Microsoft stops with free Word, Excel and Powerpoint viewers

Posted 17 November 2017 16:28 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Microsoft will no longer offer the free Excel and Powerpoint viewers from the 28th of April 2018. Also the Office Compatibility Pack will be no longer available. This month the Redmond software giant already stopped offering its Word viewer. All applications haven’t been updated for 10 years already.

Starting April next year the viewers for Excel, Powerpoint and PowerPoint 2007 will be no longer available and they also won’t receive any security updates anymore. Also the Office Compatibility Pack, which users could install to open documents created with newer versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint will get the same treatment.

Last year Microsoft already announced it would pull the plug on Word Viewer. The company lists some alternatives for users without Office and who do want to open documents. Windows 10 users can use the free Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and Powerpoint Mobile apps in the Windows Store. Despite their name, they can also be used on the desktop.

Windows 7, 8(.1) users can put Office documents on their OneDrive so they can opened through Word, Excel and Powerpoint online. Users who want to edit documents will need an Office 365 subscription.

Obviously it’s also possible to third-party software to open and edit Office documents for free. Not all of them will render files correctly but most of them do a pretty good job. Online alternatives are Google Docs, Zoho Docs and Free Office. Windows 7, 8(.1) and 10 alternatives are Libre Office, Caligra and AbiWord.

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