Microsoft officially announces Office for iPad

The basic version of the suite will available for free on the App Store starting Thursday.
By Ananth Baliga  |  Updated March 28, 2014 at 5:10 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 (UPI) -- In his first public appearance after assuming the role of Microsoft chief executive, Satya Nadella officially announced Microsoft Office for iPad Thursday.

The Office suite -- including Word, Excel and PowerPoint -- will be available on the Apple App Store as of 2 p.m. EDT. The suite is working on a freemium model. Users who don't add an Office 365 subscription can still do some basic tasks. For more advanced tasks, users will need to subscribe to Office 365.

The suite will cost $9.99 per month for Office 365 Home Premium and $6.99 per month for the upcoming Personal plan. The Office suite will be synced with a user's SkyDrive account, so they can work on their documents or presentations on the go.

Office for iPad has been rumored to be in the works for years, with the first credible report of its existence dating back to 2011, but the company never confirmed or denied these reports.

In the run up to this launch, Microsoft executives all but confirmed the existence of Office for iPad, but said that the company would first launch a touch-enabled Office suite for its own platform before releasing it for competing platforms. But Microsoft has released the iPad suite before releasing the Windows version.

The announcement is big because Microsoft has previously put Office only on its line of Surface tablets. According to IHS, Microsoft's fourth quarter sales for the Surface were a little over a million, while in the same period Apple sold 26 million iPads.

By offering Office applications to iPad users, Microsoft will help spread its use among a larger audience and also boost sales. Apple has been pushing its own office suite, which it began bundling for free with new iOS and Mac devices late last year.

[PCWorld] [ZDNET]

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