Metro, modern, now universal? Microsoft can't make up its mind! Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/microsoft-universal-apps/#ixzz3bT4odQsl Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on FacebookFor the longest time, we called the non-operating system executables running on our Windows desktops “programs” or “applications.” Since the inception of Windows, 8, though, a new breed of program, one that runs only in the Windows 8 environment (or the Win 8 UI overlay), has emerged. In just a few short years, this new program type has gone by many names, including: Metro apps, Metro-style apps, Windows 8-style apps, Modern apps, Windows Store apps, Universal apps, and now, according to a recent announcement from Microsoft, “Windows apps.”

Obviously short for “application,” the abbreviation apps originated, or at least became prevalent, with the original iPhone (and a little later the iPad) and Apple’s App Store. From there, the term “app” spread from the mobile world to include programs, or applications, that run on all platforms. Somewhere along the line Microsoft Office suite programs, such as Word or Excel, became “apps,” and the distinction between those big, expansive Windows desktop programs and small smartphone apps was lost, or at least blurred.
Microsoft to the rescue! Just as we were getting used to “Universal apps,” Redmond up and announces yet another name change. If you’re paying attention to all this, it probably all seems confusing, maybe even silly. Even so, let’s see if we can make sense of it.

Read the entire article at Digital Trends


 

Will Windows 10's universal apps make Office 2016 the suite we've been waiting for? Recent coverage of Windows 10 has left many a computer geek ruminating about the shortfalls of the current Windows operating system. Not only did the Windows 8 OS upgrade leave us wanting but (even though it wasn’t technically part of the update) so did mobile versions of Office. Those of us looking forward to manipulating Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote across computers, tablets and smartphones were left disappointed.

A lot of hoopla was made over the “metro style” flat and less-cluttered interfaces, and yes the new apps were attractive; their design matched the new Windows 8 touch overlay, for the most part. However, as was the case with the latest Windows itself, while the mobile Office app’s interfaces looked good, the apps weren’t all that robust on mobile devices, and their touch capabilities were lacking. You can’t even swipe your finger to select a group of cells or a block of text in Excel or Word!

This time, though, the new mobile Office apps will be “universal,” in that the code will work across multiple devices, and they will be available for free on smartphones and small tablets. What does that mean for Windows and Office users?

Read the entire article at Digital Trends.