for the time being. You’ll continue to be able to get them on Windows 10 tablets that are under 10.1 inches.
A Microsoft spokesperson reached out to Neowin with the following statement regarding future support:
“This announcement applies to their availability on Windows 10 Mobile. Per the Tech Community post, if you already have the apps installed before the end of support date, the apps will continue to work. However, because of the lack of security updates, we strongly recommend that if you wish to use Office on a phone you transition to the latest Microsoft Office apps on an iOS or Android phone.
We will continue to support them for use on Windows tablets under 10.1. However, the best experience for people who want to use Office on a PC is through the desktop apps with an Office 365 subscription, or the web apps which are available for free to consumers at office.com.”
It’s pretty clear. If you’re already using the apps on a Windows phone, you can continue to use them; however, you won’t get any updates, and you won’t be able to download them from the Store. Windows 10 tablets under 10.1 inches are still supported, although Microsoft is still making it clear that it wants you to use desktop Office with an Office 365 subscription.
If you are using them on a phone, this deadline probably doesn’t matter to you. By then, you’ll have been using an unsecure OS for over a year, so using an unsecure version of Office won’t make much of a difference.
Microsoft confirmed back at Ignite 2018 that the Office UWP apps aren’t getting new features anymore, at least in line with their Android and iOS counterparts. Still, the Office UWP apps have their loyalists, and if you’re running Office on a small tablet and one of them, this is good news.