Business School | Microsoft Office Offers Free Content Creation And Editing For iOS And Android Apps

| November 7, 2014

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Forbes

Microsoft released its Office suite of apps for the iPhone and Android last year followed by the launch of Office for iPad eight months ago. However, Microsoft used to require a paid Office 365 subscription to edit Microsoft Office documents on iOS and Android until now.

Microsoft announced yesterday that “people can create and edit Office content on iPhones, iPads, and soon, Android tablets using Office apps without an Office 365 subscription.” Paid Office 365 subscribers will have the benefit of the “full Office experience” across all devices though. An Office 365 subscription comes with advanced editing and collaboration capabilities, unlimited OneDrive storage, Dropbox integration and chart element customization.

Under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s strategy is to deliver software to enterprises and consumers anywhere, especially in regards to mobile devices. Office for iPad — which has been downloaded over 40 million times — will be updated to maintain a consistent experience with its iPhone counterpart. Microsoft also released new versions of the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for the iPhone to replace Office Mobile for iPhone.

Microsoft started accepting signups for an Android tablet version of Microsoft Office yesterday. The tablet version of Microsoft Office for Android will support KitKat and above when it is released. People that signed up for the Android tablet version of Microsoft Office will be able to start testing it out next month.

It is not a surprise that Microsoft decided to offer Office for free on iOS and Android. Microsoft Office has to remain aggressive to stay competitive against other players in the mobile space like Google Drive and Apple iWork. Plus, Microsoft already offers free Office apps on the web so making them free on a mobile platform is simply an extension of its existing strategy. “We’re taking that same user experience we provide online to the native apps of iOS and Android. We want to make sure that our customers can be productive across all the devices they have,” said Microsoft Office marketing head Michael Atalla via The Verge.

Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled native apps for Yammer, Lync, OneNote and OneDrive For Business for iOS and Android. Microsoft plans to release Outlook for Mac and Office for Mac beta in the first half of 2015. And Microsoft will soon roll out touch-optimized apps for Windows 10 as well.

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