Microsoft unveils touch-friendly Office apps for Windows phones




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(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) on unveiled a long-awaited suite of touch-friendly Office apps that allow Windows phone users to work on Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents on their with touch commands and to transfer them easily between devices.

Test versions of what Microsoft is calling its Office Universal apps are available to download immediately and full versions will be available by the end of the month, Microsoft said.

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Many Office users have waited for Microsoft to introduce the apps, which adapt their look and commands to the device being used, whether Windows Phone or tablet.

Microsoft, in a departure tradition, has already released similar touch-friendly Office apps for Inc’s (AAPL.O) iPad and iPhone, and for tablets running Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Android.

The company’s reasoning was that those popular devices, which have dominated mobile computing, represented a bigger and lucrative for its Office products its own Windows mobile devices.

Basic functions are free for everyone, but for advanced editing features, users for a subscription to Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based version of Office.

Microsoft is to a version of Office for desktop PCs, and a version of Windows, later this year.