There’s no shortage of office apps for iOS and Android, ranging from cloud-based solutions such as Google Drive/Docs to native apps including Docs To GoQuickOffice and Softmaker Office. But the 800-pound gorilla of the office world is getting ready to launch its office app — and The Verge has a first look at Microsoft Office for iOS and Android.

Microsoft Office for Android

Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch its new mobile apps in early 2013.

You’ll be able to use the apps to view documents using a free Microsoft account. But if you want to edit documents you’ll need to sign up for an Office 365 subscription. That will be available through an in-app subscription n the iOS app, at least.

These are stripped down versions of Microsoft’s full office apps, and while they’ll let you perform some basic edits on a mobile device, they won’t have all the features you get with a full-fledged desktop version of Office.

According to The Verge, Office for iOS could launch in February or March, with the Android app following a few months later.

Microsoft has confirmed that there are plans for Office apps for iOS and Android in addition to the company’s existing Windows Phone apps. But the company hasn’t commented on a timeline.

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11 replies on “This is what MS Office for iOS and Android might look like”

  1. The only thing customers will see is that an Office app will be on all plateforms.

    The average user won’t care about it being more functional on RT.

    Maybe RT will have gain enough traction by then to don’t rely on the Office selling point but I still think (as it’s been said already), that’s not so good for RT devices.

    And the fact to have to subscribe to Office 365 to be able to use the editing feature is more of a put off than an incentive in my opinion.
    Why would I subscribe to Office 365 simply to edit my Word/Excel files when I have cheaper apps at my disposal?
    On the other hand, if I have Office and need/want an Office 365 subscription, this app can be useful on my phone or tablet because of the cloud option.

    So, I don’t see how a read-only app (that presupposes to have Office -docs- already) can be an incentive for potential new customers.

    Because, obviously, if I don’t use Office on a regular basis, I don’t need to edit Office docs on the go. And, if I need Office, I already know that a read-only app will be useless for me.

    I don’t see why that would make non-Office users want to subsribe to this service/buy the app.
    But what I see is the price.

  2. MS is shooting itself in the foot.
    Office was THE competitive advantage RT had over iOS and Android tablets.
    When they release it for these platforms, what will RT have left?
    I get that the RT version (not only the desktop’s one as mentioned in the article) has more features and is close to be complete but still.
    And what’s the point in releasing a crippled version of Office for iOS and Android while pushing for 365 subscriptions? Alternatives already exist and they might allow you to do even more.

    1. It’s about maximizing their reach. It makes perfect sense to release a cross-platform Office viewer — they only have a tiny fraction of the mobile market for the foreseeable future, and Office is a far bigger brand than WinRT or WinPhone. Millions of Office users have mobile devices and will welcome the ability to view documents on them.

      It’s also very important for their Office 365 strategy, where they are going head-to-head with Google. If they’re not going to play in 95% of the mobile market, then they’ve already lost. They need to do this. (Not to mention the fact that to used this version of Office to edit, customers will have to pay a minimum of $48/year ad infinitum, which will make them a tidy profit.

      The MS Office guys know what they’re doing.

      1. Or… They think they know.
        Who’s gonna pay $50 a year to edit docs (in a limited fashion) on his phone (on a tablet it’s a bit easier but still) when you have FREE or cheap apps already allowing you to do just that?
        They won’t gain any customer through Android and iOS.
        The only way they can market that Office app is as a feature of 365 itself. Saying that subscribers can view/edit their docs on their phone/tablet with the official Office app.
        It’s a plus for Windows users already wanting/subscribing for 365 but it can’t be a decisive factor and what convince you to pay $50/year.

        1. No, I agree with Mike on this one.

          The idea is the same as those so called free apps you’re thinking of, the best of which aren’t really free but, like MS is apparently planning, only just offer a free reader/viewer and you have to pay to be able to edit and gain full functionality.

          The difference being Office 365 could possibly provide a better alternative to people who need to work with MS Office for Work, etc.

          Google Docs, etc. are great for regular people but the industry standard is still MS Office.

          Similarly with mobile Office Apps, some have gotten pretty good but none can really replace MS Office for those who really need to work in business, etc. Where it’s the standard…

          Mind, Office 365 being a cloud services likely will mean people won’t necessarily be limited to just the phone and is likely the account will let you log in from a computer too.

          Office 2013 for example allows one account to be used on up to 5 systems and thanks to the cloud services and sync features you can switch between the systems about as easily as you would Chromebooks and continue to work on whatever you were doing!

          So, while it may not appeal to you or the average mobile device user. It stands to be a pretty good offering for those who need to work with MS Office in one shape or another.

          Besides, with the increasingly powerful mobile devices coming out it won’t be much longer before people start using them like UMPC’s and there’s always docking stations to convert the phone or tablet into something that is better for working…

          1. No. You missed my points.

            First, let me tell you I am an Office user. But, believe me when I say I won’t pay $50 a year simply to be able to edit my docs on my phone/tablet.

            I use QuickOffice Pro (But I think I’m gonna change soon) for my mobile devices. I paid once and that’s it.
            Now to my points:
            1. RT won’t have any real competitive advantage over iOS or Androidanymore.
            The one app that makes RT attractive will be on every platforms.

            2. Why releasing an official Office app AFTER releasing RT?
            I guet they want to be in as many hands as they can and reacher the maximum amount of potential customers but their strategy, pricing and timing is bad (for RT’s future and for the success of this $50 a year deal).
            And if MS knew what it was doing (in this matter), they would have created the app (for iOS and Android) a long time ago.
            3. Why would I pay $50 a year (not even once as a normal app) to do stuff that I can already do for $10?
            4. Maybe Office 365 will become popular and succeed but it won’t be because of iOS or Android users becoming new customers.
            The possibility to use an Official Office app on your phone/tablet is potentially good (as long as it offers more features and better quality than the apps already existing) FOR AN EXISTING Office user/customer.
            So, again, they won’t gain any new customer through Android or iOS. They will simply allow Office customers to use an Office app on their phone.
            5. Do you really thing many people will subsribe to Office 365 because of this possibility alone? Above all, when they can already use other apps to do the same job?
            So, it is potentially a good added feature to 365 but not a ‘deal maker’ or a good selling point.

          2. Sorry for the typos. I didn’t proofread my comment before to hit the post button 😉

          3. 1) Nope, having a viewer app is in no way the same thing as having apps you can actually work with without paying additional!

            Cloud services also means you require the Internet but for RT it’s run natively.

            2) This is part of MS new Business model for pushing cloud based services. They’re not going to be relying on the old business model as much anymore.

            While the cloud services can be cheaper for those who don’t need to always use Office and it saves on drive space as well as initial costs as full Office can cost up to a couple hundred unless you’re upgrading or getting one of the more basic versions.

            Btw, RT also takes advantage of the pay for versions. Since that version of Office is basically free, it can’t be used commercially (just personal use). However, get any of the paid version of Office, including Office 365, and then you can use the RT version commercially as well under that paid license.

            Not to mention of course you’ll have more functionality working from the RT Office instead of a Android or iOS App that will likely be mainly be a gateway app.

            So it can stand on its own… Besides, by the time this is likely to come out the RT App market should hopefully be more developed and not need to lean on Office to appeal to most people.

            3) The Stuff you do with a $10 App isn’t equal to what full MS Office provides. Besides, those who rely on MS Office for work need to be sure of compatibility and that everyone is on the same page, etc.

            Mind the services MS is offering include things like being able to have a group of people work on the same project, etc.

            You can’t do stuff like that with a $10 App! Not to mention MS Tech Support, etc.

            4) The point is to give access to people who aren’t already invested in the MS ecosystem.

            Mind that familiarity is one of the key things to garner to get people to use a product more and the more exposure MS Office products get the better it will be MS.

            Just like say Google Docs is popular because you can use it on regular computers as well as mobile devices.

            So things like, if people like one product then they might be interested in more are one of the factors here.

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