has rolled out a new, free
app directed toward anyone who uses its Office suite, either the paid or free version.
Known simply as Office, the new app is an update over the previous My Office app. The intent is the same, but the new version has a cleaner design and easier access to your Office programs and files. The new app displays icons for every program in the Office suite, so you can quickly launch Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher,
and the rest. The app shows you recent files and documents, so you can open any of them to resume your work. It also shows you documents that you've pinned as well as those that others have shared with you.
has become more complex over the years simply because of the many different ways you can access it. Office is available as an annual subscription, as a one-time purchase, as a free online suite, and as a lineup of
and tablet. As such, Office users may not always know how or where to find or launch their applications and files. The Office app provides a single place where you can view, use and manage Office 365, Office 2019,
or the free Office Online.
The Office app is similar to Microsoft's Office.com website, which also helps you access your Office programs and documents. But with the app, you can see files stored on your local computer or device, open files from OneDrive or SharePoint, and work with files offline. The app also lets you upload documents from your computer or device, install Office and manage your online Office account.
The new app will roll out to people over the next few weeks and then automatically install as an update to the old My Office app, Microsoft said in a blog post. Anyone who wants to try it right away can download and install it from the Microsoft Store.
But beware, as an installation glitch is currently affecting some users. Even though the store page points to the new app, downloading the app installs the old My Office version rather than the new version. As usual, the glitch seems to vary by machine. I was able to install the new version on one of my Windows 10 computers. But the old version keeps getting installed on two of my other computers. Other people who commented in Microsoft's blog post have reported a similar problem. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company is aware of the bug and is working to resolve it.