Microsoft has finally delivered an Office app for iOS. There have been rumors for months about an iOS version hitting the app store and it has finally happened.
The app is available in the app store only if you are an Office 365 subscriber. The subscription cost for Office 365 is $10 a month or $100 dollar per year. There is no free standalone version of the app.
The app has support for Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents. Although you can create Word and Excel documents, there is no option of creating a powerpoint presentation.
Surprisingly, there is no iPad version either. With this move Microsoft will be hoping to capture a larger market share. Office was till now available only on Windows Phone devices whose market share is minuscule compared to iOS.
The application will look familiar to those who have used it on a windows device. It basically consists of four sections : SkyDrive folders, recent documents, document creation and setting. The process of document creation is easy and pretty intuitive.
Office 365 has been a successful model for Microsoft. It hit the one million subscriber mark pretty fast. Microsoft was quick to point out that the service had done so faster than Facebook and Dropbox.
Apple announced at WWDC that iWork apps, including Pages, numbers and keynotes, will now work on Windows systems via the browser. It seemed like that it would have a lot of takers in people who use both platforms but Microsoft has just made that announcement inconsequential. Office 365 subscribers can just fire up Office on their iOS devices.
Although Steve Ballmer had mentioned that there is no need for Office on iPad, it still comes as a bit of a surprise to see no iPad counterpart. Ballmer contended that since the iPad has a full browser, users can make do with Office Web Apps through Skydrive. It seems a bit harsh considering that the web app is not in the same league as the native app.
This is great news for iOS and Office users. If you aren’t entirely satisfied with Documents to Go, QuickOffice, iWork or whatever alternative you are are using, there could not be a better option.