When Microsoft made Office suite for iPad free this March, tech enthusiasts declared that this just a small gesture; Microsoft can never make one of it’s primary sources of income free.
After 40 million downloads of Office suite on iPad since March, Microsoft has taken another giant leap: They have made Microsoft Office suite for mobile free for iPhone and Android tablets. If we go by rumors, then Android smartphones would also be soon included in the list.
Thus, anyone with an Apple device: both iPad and iPhone can create and edit any Office document for free, whereas Android tablet users can preview Office documents, without the ability to edit it.
Announcing this news, John Case, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Office said, “Today we’re taking the next major step to bring Office to everyone, on every device”, adding, “With Office on nearly every device, it’s incredibly important to us that customers have a consistent experience and the ability to do more–anywhere and everywhere.”
The motto of Microsoft as of now is, “More Office. Everywhere you need it.”
After this announcement of free Microsoft Office suite, the applications have topped the Apple Apps Store chart within 24 hours, leaving behind Facebook at #2.
With this new announcement, users of iPhone can now edit and create files using applications for Word, PowerPoint and Excel. For Android tablets, they have announced a new “Office for Android tablet Preview” offer, wherein users can submit their details to receive the free version of MS Office, without subscribing to Office 365 product.
Those who have opted for the paid Office 365 subscription, they will get richer features such as “advanced editing and collaboration capabilities, unlimited OneDrive storage, Dropbox integration and a number of other benefits.”
Here are the three main features after this announcement:
- Free applications of Word, Power Point and Excel for iPhone users, just like iPad users experience the features
- Updated applications of Microsoft Office suite for iPad users
- Preview of Microsoft Office documents for Android tablet users (which can be extended to Android smartphone users as well)
Microsoft Office is being used by more than a billion people all over the world, and this is certainly one of the biggest announcements Microsoft has ever made. This basically introduces a quantum shift in Microsoft’s strategy to implement an eco-system of their own products; a strategy which Google has been using since long.
It would be interesting to see, how Microsoft uses this strategy to increase Windows based mobile phones now; which is be their biggest worry.