Office 365 for the Windows Store is available, but only on Windows 10 S (for now)

Kareem Anderson

Image of reflection on glass showing people working with Microsoft devices with "Office 365" text

Surface Laptop owners are taking their devices for a spin after a month of pre-order waiting and some are finding the experience a bit different than devices running good ol’ Windows 10.

Despite the volley of warnings from Microsoft about Windows 10 S and its reason for being, old school Windows users are running into a few issues with the Surface Laptop and Windows 10 S which mainly derive from the Windows Store.

As part of the carrot in front of the horse, Microsoft pitched its Office 365 as the productivity suite that would be powering the lives of college students toting a new Surface Laptop. True to their word, Office 365 is available via the Windows Store (for Windows 10 S) primarily because it’s the only distribution method for content on the operating system.


However, there appear to be two issues with this set up for people who own the new Surface Laptop. The first being the delineation between Office 365 Home and Personal which artificially puts a barrier between the Windows Store and users. The second is the lack of cohesion between the hardwired Office 365 tiles and the applications that live on the hard drive.

For anyone already toting an Office 365 Home subscription the experience is less than seamless on a new Surface Laptop as the baked in offer that comes bundled with the device is for Office 365 Personal. Many Office 365 Home users are being met with displays for Office 365 Personal (Preview) versions of the same programs. Ideally, Microsoft is looking to gain mindshare amongst non-Office users with this approach, but for current users, this poses a bit of a seemingly careless disconnect.

The second issue arises from the Start Menu tiles that appear on the launch of the device indicating that Office 365 apps are ready for use. Even after downloading the Office 365 suite of apps, launching a program from the Start Menu takes users to the display page for Office 365 in the Windows Store. The simple remedy is to replace those tiles with the newly downloaded ones. Not a major quibble, but annoying none the less for users.

Microsoft has some work ahead of itself as it looks to bring big name apps and programs to the Windows Store for new Surface Laptop owners. Getting Office 365, iTunes and Spotify in the Windows Store may be a Centennial developer trick that requires minimal effort but nailing the distribution is proving to be a bit of work for the Windows team.