Today, Microsoft released their Office Universal apps for Windows 10 Technical Preview. That’s a long way of saying that touch-friendly Modern Applications (formerly known as Metro and Windows Store apps) finally exist for Windows tablets. I’ve had the pleasure of using the apps throughout the day. I wrote an entire technical specification in Word Preview today and things worked well. However, the biggest change for me is the lack of the “Save” button. It simply isn’t there.
For those of you familiar with Office Online (formerly known as Office Web Apps), this paradigm is nothing new. Saves just happen auto-magically.
I’ve found myself really having trouble adjusting to it. I am used to typing a sentence or two and reaching for Ctrl+S to save my document. That simply isn’t necessary any more. Your changes will automatically be saved as you type. Where you need to be careful is if you are editing a document directly from OneDrive and you are on a slow or latent connection. Sometimes it takes a while for those updates to be pushed up to OneDrive. This makes me fearful on what happens when you are offline or if you have network connectivity issues while you are working on a document. This will require more testing on my part.
Another aspect I find a little bit difficult for the consumer to master is when creating new files. Whenever you create a new document in Word, it will automatically name the document Document (1). It automatically creates this file in your default save location. It will increment the document number if you have already created a document already too. That means whenever you start a new document, it creates a physical file somewhere even before you save. This is different than Office for the desktop where the copy is held in a temporary location until you hit save for the first time. To choose a filename for the document, you either need to choose Save as or you can click on the filename at the top of the app.
I guess this works, but it’s definitely different than what we are used to. If you are going to try out these preview Office apps, be sure and proceed with caution. The last thing you want to do is lose half a document just because of some pre-release issue.