Microsoft to Stop Distributing Free Office Viewers for Excel, PowerPoint and Word
Ever since we can remember, Microsoft has offered free viewers for its MS Office files created by Excel, PowerPoint and MS Word. Users who didn’t have MS Office could use these free viewers to open Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents by downloading free viewers from Microsoft.
Recently, Microsoft announced that beginning in April 2018, it will no longer provide free viewers for Excel and PowerPoint files. Previously, Microsoft announced it would discontinue offering the free MS Word viewer in November 2017. However, as of now, the free MS Word viewer is still available. You can still download the free PowerPoint viewer here and the free Excel viewer from this link.
It may not be such a big deal anymore anyway since there are several free office suites, such as Open Office, that can open PowerPoint, Excel and MS Word Files. Most MS Office files can be opened by Google Drive as well.
Here’s the announcement from Microsoft…
The Excel viewer, PowerPoint viewer, PowerPoint 2007 viewer, and the Office Compatibility Pack will be retired in April, 2018. At that time, they will no longer be available for download and will no longer receive security updates.
Microsoft recommends using these applications to view Excel or PowerPoint files:
- On Windows 10 PCs, download the free Excel Mobile or PowerPoint Mobile application from the Windows Store.
- On iOS devices, download the free Excel or PowerPoint for iOS application from the Apple Store.
On Android devices, download the free Excel or PowerPoint for Android application from the Google Play store.
- Try Office 365 for free for 1 month, which gives you access to the full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more and can be installed on up to 5 PCs or Macs, plus up to 5 tablets and 5 phones.
- On Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 PCs, upload the file to OneDrive and view it for free using Excel or PowerPoint Online.
Also, as previously announced in this blog, the Word viewer will be retired this month and will no longer be supported with security updates. ( Read the original Microsoft blog here.)