31 March 2014

Office for the iPad, finally

Microsoft has announced Microsoft Office for iPad, targeting the more than 170 million iPads shipped to date

Nadella discusses the intersection of cloud and mobile in the US.
“Microsoft is focused on delivering the cloud for everyone, on every device. It’s a unique approach that centres on people — enabling the devices you love, work with the services you love, and in a way that works for IT and developers,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

Office 365 subscribers can now add an iPad as one of their chosen devices included in their subscription benefits, and begin creating and editing documents with Word for iPad, PowerPoint for iPad and Excel for iPad in 29 languages. Office for iPad apps retain the Office look and feel but are built from the ground up for the iPad.

Office for iPad brings full file fidelity across Office on PC, Mac, tablet and phone, and along with cloud storage from OneDrive or OneDrive for Business so files are up to date, wherever needed, on whatever device as required. The apps are available as free downloads from the App Store and will work with iOS 7 or later, but only for reading, viewing and presenting documents, spreadsheets and presentations. To get the full editing and creation experience, an Office 365 subscription is required. More detail the announcements can be found in the Office blog.

In addition to Office for iPad, Microsoft also offers other iPad-optimised productivity applications, including OneNote, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX, Bing, Lync, Outlook Web Access, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Yammer and Skype.

Industry observers have noted that the push for iPad share may be a little late as iPad users have had ample time to make use of productivity software from other companies, including Apple itself. The familiarity of Office may still be a draw, however. The number of downloads for Office for iPad will be a good indication of interest.

*Images from Microsoft.