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Microsoft releases Office for iPad, finally

Microsoft recently announced the release of Office for iPad during a press briefing in San Francisco.


Microsoft, on Thursday of last week, announced the release of Office for iPad during a press briefing in San Francisco. Microsoft stated the reason for the release was a goal of empowering people to be productive across all devices, not just with the in-house Microsoft Surface tablet. According to numerous reports, Office for iPad has been in production for the last few years.

Office for iPad

According to Microsoft, this version of Office for iPad is built specifically for the iPad and is not just a quickly ported version of Office for Windows or the iPhone version with a zoom.

The Office for iPad app will include Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. The iPad version of Excel offers several features including previews of sheets with user data included and a customizable keyboard that includes functions most often used by the user. Word is redesigned with touch in mind allowing for easy editing of documents without the need for mouse and keyboard. PowerPoint is also newly-touch optimized and allows users to effectively interact with presentations.

The Office for iPad app allows for the opening, editing, and recently announced, printing of Office files from the app. However, creation of Office file using the Office for iPad app requires an Office 365 subscription.

Office on iPhone and Android

Following the announcement of Office for iPad, Microsoft also revealed that all mobile versions of the Office app will be free for use. User will no longer need to have an active Office 365 subscription in order to use the mobile apps and services.

As with Office for iPad, editing and viewing files are included in the free versions, but creation of new Office files will require an Office 365 subscription.

Mobile Office versions

The mobile versions of Office that are now available from Microsoft are:

  • Microsoft Office Mobile - This version is available for Android phones, Apple iPhones, and Windows phones. The app is free, but can only edit and view files and will require an Office 365 subscription to create Office files.
  • Microsoft Office Online - This is a web browser-based version designed for PCs and mobile devices alike. This version does require a Microsoft account, which is free, and access to OneDrive. Users are allowed to create, edit, and view Office files, but are restricted to a limited feature set.
  • Microsoft Office for iPad - This is the iPad only version of Office and includes Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. Users are allowed to edit and view existing Office files, but creation requires an Office 365 subscription. The feature list of Office for iPad is more robust that Office Online, but less so than the full version of Office 2013.
  • Office 365 - This subscription allows creation of Office files on all mobile platforms and is available at $9.99 per month for five PCs and five tablets or $6.99 for a Personal Subscription that includes one PC and one tablet.

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