Microsoft launched a suite of Office apps for iPads earlier this year. Now the company is bringing its new Office apps to iPhones and Android tablets… although the Android versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are still in the “preview” stages. Full versions are expected to launch in early 2015.
Microsoft is also updating its iPad apps to provide a more consistent experience across all devices.
Users can also now create and edit documents on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device for free — you don’t need an Office 365 subscription. Up until recently, Office for iPad users could view or share documents… but they couldn’t create new ones.
Folks who do pay for a subscription do get extra features: In addition to the ability to use the latest desktop Office apps on a Mac or Windows PC, Office 365 subscribers get unlimited cloud storage with OneDrive, integration with Dropbox, and more.
The company is also still hard at work on touch-friendly versions of Office for Windows. But it’s worth noting that Microsoft is now calling its upcoming Office suite for Windows tablets Office for Windows 10.
In other words, don’t expect to see that version of Windows tablets this year. It’ll probably launch alongside (or after) Windows 10 in 2015.
If you want to participate in the Office for Android tablet preview you’ll need to sign up and request an invitation from Microsoft.
Nah, I think I’ll pass.
I use Kingsoft WPS Office in my Tablet, is very good.
They’ve given competitors lots of time to develop alternatives preemptively.
I hope their offering can stand up.
The iOS version has received great reviews regarding functionality already, so I don’t think there will be much of a problem there.
The new thing announced today is that freebie Office version now allows edits w/o O365 sub requirement. But “advanced” functions such as column formatting in Word, and probably macros, etc, still need you to pony up the $10/month. MS is loosening the strings a bit, but not much. Depending on public uptake, MS can always dribble out more features for free, or reign them in. Now that Office is a service, MS can change its functionality on the fly. I think MS has a good shot at retaining Office dominance, but the present $100/yr (or $70/yr) pricing was never going to fly with users. Biz yes, consumers no. It will need cheaper tiers.
I’m guessing “freebie” Touch Office will be bundled with Win10. It will make Win10 a more rounded release, but not that big of deal, since PC sales have had free bundled Office for a long time, and that didn’t drive sales much.
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