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Microsoft Office rewrite in React.js nears completion

The whole of Microsoft Office 365 software suite is being rewritten in React.js. This was revealed on Twitter in a thread bashing scripting languages for being unsuitable for creating complex applications.

Even earlier Microsoft has embraced the five-year-old JavaScript UI library by building it's popular Outlook Webmail access using the technology in 2017. This free service has hardly been a core business, but the company is now expanding to use the UI library in it's crown jewel, Microsoft Office.

According to Sean Thomas Larkin, of Webpack fame, the whole of the Microsoft Office product spectrum will embrace React.js in a big way. Not only will the company improve it's online version to better compete with Google office suite, it is going all in on React for UIs.

The company will use a shared codebase that will be derived to Web, Mobile and Desktop applications (for macOS and Windows). Each version will use an optimal technology selection for the underlying operating environment. The web version will use standard React as a SPA application.

Mobile versions for Android, iPad and iPhone devices will use React Native to build native applications for the device. Microsoft's own UWP platform is a target for contemporary Windows devices, and a version for WIN32 APIs is built using the Electron framework. Each version will contain platform specific code and not everything is rewritten in JavaScript.

The exact results for this massive project are yet to be revealed, but given the quality of the Outlook React.js rewrite - it would seem like the company is set to unleash some impressive software on multiple platforms. The company is also able to leverage it's internal JavaScript engine Chakra and it's Edge browser well beyond Windows.

Source: Twitter

Written by Jorgé on Thursday June 14, 2018

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