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Microsoft launches Office for iPad, allowing free file viewing

by Mark Tyson on 28 March 2014, 10:00

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), iPad, PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaccmr

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After many circulating rumours, following the launch of Office Mobile app for iPhone last summer, Microsoft has finally released Office for iPad, featuring Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Consistent with the iPhone version, the Office apps are available to download for free. However, this time around users will be able to both view documents and give presentations for free, without any subscription payments. For editing or creating documents an Office 365 subscription is required; costing £7.99 per month or £79.99 per year.

Satya Nadella, who was appointed chief executive 52 days ago, said at Microsoft's press conference that "We are not bound to one device, one place or one time. Job number one is to empower people to be more productive, to do more, across all these devices," according to the Financial Times. "A great idea shouldn’t have to wait for you to get back to a particular device," he added.

Taking advantage of its larger mobile screen, Office for iPad contains a lot more features than the iPhone version's basic editing tools, including support for re-flowing, formatting and touch handles. Full file fidelity with the desktop version of the suite components is also promised by Microsoft.

A video below shows you a quick demonstration of how each app works. These iOS tablet apps are specially designed and "definitely not the Windows app ported to the iPad," asserted Microsoft Office general manager Julia White.

To retrieve documents, users will need to sign in with a OneDrive or SharePoint account, unless they already have them stored on their iPad internal storage.

Office 365 was described by Nadella as Microsoft's cloud platform taking Office from the desktop to every device. Stating that the company's "real commitment to Office 365" is "everywhere." This could be construed as a hint that a version for Android devices is likely to arrive too, a move which would deliver the Office 365 suite to the vast majority of tablets.



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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I don't think I could ever be persuaded to fork out for an office suite when you can get other free alternatives. It may be a better option for businesses but for the average consumer I don't understand why you would want o pay for something you can get free elsewhere.
Is this an early April fool? It must be…
slipthemonkey
I don't think I could ever be persuaded to fork out for an office suite when you can get other free alternatives. It may be a better option for businesses but for the average consumer I don't understand why you would want o pay for something you can get free elsewhere.

You're probably right, but then businesses are the primary consumer of Office products so the average consumer doesn't really matter. There is no way on earth that my company would drop Office - it would sink us within weeks, and I'm really not joking. Even moving from 07/10/13 to 03 can cause major headaches, let alone moving to an entirely different piece of software.

Will they launch Office for iPad for staff members who are interested? I'm really not sure. I think it would be a very popular move, but they won't touch the cloud with a bargepole, and I don't know how much of a sticking point that could be.

As for me, I guess if I owned an iPad, and if I was at uni, then maybe it would be useful. I used a lot of features in Word for essay writing, like footnotes and so on, and it would be a massive pain in the neck if all the formatting got wrecked when I edited it on the tablet. But even then, I wouldn't pay £80/year for it. Maybe £10-20 up front, but no more than that. And only if I got to keep it for life.
It should be pointed out that the subscription gives Office 2013 on 5xPC/Mac and 5xDevices. You are NOT paying £80/year for Office on iPad alone, there are also Onedrive storage increase and Skype minutes included.
Denis_iii
It should be pointed out that the subscription gives Office 2013 on 5xPC/Mac and 5xDevices. You are NOT paying £80/year for Office on iPad alone, there are also Onedrive storage increase and Skype minutes included.

What if you don't want Skype minutes and OneDrive storage increase? It's still not inspiring me to want to buy it.