The day has finally come. During a keynote today in San Francisco, Microsoft unveiled the Office suite for iPad. Rumors have said that Word would be unveiled for Apple’s tablet this month, but that’s not all; Microsoft has also released versions of PowerPoint and Excel.
Microsoft is taking the freemium approach in the App Store. Office for iPad apps are free to download, but you can only read and present. To edit, you need an Office 365 subscription. Office for iPhone has also been updated to be free for noncommercial use.
Early reviews of Office on the iPad are surprisingly positive, as many seem impressed with how robust the software is to use.”Office on iPad feels powerful, personal, and usable for the most part, but you can’t do absolutely everything on the go,” says The Verge. “We couldn’t find a way to add a video to a PowerPoint presentation, for example.”
“Here, Microsoft was careful to take advantage of the iPad’s extra screen real estate: whereas the iPhone version wouldn’t even let you add rows in the middle of a spreadsheet, the iPad edition includes advanced features like Sparklines and author blocking, which only power users might appreciate,” according to Engadget.
Each Office app features a slimmed down version of the dreaded ribbon interface, but it seems like Microsoft has prioritized editing tools to make the workflow easier on the iPad. “I want to do my best work on Windows and I want to do my best work on iPad and I want all of that to accrue to Office,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to Re/code. “It’s really about being able to go where the opportunity is. If we can serve customers who expect our Office 365 everywhere … we will do well.”