Microsoft may have just made a game-changing decision by making its Office suite completely free for iOS devices.
Previously, iOS users had the choice of the underwhelming Office Mobile for their iPhone, or Word, Excel and Powerpoint for their iPad, but now Microsoft has announced that it’s launching free-to-use versions of its Office apps for both iPhone and iPad, available to all devices running iOS 7 or newer.
The individual apps, which were previously only available to iPad users, are gloriously easy to use, having been optimised for touch-based devices. They’ve been updated today too, bringing some extra refinements and bugfixes to what will undoubtedly be a large new user base.
Michael Atalla, Microsoft’s head marketing honcho for Office, elaborated on the company’s new direction. “If you’re in the middle of working on a presentation and you get on your train to go home you can just move to your phone and continue editing,” he said, attributing the decision to embrace the freemium model to Microsoft’s desire for its users to be “productive across all of the devices they have.”
The company is also (finally) launching its Office suite for Android tablets too, though the software is still in development. However, you can sign up for a preview, if you’re interested in seeing what Word, Excel and Powerpoint will have to offer on your Android device. The finished articles will be ready by “early 2015”, according to Microsoft’s blog.