Microsoft Office free apps for smartphones and tablets with 10.1 inch or smaller screen

Microsoft Office apps such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint are available as free downloads for iOS , Android and Windows smartphones and tablets that have a screen size of 10.1 inches or smallerUsers can view, edit and create new Office format files with these free apps once they login with a Microsoft user account, but they must subscribe to Office 365 to unlock all app functionality.

Students and teachers with a valid school email address are also eligible for the free Office 365 Education version.

Apple device users can run the iWork productivity apps, which includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

Excel for Android beta feature allows you to insert data from photo

Microsoft is currently testing a new Excel for Android feature that will allow you to take a picture of data with your phone or tablet and paste the photo’s data into an Excel worksheet.   Insert Data from Picture is currently being tested by select Office Insider users.

End of support for Windows 7 and other Microsoft products

Microsoft plans to end support for Windows 7 after January 14th 2020 and will no longer provide security updates.  For volume license customers, Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) will be available for a fee through January 2023. A future option may be Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) for Windows 7, which was announced in 2018 but not yet available in Preview mode.

Update: paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) will be available for businesses of all sizes through January 2023.

Office 2010 will no longer be supported as of October 13th 2020.   Microsoft is also ending support for Windows 10 Mobile OS for smartphones on December 10th 2019 and recommends that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device.

Internet Explorer 11 will be the last release, and Microsoft has released more information at its Internet Explorer FAQ page.

Support life cycle dates for Microsoft products can be found at support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search.

Microsoft Office 2019 now available for Windows and Mac

The desktop version of Microsoft Office 2019 is now available for Windows and Mac. This non-cloud based product has different options from the cloud subscription versions of Microsoft Office 365 and generally has fewer features than Office 365.

A list of frequently asked questions about Office 2019 may be found here.

Excel XLSX files and Word DOCX files are Zip files of XML data

Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint create files in Open XML formats by default.   The file extensions for OpenXML format include XLSX (Excel), DOCX (Word), and PPTX (PowerPoint).

Files with names that end with “.xlsx” ,”.docx” or “.pptx” can be renamed to “.zip”.  These ZIP files can be uncompressed to reveal multiple files and folders.

Information on how to read the contents of the Open XML format for Microsoft Office may be found at docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/open-xml/understanding-the-open-xml-file-formats.

Microsoft Office Online browser extension for Edge and Google Chrome browsers

The Microsoft Office Online browser extension for Edge and Google Chrome browsers allows you to open and create files for Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Sway in your browser without needing Office installed.

This free extension is available from Microsoft Store and Chrome Web Store.

Adobe issues update to fix Flash Player using Office files to download malware

Adobe issued Security Bulletin APSB18-19 on June 7th 2018 regarding the Flash Player issue where Microsoft Office files used Flash Player to download malware.  Users should download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player at https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/.

Microsoft also issued Security Advisory ADV180014 regarding the same issue.

Microsoft Excel function lists and keyboard shortcuts

Microsoft has provided some web pages that list Excel functions and keyboard shortcuts:

The Microsoft Excel Community has additional helpful hints regarding Excel.

Microsoft Whiteboard App

Microsoft announced the release of Microsoft Whiteboard – Preview version for Windows 10.  This app allows multiple users to sign into their Microsoft accounts and remotely update a virtual whiteboard to collaborate visually.  This app is free to use for any one user with a Windows 10 device.  For multiple users, at least one participant must be logged into an Office 365 personal, work, or school account.  More details are at products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-whiteboard/digital-whiteboard-app and the FAQ page.

Update: Microsoft Whiteboard app is now generally available for Windows 10 devices at the Microsoft Store, and there is now an iOS version for iPhone and iPad.

A list of Microsoft products no longer supported in 2018

Microsoft has released a list of products that will no longer be supported in 2018, including:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
  • Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5
  • Microsoft Dynamics C5 2014
  • Windows 10 Mobile – November 2015 release
  • Microsoft Office Communicator 2007
  • Windows Web Server 2008

A full list can be found at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4043450/products-reaching-end-of-support-for-2018.