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Microsoft's Joe Belfiore: 'I want to assure you that our Office team has not forgotten Windows Phone'

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Microsoft has made pretty big Office news recently on both iOS and Android; its own Windows Phone, though? Not so much. Joe Belfiore — long the most visible public face of Microsoft's mobile platform — took to his Weibo account this week to explain the silence, saying that "our Office team has not forgotten Windows Phone" and to expect a bundle of announcements on a single event prior to Chinese New Year, which falls on February 19th. Windows Central notes that those announcements could come at Microsoft's Windows 10 event that's scheduled for January 21st, but Belfiore isn't saying. There's no official news yet on what new features or capabilities Office for Windows Phone might get.

Windows Phone has to get Office right

Posting the news to Weibo might seem unusual, but there's logic behind it: Belfiore says in the same posting that the company is working on new features "specifically for the China market" that will be revealed in the coming months. The country had also long been a priority for Nokia's handset division prior to Microsoft's purchase, which helped drive features in 2012's Windows Phone "Tango" update to significantly lower the hardware specs required to run the platform.

Updating a suite of business apps might not be the magic elixir that Microsoft needs to boost Windows Phone's narrow global market share — but if there's one thing it has to consistently get right on its own phones, it's Office.