Microsoft Office is finally available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. There’s just one catch: You can’t just buy the app and use it. It’s available as a free download from the App Store, but you’ll need an Office 365 subscription to use Excel, Word, and PowerPoint on an iOS device.

Office for iOS

The software’s optimized for iPhone and iPod touch at the moment, but you can use it on an iPad too if you like. It runs on iOS 6.1 and later.

Microsoft Office for iOS lets you view and edit documents on a mobile device, access cloud documents from your SkyDrive or SharePoint account, view and edit Office documents attached to email messages, and even resume reading a document at the same point where you left off while reading on a PC. You can edit documents while offline and synchronize them across devices when you’re back online.

Office 365 is a subscription service that lets you use Microsoft’s Office software on up to 5 devices for an annual fee (instead of buying the software outright). You can use the new mobile app on up to 5 iOS devices as well, which means that one fee lets you use Office on up to 10 devices.

This is hardly the first time Microsoft has released a smartphone-friendly version of Office. Mobile apps have been available for Windows Phone (and Windows Mobile before that) for years. But Office Mobile is no longer exclusive to Microsoft’s mobile operating systems… which is a smart move, because there are an awful lot more people using iPhones than Windows Phone devices at the moment.

via ZDNet

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15 replies on “Microsoft Office hits iOS… for subscribers only”

  1. Why so much hate for the subscription model? Five desktop installs and five mobile installs for $99/year – and the desktop version is available for Windows or OSX, and is the same as the old “Professional” full suite: Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher. That is ABSOLUTELY NUTS! No, I am not employed by, nor do I own any stock in Microsoft, but you whiners are flat wrong on this one.

    1. Who the F needs 5-10 installs! Most households want 1-2 installs and don’t care about the new features in the next version. They simply want some way for the kids to do homework and maybe a work project from time to time. They have always bought one copy and kept it until they got a new computer. Now, if MS ants to go to a subscription model, that’s their choice. But the users also have the choice to complain or to use a competing product. For you to say anyone is wrong to be upset because under certain, and very uncommon, circumstances it can save a little money is complete BS. Most people would spend considerably more money under the subscription model and the only benefit is they would occasionally get a few new features that they will NEVER use. If you want to hand over fist fulls of money to MS, that’s your right and no one is going to call you names for doing so. How about having a little class and returning the favor you sack of $hit!

      1. Agree. Many good competitors already:

        -google docs
        -OX docs
        -Libreoffice (soon both offline and in the cloud too)
        -Even msft web office is free on hotmail.

        all these are good for 90%+ of the population. For the remaining 10% (mostly companies) then this service might be Ok.

      2. So, pointing out you are a whiner is “classless” and makes ME a “sack of $hit.” Man, are you a loose canon or what. You’re over-reaction just demonstrates that you are a hater on Microsoft, without a valid objection. Sorry I hurt your feelings.
        As for the torrent of “good competitors” they are so rarely used in the real world, they belong in the category “this is the Year of Linux” on the desktop – hasn’t happened and never will.

        1. So I want an apple and it cost 1 dollar. If I buy 10,000 apples, I can have them for 10 cents a piece. Ten cents is much less than $1. By your logic, the 10,000 apples is the better deal. But I don’t want 10,000 apples (Excel, Access, Publisher, OneNote), I just want 1 apple. Most people don’t give a shlt about anything but Word, Powerpoint and maybe Excel. Just because the per unit price is better, doesn’t make it a better deal. What people want is the best deal on WHAT THEY WANT! Your ignorance has been amusing but trying to reason with brain-dead ignoramus gets old fast. See ya!
          FYI: Read my comment history, MS hater? Hardly!

  2. Considering how friendly the Googles, Apples and Microsofts of the world are to the NSA and Prism all I can say is: All you data are belong to us.

  3. This also sounds to me like there is no way to work on a document stand-alone and isolated to the device without being connected to your SkyDrive account? If so, this will not work for me as none of the content I work on is allowed to be synced to the cloud.

  4. If you can edit a document on a small screen, then go for it. For me, the display needs to be at least 10″

  5. I agree as far as I am concerned software is a PRODUCT and not a SERVICE and I refuse to subscribe. In my opinion open source software provides a fine alternative so I see no need to put up with this.

  6. I Hate, Hate, Hate this trend towards “renting” software! I understand why the developers are doing it, but I refuse to be a party to it. Subscriptions are fine for things that give you new content (magazines, Netflix, etc.) but I refuse to keep paying for the same old, same old.

    1. I don’t disagree… but this is sort of something in between a product and a service. Subscribers get the next version of Office as soon as its available for the same monthly fee.. and get a license to use it on multiple computers, which could be cheaper than buying 5 copies of Office outright.

      Of course, you could just buy Office 2013 and use it for the next decade, ignoring the next few updates, and that’d be the cheapest option.

      Ultimately I think MS is hoping you think of this like the DVR rental fee your cable company charges.

      1. In between a product and a service? The only service is skydrive. I can see them charging for cloud storage, as servers are not free. The last version of Office I used at home was 97. It worked fine for my use. I now use Libreoffice (Windows/Linux). At the office we use the 2007 version of Office. Office is a mature product and there is very little compelling reason to update to a newer version. This is probably why the rental model is being pushed. As far as using the software on multiple computers, right or wrong, that was going on anyway in most homes.

        1. Only service is skydrive? Really?

          You don’t really think this will actually be running entirely on a iOS device do you?

          Features like “Office on Demand” and continuing what you were doing from another computer clearly shows this is in fact a cloud service!

          And MS has to pay for the bandwidth, the servers, the maintenance, etc.

          Mind, the service is allowing use of the software remotely, even if limited by the UI and app features, and from devices that otherwise could not run the software!

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