Microsoft Office Mobile

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Microsoft Office Mobile
OfficeMobile2013 WP8.png
Office Mobile 2013 on Windows Phone 8
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial release April 2000; 14 years ago (2000-04)
Stable release Office Mobile 2013 / October 29, 2012; 23 months ago (2012-10-29)
Operating system Windows Phone, iOS, Android[1]
Platform Smartphone[1]
Type Office suite
License Proprietary software:[1]
  • Windows Phone: Built-in
  • Others: Freeware

Microsoft Office Mobile is an office suite by Microsoft for mobile phone platforms. It is meant to be compatible with desktop versions of the office suite.

Core applications include Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile. The suite is available for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS[2] and was previously available for Windows Mobile[3] and Symbian.[4]

Lync Mobile, OneNote Mobile, and SharePoint Newsfeed are not included in the Office Mobile suite, but are available as standalone apps that can be downloaded separately from app stores. An Office 365 subscription is not required to access these three apps on any mobile platform.

Office Mobile originally debuted as Pocket Office on Windows CE v1.0 Handheld PCs in 1996. It has since been updated several times. The latest version, Microsoft Office Mobile 2013, was released on October 29, 2012,[5] with the launch of Windows Phone 8.


Office Mobile originally shipped as "Pocket Office", and was released by Microsoft with the Windows CE 1.0 operating system in 1996. This release was specifically for the Handheld PC hardware platform, as Microsoft's Smartphone and Pocket PC hardware specifications had not yet been released. It consisted of Pocket Word and Pocket Excel; PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook were added later. With steady updates throughout subsequent releases of Windows Mobile, Office Mobile was rebranded as its current name after the release of the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system. This release of Office Mobile also included PowerPoint Mobile for the first time.[6] Accompanying the release of Microsoft OneNote 2007, a new optional addition to the Office Mobile line of programs was released as OneNote Mobile.[7] With the release of Windows Mobile 6 Standard, Office Mobile became available for the Smartphone hardware platform, however unlike Office Mobile for the Professional and Classic versions of Windows Mobile, creation of new documents is not an added feature.[8] A popular workaround is to create a new blank document in a desktop version of Office, synchronize it to the device, and then edit and save on the Windows Mobile device.

In June 2007, Microsoft announced a new version of the office suite, Office Mobile 2007. It became available as "Office Mobile 6.1" on September 26, 2007 as a free upgrade download to current Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6 users. However, "Office Mobile 6.1 Upgrade" is not compatible with Windows Mobile 5.0 powered devices running builds earlier than 14847. It will also be a pre-installed feature in subsequent releases of Windows Mobile 6 devices.[9] Office Mobile 6.1 is compatible with the Office Open XML specification like its desktop counterpart.[9]

On August 12, 2009, it was announced that Office Mobile would also be released for the Symbian platform as a joint agreement between Microsoft and Nokia.[10][11] The first application to appear on Nokia Eseries smartphones was Microsoft Office Communicator. In February 2012, Microsoft released OneNote, Lync 2010, Document Connection and PowerPoint Broadcast for Symbian.[12] In April, Word Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile and Excel Mobile joined the Office Suite.[13]

On October 21, 2010, Microsoft debuted Office Mobile 2010 with the release of Windows Phone 7. In Windows Phone, users can access and edit documents directly off of their SkyDrive or Office 365 accounts in a dedicated Office hub. The Office Hub, which is preinstalled into the operating system, contains Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Also, the operating system includes OneNote, although not as a part of the Office Hub. Lync is not included, but can be downloaded as standalone app from the Windows Phone Store free of charge.

In October 2012, Microsoft released Microsoft Office Mobile 2013, which updated all Office Mobile apps to their Office 2013 equivalent. The update is available for all phones running Windows Phone 7.8 or above.

Office Mobile for iPhone was released on June 14, 2013, in the United States. Support for 135 markets and 27 languages was rolled out over a few days. Office Mobile was released for Android phones on July 31, 2013 in the United States. Support for 117 markets and 33 languages was added gradually over several weeks.

On March 27, 2014, in addition to the release of Office for iPad, Microsoft made the Android and iOS versions of Office Mobile free for 'home use', although the company still requires an Office 365 subscription for using Office Mobile for business use. The Next Web noted that it would be tough for the company to enforce the rule, given that employees can install Office Mobile on their personal devices, which they can then bring to work.[14]

Core applications[edit]

Office Mobile's core applications include mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The 2013 versions support editing only the newer Office file formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx), and can only view but not edit the legacy file formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt).

Word Mobile[edit]

Word Mobile 2013
Excel Mobile 2013

Word Mobile is a word processor that allows creating and editing documents. It supports basic formatting, such as bolding, changing font size, and changing colors (from red, yellow, or green). It can add comments, but can't edit documents with tracked changes. It can't open password protected documents, change the typeface, text alignment, or style (normal, heading 1); create bulleted lists; insert pictures; or undo.[15][16][17] Footnotes, endnotes, headers, footers, page breaks, certain indentation of lists, and certain fonts, while not displayed nor able to be inserted while working on a document in Word Mobile, are retained if the original document has them.[18] In addition to the features of the 2013 version, the 2007 version on Windows Mobile also has the ability to save documents in the Rich Text Format and open legacy PSW (Pocket Word).[18] It allows inserting pictures and tables to documents; however, pictures must be added on the desktop version of Word, and cannot be moved with copy/paste.[19][not in citation given] Furthermore, it includes a spell checker, word count tool, and a "Find and Replace" command.

Excel Mobile[edit]

Excel Mobile is a spreadsheet program that can edit XLSX files. It can edit and format text in cells, calculate formulas, search within the spreadsheet, sort rows and columns, freeze panes, filter the columns, add comments, and create charts. It can't add columns or rows except at the edge of the document, rearrange columns or rows, delete rows or columns, or add spreadsheet tabs.[15][16][17][20][21][22] The 2007 version has the ability to use a full-screen mode to deal with limited screen resolution, as well as split panes to view different parts of a worksheet at one time.[20] Protection settings, zoom settings, autofilter settings, certain chart formatting, hidden sheets, and other features are not supported on Excel Mobile, and will be modified upon opening and saving a workbook.[23]

PowerPoint Mobile[edit]

PowerPoint Mobile is included with Windows Mobile 5.0. It is a presentation program capable of reading and editing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, although authoring abilities are limited to adding notes, editing text, editing text, and rearranging slides. It can't create new presentations.[24][15] Versions of PowerPoint Mobile for Windows Phone 7 can also watch presentation broadcasts streamed from the Internet.[25]

Office 365 and OneDrive integration[edit]

Office Mobile integrates with OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service. All documents edited from Office Mobile programs are automatically saved to OneDrive, and a list of recent documents saved to OneDrive appears on the home screen of the Office Hub. Office Mobile also includes a file manager that can be used to browse for Word, PowerPoint, or Excel files saved on a OneDrive account. In addition, Office Mobile can also open and edit documents saved on an Office 365 account.

Standalone applications[edit]

Mobile versions of Lync, OneNote, and SharePoint Newsfeed are not bundled with the core Office suite, but can be downloaded separately on the Windows Phone Store and iOS App Store.[26] Lync and OneNote are available on Google Play for Android devices, but SharePoint Newsfeed is not.[27]

Originally released with Microsoft Office 2003, OneNote Mobile is a notetaking program that synchronizes with Microsoft OneNote.[7] OneNote Mobile allows for basic formatting of text, the insertion of media such as pictures or audio recordings, creation of lists, and the use of hyperlinks within documents.[28] Pictures and audio recordings may be taken directly from within the program using a built-in camera and microphone respectively.

Discontinued applications[edit]


Messaging app includes the following features:

Messaging is not compatible with Windows Mail.


Calendar app includes the following features:

Calendar is not compatible with Windows Calendar.


Contacts app includes the following features:

Contacts is not compatible with Windows Contacts.


Tasks app includes the following features:

  • Category support
  • Priority status of tasks
  • Sensitivity status of tasks
  • Reminders
  • Synchronization with Microsoft Outlook


Reception of Office Mobile was mixed. Dana Wollman of Engadget felt that Office Mobile for iPhone had a "minimal feature set", better than Google Drive in some ways but "miles behind other office apps for iOS".[16] David Pogue, reviewing for The New York Times concluded that the "non-Microsoft competitors are already far more useful." Joe Hindy of Android Authority was more positive, writing that it was comparable with competitors and it was worth checking out. He liked that Office Mobile was free, theoretically had better compatibility with Microsoft Office documents, and had good design, but he disliked that there weren't advanced formatting tools and that Android tablets weren't supported.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Office on mobile devices". Microsoft. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Free Microsoft Office for iPhone and Android apps confirmed". BGR. BGR Media. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "How to buy Office Mobile 2010". Microsoft Office website. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 20 June 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Microsoft mobile solutions available on Nokia smartphones". Microsoft Office website. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 10 February 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 8". Microsoft. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Utter, David. Windows Mobile Now With PowerPoint!. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
  7. ^ a b Pratley, Chris. Out and About with OneNote Mobile. MSDN Blogs. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
  8. ^ Langridge, Jason. Windows Mobile 6 - What's New and What's Cool?. MSDN Blogs. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
  9. ^ a b Chan, John. Japanese WM6 and Office Mobile 2007. Crave - CNET Asia. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
  10. ^ Montalbano, Elizabeth (2009-08-12). "Microsoft, Nokia Team to Put Office Apps on Mobile Phones". PC World. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  11. ^ "Get Microsoft Office for Symbian". Conversations. Nokia. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Litchfield, Steve; Gilson, David (2012-02-24). "Microsoft Apps released for Nokia Belle". All About Symbian. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Microsoft Office Suite Coming To Symbian Smartphones". 11 April 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Emil Protalinski (27 March 2014). "Office for iPhone and Android phones is now completely free, Android tablet version coming ‘in the future’". The Next Web. 
  15. ^ a b c Ralph, Nate. "Office for Windows Phone 8: Your handy starter guide". TechHive. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c Wollman, Dana. "Microsoft Office Mobile for iPhone hands-on". Engadget. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Pogue, David. "Microsoft Adds Office for iPhone. Yawn.". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Unsupported Features in Word Mobile. Microsoft. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  19. ^ Use Word Mobile. Microsoft. Internet Archive 2008-04-17.
  20. ^ a b Ogasawara, Todd. "What's New in Excel Mobile". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 8 February 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  21. ^ "Unsupported features in Excel Mobile". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2007. 
  22. ^ Use Excel Mobile. Microsoft. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  23. ^ "Unsupported features in Excel Mobile". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2007. 
  24. ^ Use PowerPoint Mobile. Microsoft. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
  25. ^ "Use Microsoft PowerPoint Mobile". Windows Phone How-to (United States). Microsoft. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "Office on mobile devices". Microsoft Office website. Microsoft. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  27. ^ Callaham, John (7 March 2013). "Microsoft launches SharePoint Newsfeed app for Windows Phone and iOS". Neowin. Neowin LLC. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  28. ^ OneNote Mobile 2007 quick start guide. Microsoft. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
  29. ^ Hindy, Joe. "Microsoft Office for Android review". Android Authority. Android Authority. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 

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