Microsoft is finally offering iPad users something they’ve been wanting for a long time. Office is now available for use on your iPad tablet. Apple does have its very own productivity apps for the iPad, but many people prefer to work with the Office line of applications including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
The app itself is free and will allow you to view and edit documents created in Office. However, to create documents, you’ll need an Office 365 subscription. (at $99 per year). If you already have an Office 365 subscription, you can simply download the apps and register that device as one of the five in your household that can be licensed under one home subscription.
Office won’t be just one app for the iPad, you will have to download Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Lync and OneNote separately as individual apps. With the Office 365 subscription you will be able to view, create and edit Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations much in the same way you can on a PC or Mac.
The layout of the app is more touch friendly with larger buttons and more space between them. You can now access and create Office files from a computer, iPad and iPhone, Windows Phone and tablet as well as your Android phone. There’s not an Android tablet-optimized version of Office available yet, but Microsoft promises that it’s on the way soon.
That day can’t get here quickly enough to suit me. I am pleased with my Office 365 subscription ad often access documents on my Android phone, but I would like the convenience of being able to create them on my 7 inch Android tablet.
This marks a change in Microsoft’s attitude towards the Office Suite. For a long time the product was considered as a very important draw to convince users to purchase Windows machines. With the introduction of the subscription, it now seems as if Microsoft is regarding it as more of a service. And it’s also an example of the shift towards mobile devices instead of the traditional desktop.
Office apps for iPad are available in the iTunes store and subscriptions to Office 365 can be purchased at Office.com