The much awaited Office for ipad is finally here. Microsoft Office general manager Julia White has unveiled the company’s latest mobile Office app for iPad on Thursday in a San Francisco event. The Office suite includes separate apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and you can download them now right here, Android tablet version coming ‘in the future’. Plus Microsoft’s Office Mobile apps for Android and iPhone are now completely free for all home users. You can download the new versions now directly from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Last year, Office Mobile tied the app to Office 365. As of Thursday, Julia White confirmed users won’t need an Office 365 subscription to access Office Mobile documents for Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Office 365 is monthly subscription to Office services. Microsoft says the decision was made in order to align Office Mobile for Windows Phone with its iOS and Android counterparts. Therefore, Office Mobile now allows smartphone users view, as well as edit, content on the go for free as well as Office 365 subscription is no longer required for editing.
Free Office for iPad apps offers several facilities. However, Microsoft improves the feature set dramatically when an Office 365 subscription is added. For example, if you want to edit documents, it is required.
Microsoft still plans to require that businesses have an Office 365 subscription, but it will be tough for the company to enforce that rule. Because the employees can simply install the software on their personal phones and use it for work purposes. Since the free apps will help push more people to its cloud services in some way. Probably, Microsoft is making this change in response to both Apple’s and Google’s free mobile office suites. Like this, Apple offers iWork and Google offers QuickOffice for free on its new devices.
The following image shows the comparison between the free Office and Office 365 Home Premium subscription.
The Office 365 Home Premium subscription costs, home users will have to decide whether to pay $9.99 per month ($99.99 annually) for a Home Premium subscription for five PCs and five tablets, or $6.99/month for a Personal subscription that includes one PC and one tablet.
Microsoft spokesperson said “In the future we will bring Office apps to the Windows Store and other popular platforms, including Android tablets.”