It has taken a long time but Microsoft have finally released its most popular Office programs onto the Apple iPad tablet. For the first time users will be able to download Word, Excel and Powerpoint from the App Store, however basic users will only be able to view Office files – you need an Office 365 subscription to get the ability to edit or create documents.
"When it comes to Office 365, the vision if fairly straightforward," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at a press conference in San Francisco today. "It is to make sure that the one billion Office users have access to the high fidelity Office experience on every device they love to use. Today's announcement marks one more step in that direction."
Office 365 is Microsoft’s subscription based Office suite (that I personally subscribe to) that allows you to pay a small monthly fee to have the latest version of Office installed on up to 5 PCs, tablets and Macs with 20GB of online storage to store and sync files between your devices. If you are just running one laptop it does not work out that much better value than buying a traditional suite, however if like me you run multiple devices with multiple operating systems it works out as something of a bargain.
The programs are very polished considering it is the initial release and the user experience and functionality will no doubt only improve over time. There are some neat features only on the iPad as well, such as in PowerPoint being able to simulate a laser pointer on a presentation using your finger.
With Microsoft pushing its Surface range of tablets so heavily for business users it might come as a bit of a surprise as to why it has given its biggest competitor arguably killer business functionality – one thing is for sure though Apple iPad users in business will have a much better experience in the future, you might even be able to leave that laptop at home on your next business trip.
For more information on Office for iPad check out the official Microsoft information here.