Until yesterday, customers needed a paid Office 365 subscription to do anything more than view Office documents on their iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Now, they can create and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents for free.
The new Office for iPhone apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as updated iPad versions, are available to download now from the App Store at no cost. Free Android versions are also coming soon. Users can currently sign up for a preview and should expect to get their hands on the full release early next year.
Microsoft has noted that paying Office 365 subscribers still stand to get “the best value and a complete set of features”. This includes one terabyte of OneDrive online storage — with unlimited storage on the way – as well as advanced editing and collaboration capabilities. The company will also continue to charge enterprise Office users as well as those using laptop and desktop versions.
Regardless, this is a significant next step for Microsoft as it continues to deliver on its vision to deliver its software and services on every device under the leadership of its new CEO Satya Nadella. And it’s a strategy that seems to be going down particularly well with customers – since Microsoft first launched the Office for the iPad app in March, it has been downloaded more than 40 million times.
Microsoft also said that it will be sharing more details on its new touch-optimised Office for Windows 10 soon.
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