Microsoft touts Office for iPad – BUT there’s a catch

microsoft-office-for-ipadMicrosoft has, after years of speculation, released some of its Office applications for Apple iPad owners – but you’ll need an Office 365 subscription to use them in anything other than their basic form.

The Apple App Store now has Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint available for download for iOS 7, and the apps have been reworked to fit in with the iPad’s layout and form factor.

The apps will allow people to view Office files on their tablet, but not create new documents or edit existing ones – for that you’ll need an Office 365 cloud subscription, starting at $70 a year.

“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.”

It’s easy to see why Microsoft is so keen to tie Office 365 into the new apps – Office is Microsoft’s cash cow and generates more than half its profits, so Redmond won’t be willing to give all that up any time soon.


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