When the products that would go on to make up Microsoft Office first launched, they weren’t exactly the most mobile applications. You’d spend some quality time with floppy disks and a disk drive, and eventually you’d have one copy of your program that ran on one machine.

Things have obviously changed more than a bit since then. Last week, Microsoft continued its trend of re-working brand names to let consumers know exactly how different things are by renaming Office Web Apps to the much-simpler Office Online.

It’s been something of a secret that since 2010 users have been able to create, modify, and share Office documents online and in a web browser as part of OneDrive. The service has changed names a handful of times, and while that hasn’t done anything to help brand familiarity over the years, the real “secret” part of Office Web Apps was that it could be pretty hard to get to.

Unlocking the Secret

The “easiest” way to get to Office Web Apps used to be creating a new document in OneDrive. For consumers accustomed to finding a program, clicking on it, and then creating a document, the idea of originating a document in what they thought of as their online storage solution didn’t exactly come naturally.


With the renamed Office Online, Microsoft aims to solve this problem by redesigning Office.com to serve up direct links to each of the Office Online apps. It’s not exactly clicking on your start menu to find the application you’re looking for, but when you’re considering that it’s all magically happening in your web browser, it’s pretty impressive.

New Convenience for your Office Apps

The new Office Online takes the features offered by Office 365 and gives them a whole new level of convenience. Now, if you find yourself out on a sales call, at a family member’s house, or just tragically removed from your laptop, you’ve got a convenient way to get to your files.

You don’t have to remember a mile-long url—just head to Office.com, put in your log-in information, and you’ve got the ability to view, edit, and collaborate on all the files you’ve stored in OneDrive.

It remains to be seen whether this rebranding will lead to more users taking advantage of the ability to access files from anywhere, or whether Microsoft’s going to build more features into Office Online. (For the most part, this update seems to be a re-skin more than an overhaul.) But whether you’re a long-time user of the services or someone who’s just finding out about this accidentally well-kept secret, Microsoft seems to be doing their best to make sure it’s not a secret for much longer.

If you’d like to learn more about all the ways Aptera and Microsoft can make your work easier (wherever you’re working) join us Tuesday, March 11 in Franklin, Tennessee for our “Day In The Life” presentation at the Microsoft Office.