Microsoft announced on Thursday the immediate availability of Office for iPad. This is a collection of three apps: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Users will be happy to know that this version of Office specially designed for Apple’s iPad is free to download and use.
This is a great news for millions of users and Microsoft itself as Office for iPad has been rumored for years and today is a reality. However Windows users are left in the cold — at least for now — as a touch-based version of Office won’t be available for them until further notice.
The Office apps are available for download from the iTunes App Store. The catch is that users will only be able to view exciting documents, to create and edit new documents, save to OneDrive or SharePoint, users will require to have an Office 365 subscription, which cost $9.99-per-month for Office 365 Home or $6.99-per-month for Office 365 Personal.
For free Office for iPad users will get the following features:
- Open from OneDrive, email attachments, or thrid-party apps
- View documents, spreadsheet, and presentations
- Copy content
- View comments
- Share documents as hyperlinks or as email attachment
- In Excel: sort and filter Tables
- In PowerPoint: view speaker notes, present in full screen, user laser-pointer, pens and highlights
As with every other version of Office available for other platform, the new version for Apple’s iOS will integrate with OneDrive, which enables users to create, for example, a PowerPoint presentation on the office computer, continue editing on the phone, and completing the work on the document at home while preserving a consistent formatting. And of course those users with an Office 365 subscription will get access to the full capability of the suite.
Why Office for iPad first?
Why Microsoft is offering Office for iPad first and not for touch-based Windows PCs? It all comes down to reachability, the company put the suite on tablets in the past, like in Surface (first and second-gen), but Microsoft only sold a little more of a million devices, while Apple sold about 26 million iPads in the same fourth-quarter.
The other reason is what the new Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, said that the company is focus on connecting users to Microsoft’s services, regardless of platform.