Microsoft’s Office suite for iPad, iPhone, and Android is now free – and it’s not too often that we hear the word “free” and “Microsoft” in the same sentence. It’s also not too often that you hear that Microsoft products are going to play nice with their hugely popular competitors platforms. Could this be a sign that Microsoft is changing and realizing they need to adapt? Let’s hope so.
In the past decade, as consumers have shifted from the traditional PCs and laptop computers to tablets and mobile computing, Microsoft has stood tight to their stance that you need to pay for software and the only platform was Microsoft. The consumer, however, quickly showed big business that it didn’t care.
Bravo Microsoft For Releasing Free Office Apps for iPhone, iPad and Android!
Whether this is a move that has been int he works for some time or it is a result of new leadership of Sataya Nadella, making a very functional, yet free version of Microsoft Office for iPhone, iPad and Android is definitely a step in the right direction. This time around the release of office for iOS is not a slap in the face – the application actually works well and is fully functional. Sure there are some limitations, but for the average user, there is more than enough power in the free version to make it extremely beneficial.
Microsoft Remains Relevant with the release of Free Office Apps for iPhone, iPad and Android
So when we think of why Microsoft decided to come out with the free version of office for the competing apps, the answer is to remain relevant. People with Android and iOS devices did not have even a whiff of Microsoft during their computing experience. Microsoft was completely absent from the home screens and application list of non-windows phone devices. That is about to change and now when you fire up your phone, tablet or android phone, Microsoft will again be an integral part of your computing experience.
Why Is This Important?
So, why is the presence on your mobile device important if it is not generating any revenue? Relevance. Microsoft wants to remain relevant and visible in the mobile computing landscape. They want to be part of the conversation. There is also the possibility of downloading the free app and realizing you could use the paid version within your business. Microsoft has made a living dominating the word processing space and operating systems – I’m sure there is much more reason for the free version of office, but the way I see it is Microsoft wants you to use Microsoft products and, I’m guessing they’ll make them work just a little bit better on Microsoft devices like the Surface Pro and windows phone.
Microsoft Office for iPhone, iPad and Android Will Work With DropBox Too!
Word on the street is that the free version of Microsoft Office will also have native hooks into storage with DropBox! This is really sweet and will let you access your documents from anywhere and on any device with seamless editing capabilities.
Not Free For Businesses Though…
An Office 365 subscription will be required to edit documents that are stored on OneDrive for Business or Dropbox for business, a clear sign of how Microsoft will continue to generate money from the thousands of businesses that rely on its productivity suite and cloud platform.
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