The future of Microsoft Office is cloud-focused, declared its UK chief, and the company will concentrate on releasing more browser-based tools to improve productivity across desktops and mobile devices.
In an interview with V3, Richard Ellis, director at Microsoft Office UK, said the Office division is embracing Microsoft's overall strategy of "mobile first, cloud first" as outlined by chief executive Satya Nadella.
"I think the overwhelming direction is to be a cloud experience, whether you're a small business or an enterprise," said Ellis.
He added that Microsoft is aiming to add a layer of cloud computing to Office tools without eroding user familiarity with the applications.
"[It's] the ability to leverage Office 365 as a cloud platform whilst still maintaining your native Office client that everyone uses and the ability to use the same tools but in the cloud," said Ellis.
Ellis explained that productivity is one of the core drivers prompting the move to migrate traditional desktop-based Office apps into the cloud.
"People want to get to their Office content and be able to work and be productive anywhere that they travel to," he said.
"Our work at the moment is on the productivity theme. So it's the ability to take Office's traditional productivity tool and take it fully into the cloud," he said.
Office 365 tools look likely to become more browser-based in order for cloud-powered tools to be used across multiple devices such as mobile and tablets, along with laptops and desktops.
"That mobile first, cloud first world has got to be browser-based," stated Ellis, describing how such an approach allows tools to be presented in a simple, slick and intuitive fashion.
As an example of this approach, Ellis demonstrated Delve to V3. Using a browser-based interface, Delve uses cloud-power to pull and present content from a user's and business's Office applications and OneDrive accounts to encourage more co-operative working among users.
Delve is not the only cloud tool that Microsoft has developed to improve productivity. The company recently revealed Sway, another browser-based tool that helps users present ideas and content via a web and mobile app.
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