Apple has been clear about its belief that the super-charged iPad Pro is designed as a replacement for notebooks and desktops for a large number of users.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the company is giving buyers of the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro the option of picking up a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 as part of their pre-order.
The purchase option also appear when buying the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, or iPad mini 4 — although seemingly not in every country.
The Microsoft Office 365 software suite — which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, as well as added features like cloud-based storage and documents syncing — is the only non-Apple accessory included among the purchase order list on Apple’s pre-order page. Customers have the option of choosing between the “Home,” “Personal,” or “University” tiers of Office 365, which come with different features.
Office 365 starts at $69.95 for a one year, one license subscription, although you can boost this up to a five-license pack for $99.95 if you want to run it on your Mac as well.
Somewhat confusingly, Microsoft makes its Office apps available for free on tablets under 10.1 inches in screen size, which includes the new iPad Pro. So if you want to get hold of Word and Excel, you won’t have to shell out money — but you won’t get access to the extra features.
Either way, it’s an interesting step for Apple, which is keen to position the new iPad as a true computer replacement. During Monday’s keynote, Phil Schiller talked about it was “really sad” that 600 million PCs older than five years were still hanging around — and advised the owners of these machines to pick up the new iPad Pro.
With that said, Apple has to have been a bit reluctant to promote Office 365 over its own iWorks suite — although I’m sure Cook and co won’t shed too many tears if this helps sell more of its new tablet at the end of the day.
Via: The Verge