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Microsoft to give users new way to access its Office suite — the Windows Store

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Microsoft's decision to bring the Office suite to the Windows Store sheds more light on the role of Windows 10 Cloud.

In recent years, Microsoft has drastically increased the number of ways users can get access to its Office suite, from the web-based implementations that are available via Office 365, to the touch-enabled versions created for mobile usage. Now, it seems that Office is making its way to the Windows Store.

Microsoft will use the Desktop App Converter, formerly known as Project Centennial, to bring Office to the Windows Store, according to a report from MS Power User. The tool was created to make it easy for developers to offer traditional desktop software as apps, which might hint at the company’s overarching game plan.

More: New preview build of Microsoft Office for Mac brings support for add-ins

Earlier this month, a leaked build confirmed the existence of Windows 10 Cloud, a new variant of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. The going theory is that Windows 10 Cloud would be a stripped-down version of the OS that’s limited to running software obtained from the Windows Store — although there’s been some doubt cast on that assumption thanks to hands-on testing.

If Microsoft does intend to release a version of Windows that can only run software from the Windows Store, it would make a lot of sense to make the Office suite available from that storefront. The package is still one of the company’s most popular products, and Microsoft wouldn’t want Windows 10 Cloud users to be unable to access the suite.

It’s being reported that Microsoft plans to bring the Office suite to the Windows Store following the launch of the Creators Update, which is scheduled to land in April. Given that this release seems to have deep ties to Windows 10 Cloud, it wouldn’t be surprising to see both projects make their debut around the same time — but with the company still focusing its promotional efforts on the Creators Update, we might have to wait a while to hear anything official.