Today Microsoft announced the release of their anticipated Office for iPad suite, which includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Speculation around this announcement has been circulating for quite some time, so it’s nice to finally see the release. I imagine this will signal the end of the PC for many Office users, as they’re now able to get everything done with only an iPad.
With the free versions of the apps, you can read your Word documents, view your Excel data and present with PowerPoint. Your documents will look as good as they do on your PC and Mac®, and better than ever on your iPad. With an Office 365 subscription, you can edit and create new documents with the iPad.
With this release Microsoft is going with a freemium model. Viewing documents you already have is free, but editing them will require an Office 365 subscription, which will cost $99.99/yr or $9.99/month. Offering the apps themselves for free will more than likely increase their app store discoverability, while the in-app purchase model for editing will still provide the revenue stream they need from Office.
I definitely plan on trying the apps out, though I don’t have a need for Office after graduating college. This is a nice move for Microsoft, and one that will keep their Office suite relevant for many people who have long since left their other products behind.