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Microsoft teases touch-based Office apps for Windows 8.1

Microsoft teases touch-based Office apps for Windows 8.1

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Microsoft is teasing a version of Office designed specifically for Windows 8.1 this week at Build. In a private session ahead of the conference, the software maker briefly showed a copy of PowerPoint running in the "Metro" mode of Windows 8. Microsoft currently ships desktop versions of Office for Windows 8, but the company has only released OneNote as a Windows 8-style app so far.

At its Build keynote today, graphics-intensive transitions and videos inside of presentations were demonstrated using the new "Metro"-styled PowerPoint. The company's Julie Larson-Green said that "all of this works on ARM and x86... from the smallest, tiniest tablet to the largest, most powerful workstation," adding that this "really shows the power of what you can do in Windows RT."

Microsoft officials aren't saying exactly when the touch-enabled version of Office will ship, but we understand Windows 8-style "Metro" versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will be made available later this year that include editing functionality that’s similar to the company’s Office Web Apps.

Dante D'Orazio contributed to this report.