5 Things To Know About The Making And Future Of Office For iPad

All of the iPads Microsoft uses to test Office.

All of the iPads Microsoft uses to test Office.

Office for iPad hasn’t been in the App Store for very long, and it has already done surprisingly well. Microsoft recently bragged that Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote have been downloaded 12 million times combined in a week.

Microsoft won’t say how many Office 365 subscriptions have been bought through its new apps. Anyone can download them for free to view documents, but the editing features have to be unlocked with an in-app purchase.

The team behind Office for iPad took to Reddit today to answer questions about how the suite of apps was made, what took so long, and what’s planned for the future. Here are the five most interesting revelations:

1. Steve Ballmer gave the go-ahead to release Office for iPad.

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.18.44 PM

Newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella announced Office for iPad to the world, but Ballmer was the one that pulled the trigger.

2. Microsoft took so getting it out the door so it could create the “highest possible quality Office experience.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.21.29 PM

Yeah, right. Also, Steve Jobs was that “wise man.”

3. Printing is coming in a future update.

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.33.19 PM

4. There surprisingly wasn’t any drama from Apple when Office was submitted to the App Store.

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.20.58 PM

Apple takes a 30% cut of all Office 365 subscriptions purchased within the apps. That policy was rumored to be a point of contention within Microsoft and part of the reason for the delay.

5. The code between Office for iPad and Mac is shared, and a big Mac update is coming soon.

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.36.00 PM


  • dcj001

    “the editing features have to be unlocked with an in-app purchase”

    No it doesn’t. Office 365 may be purchased elsewhere.

  • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

    I was all excited for this release finally until I realized it was subscription based. What a waste. I’d be very curious to see of the 12 million who downloaded this for free, what small margin actually signed up for the subscription.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a journalist and co-host of The CultCast who lives in Lexington, Kentucky . He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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