Microsoft plans to continue offering free versions of Office for devices with small screens.
What makes a small screen? In a blog post, Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer says anything with a 10.1 inch or smaller device is a “true mobile device” which you’re probably using for personal purposes while devices with larger screens are professional products which you’re more likely to use with a keyboard, mouse, or other peripherals.
So Microsoft will offer free Office software for touchscreen devices that have 10.1 inch or smaller displays while charging for Office on larger hardware.
The company’s been offering free versions of Office for Windows tablets for the past few years.
Starting in 2013 Microsoft allowed device makers to bundle a free copy of Office 2013 Home & Student on Windows 8 tablets with 8 inch or smaller screens. Later the company introduced Office 365 Personal, a subscription-based service that gives users access to the latest Office apps plus 1TB of cloud storage. Since then most small Windows tablets have shipped with a 1-year subscription to Office 365 instead of Office Home & Student.
Microsoft also offers free apps for iOS and Android devices and Koenigsbauer’s remarks suggest that they’ll continue to remain free… if all you need to do is open, view, or edit documents. If you want more advanced features (including additional editing and authoring tools
and the ability to actually create new documents), you’ll need to pony up some cash for an Office 365 subscription.
via PC World