Microsoft offers free Office apps to Apple iPhones and iPads

Microsoft today said its Office software apps will be freely available for Apple iPhones and iPad tablets.

The Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is also working on new versions for Android tablets and smartphones. But the company did not share a specific date for the release.

Since announcing Office for the iPad in March, customers took to the App Store and downloaded Office for their Apple iPads more than 40 million times.

“Since then, we’ve released native apps for OneNote, Lync, Yammer, OneDrive for Business and OWA for iOS and Android and we’ve continued our investment in the Mac platform with the release of Outlook for Mac and the Office for Mac beta scheduled for the first half of 2015,” said John Case, corporate vice president, Microsoft Office, in a blog post.

The software company is also delivering Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for iPhone and updates for the iPad apps–to ensure a consistently productive Office experience on every device.

Touch-optimized Office apps for Windows 10 are also in the works.

Microsoft Office for iPhones
An AP news report said the free updates, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, replace a limited iPhone version and upgrade a more powerful set of apps that the company released for iPad tablets in March.

The older iPhone version allowed users to view files and make simple editing changes, but the new apps will resemble the iPad versions and have more of the capabilities found in Office software used on desktop computers.

The new apps don’t require a subscription to create new files or documents. While the apps are free, Microsoft hopes to make money by selling premium features, including security tools for business users, through its Office 365 subscription service, AP reported.

Microsoft’s Office software faces competition from web and mobile programs made by Google, Apple and other rivals.

Office apps are coming to Android tablets with the start of Office for Android tablet Preview. The software maker is inviting Android users to sign up for a test version of its new Office apps for Android tablets this week, but the finished apps won’t be released until early next year.

Baburajan K
editor@gizmolead.com

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