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Microsoft Releases Office for iPad

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Lucifer, call the furnace repairman: Microsoft finally unveiled the much-rumored iPad version of its popular Office productivity suite. Office for iPad includes the familiar Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, available as individual downloads. Microsoft previously made another Office app, OneNote, free for Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows, and Windows Phone.

Those wanting unrestricted use of the core Office iPad apps will be disappointed. Although anyone can download Office for iPad to harness it as a reading and presenting tool, access to editing features requires an Office 365 subscription, like its iPhone sibling. Such subscriptions currently start at $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for installation on up to 5 devices, but a 1-device plan will appear soon for $6.99 per month or $69.99 a year.

Microsoft today has good news for iPhone and Android users, as well: the Office Mobile apps for those platforms are now free for home use (businesses still need to pay). This brings those mobile apps in line with the also-gratis Office Mobile app for Windows Phone.

The announcement came at a San Francisco media event keynoted by Satya Nadella in his first major appearance as the company’s new chief executive.

 

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Comments about Microsoft Releases Office for iPad
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B. Jefferson Le Blanc  2014-04-01 03:12
A day later and no one would have believed it - on April Fools Day, a day TidBITS traditionally spoofs up royally. As it is, these apps are temporarily at the top of the Mac App Store downloads list. Of course that will probably change when people find out what they cannot do with them. The limitations include no printing and no file sharing on non-Microsoft services like Dropbox, as well as the Office 365 requirement for document creation. The Office 365 bit makes sense, at least to Microsoft, as they try to wean users from boxed versions of Office. For those who already own the latest version of Office for Mac, this will be a turn-off, but MS is obviously thinking long term. This is their strategy on the PC as well.

The printing and file sharing blocks may be a deal breaker for some people. I certainly would hesitate to pay for access to a productivity app that couldn't print via Air Print on the iPad or that wouldn't allow me to share my documents on Dropbox. While you can apparently use Sky Drive (as part of Office 365), that adds another layer of complexity to your collaboration efforts. Access to iCloud would also seem a no-brainer, but as an operating principle MS has ever tried to make things more difficult for Mac users. The more things change the more they stay the same. What would a product release from Microsoft be without caveats?
Tom Gewecke  2014-04-01 11:09
Another limitation is the lack of support for RTL and Indic languages, affecting about 1 billion people, both of which can be handled OK by iWork.