For long, the tablet had been strictly relegated as a device for consuming, not a device for creating. That has been the style of thinking throughout the ages (Or at least 4 years).
For long, it had been prophecised that an Office Suite for iPad will come and will forever change the game. The tablet will become a productivity hotspot and it will give Microsoft something to grip on even as Desktop sales keep falling.
There IS an Office for iOS, it just hasn’t been optimized for the larger higher-res screen of the iPad.
With Satya Nadella at it’s helm, Microsoft unleashed upon the world the Office suite for iPad. And it is free. Kind of, it actually follows the freemium style, which means you may be able to view all documents in all their glory, but for anything further like editing, you gotta cough up some dough for a subscription.
The subscription can be as low as $7 per month and if you already have an Office 365 subscription, you don’t need to pay up.
Office for iPad contains the Big Three, the holy grail of all office apps: Word, Powerpoint and Excel. ‘Nuff said.
Office for iPad contains some goodies not found on the Office for iPhone such as simultaneous editing, author blocking, Spark Lines,re flowing, formatting and track changes.
Office for iPad will offer MUCH more sophisticated editing features than Office for iPhone which is a given since you won’t be able to do much on the iPhone’s small screen.
Some things to clear up:
- Office for iPad will be released as three separate apps – Unlike the suite for Windows, Office will be released as three separate apps : Word, Powerpoint and Excel.
- Office for iPad has been built from the ground up – So yeah, it won’t just be a poor port of Office for Windows slapped on the iPad. It has been made from scratch, keeping the touch interface of the iPad in mind. Thank god we don’t have to go back to the night-marish pre-iPad era Windows tablet days!
- It has full cloud compatibility – Considering the field Nadella came from before he became the CEO of Microsoft, this one is obvious. Office for iPad will plug into your Skydrive…oops..OneDrive account to store all your docs in the cloud so that you can access them anytime anywhere provided you have a OneDrive or Sharepoint account. Plus, it has support for Real-time collaboration, for upto 5 people at a time.
Now you may be asking, it is about time, why didn’t Microsoft do it sooner?
“It’s not a trivial port,” Nadella told CNET “One of the things we wanted was to do this with particular care and focus. I still think it’s in the early days. I understand that anything can be done quickly but we wanted to do it right.”
Office for iPad is a hit. A really big one, that too. The Office apps seize the top spots in the app store and don’t show any signs of slowing down.
Office for iPad is Microsoft’s move to get out of the desktop market and get it’s ticket out of the prophecised death of desktops and everything connected to them. More importantly, it is a product that aligns with the current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s visions : Which are that the next big focusing points are the cloud and mobile devices. Office for iPad focuses on both.