Top 10: Desktop Office software

Updated: August 01, 2023

Desktop Office software refers to a suite of productivity applications that are installed and run directly on a user's computer, providing a comprehensive set of tools for creating, editing, and managing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other office-related tasks. This software typically includes word processors, spreadsheet programs, presentation software, and sometimes additional tools like email clients and note-taking applications. Desktop Office software offers robust functionality, offline access to files, and greater control over data privacy and security compared to cloud-based alternatives. With features like advanced formatting, collaboration capabilities, and integration with other desktop applications, this software remains a popular choice for professionals and individuals who require a reliable and feature-rich solution for their office productivity needs. Some of the most popular desktop office software options are listed below.

See also: Top 10 Office suites

2018. Microsoft launches Office 2019 for Windows, macOS

Office 2019 represents the latest version of Microsoft's suite of productivity tools, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project, Visio, Access, and Publisher, available for on-premises use. With PowerPoint 2019, users can create captivating presentations using new features such as Morph and Zoom, enabling cinematic effects. Across Windows applications, including the roaming pencil case, pressure sensitivity, and tilt effects, enhanced inking features provide a natural way to create documents. Excel 2019 introduces powerful data analysis capabilities, encompassing new formulas, charts, and enhancements to PowerPivot. Word 2019 and Outlook 2019 are designed to enhance productivity and focus. Learning Tools, such as Read Aloud and Text Spacing, facilitate content engagement, while Focus Mode eliminates distractions and prioritizes content visibility. Additionally, Focused Inbox streamlines email management by filtering less important messages.

2018. Microsoft Office gets the new-old design

Microsoft has commenced the gradual implementation of subtle design changes to and Office 365, aiming to create a more streamlined and uncluttered appearance. The most significant modification will be applied to Microsoft Word, specifically targeting the toolbar located at the top of the screen, commonly known as "the ribbon." In its new iteration, the ribbon will be condensed to a single line, simplifying the interface. However, users who prefer the classic design can expand it back to its larger form if desired. These updates align with Microsoft's overarching design language, Fluent Design, which is prevalent across various aspects of Windows 10. Alongside the streamlined ribbon, users can expect new animations, icons, and minor color adjustments. Microsoft has decided to delay the implementation of the simplified ribbon for desktop users by a few months, as they are currently testing the new designs in the online applications. Feedback from users will be carefully considered to determine if any further modifications are necessary for the desktop versions.

2017. Apple makes iWork free

Apple has introduced updated versions of its iWork suite, granting free access to all users on both platforms. Previously, these apps were provided at no cost to customers who purchased new Mac or iOS devices. However, the recent pricing adjustment eliminates the prerequisite of purchasing new Apple hardware in order to obtain the apps for free. This expansion enables individuals using older or previously unpurchased Apple devices to avail themselves of the apps. iWork encompasses a collection of productivity applications—Numbers, Keynote, and Pages—designed as a competitor to Microsoft Office and Google Docs. Prior to the pricing modification, the iWork apps for Mac were priced at $19.99 each, while the iOS versions cost $9.99 individually, for customers who hadn't acquired new devices in recent years.

2015. Microsoft released Office 2016

Microsoft is introducing Office 2016, presenting updated versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other applications. Users familiar with the 2013 edition of Microsoft's productivity software will find the look and feel to be reminiscent. The notable improvements in the 2016 edition primarily revolve around enhanced integration of collaboration tools. One significant addition is the co-authoring feature, enabling multiple users to collaboratively edit the same document in real time—an ability previously seen in Office's web-based counterparts and applications developed by Microsoft's competitors like Google. Furthermore, Office apps will now include the integrated chat service, Skype, allowing users to engage in instant messaging, share work images, or conduct video chats directly within a document. Additional new features include a search tool to facilitate the discovery of specific functions within Office and a research tool that extracts data from the internet and incorporates it into documents. Microsoft's approach emphasizes the promotion of the software suite through Office 365, the company's subscription program, rather than the traditional model of a one-time purchase granting perpetual software rights to the user.

2013. New collaboration tools in ONLYOFFICE and LibreOffice

Microsoft recently launched the new Office 2013 and as usual with the release of new version there is a number of frustrated users that consider switching to competing products. So now is the best time for Microsoft rivals to push their office-suites. TeamLab (that recently became an "Office") added real-time collaboration feature. Now you can see who is working on a document at the moment, which paragraph he is editing and communicate with co-workers in comments and chat. You can even invite for co-editing users that are not registered in TeamLab. So TeamLab is now like Google Apps - they even set the same price $50/year. Only in Google Apps it's the price for 1 user, while in TeamLab - for 5 users. By the way, TeamLab's pricing is changed again: there is single edition and no free version. ***