As anticipated, Microsoft has released an iPad version of its popular Microsoft Office software suite consisting of Word, PowerPoint and Excel. In addition to Office for iPad, Microsoft has also made Office Mobile for iPhone and Android phones available for free, exactly like their Windows phones.
The iPad apps for Microsoft’s bundle of word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software has come nearly four years after Apple released the iPad that has contributed to a steady decline in sales of desktop and laptop machines running on the Windows operating system.
The Office apps for iPad is free and you can read, view and present documents, spreadsheets and presentations. To get the full editing and creation experience, you need an Office 365 subscription, which is $100 per year.When you edit a document, you can be sure that content and formatting will be maintained across Office on PC, Mac, tablet and phone. And, you always have access to your up-to-date documents in OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. With Office 365 subscription, you can get the Office for iPad apps installed on up to 5 tablets, and also get 5 copies across Office for your PCs and Macs.
According to Microsoft, Office documents look better than ever on iPad. They look just as they do on your PC or Mac. In Word, images, tables, SmartArt, footnotes, equations are all there, perfectly formatted. Formulas, charts, sparklines, conditional formatting, and filters in Excel help you make better decisions. PowerPoint presentations pack a punch with transitions, animations, speaker notes and much more. When presenting, you can even use a built-in laser pointer, pens and highlighters to get your point across.What makes these apps unique is that they strike just the right balance between being unmistakably Office and being designed for the iPad. When you edit documents with the Office for iPad apps, you can be sure that you won’t lose any content or formatting. Documents will look exactly how you intended in Office on PC, Mac, tablet and phone.
Microsoft has further added that the Office apps make it easy to work together. You can share your content with others thanks to OneDrive and then work simultaneously with multiple people on the same document or presentation.
The Office apps are seamlessly integrated with Microsoft’s cloud services. The apps let you access up-to-date documents in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. It’s easy to pick up from where you left off, because the apps know what documents you were working on last, no matter what device you were using. Even if you don’t have an Internet connection for a while, you’ll still be able to work on the documents you’ve recently used on the iPad.
Office has long been one of Microsoft’s gold mines. In the company’s last fiscal year ended June 30, the business division that is anchored by Office posted an operating profit of $16.2 billion on revenue of $24.7 billion.
The availability of an Office app also could encourage more people to buy an iPad. That, in turn, could siphon more sales away from laptops running on Windows, which also generates billions in licensing fees for Microsoft each year. This year, Gartner Inc. expects 271 million tablets to be sold, including those running on Windows and Android, versus a total of 277 million desktop and laptop computers. By the end of 2015, tablets should be outselling PCs by a wide margin, Gartner said.
Microsoft hasn’t made Office apps for Android tablets yet, though the company has previously said those will be coming.
(Inputs: Microsoft and Associated Press)