Microsoft’s big news on Thursday was the introduction of Office for iPad, which is part of the Redmond company’s “mobile first, cloud first approach.” But the company also dropped a smaller announcement among the iPad news, making Office Mobile for iPhone and Android completely free.
There are a few caveats involved (if you’re a business), though the optimized apps will give users access to view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents right from their mobile device. Documents you edit will then be synced across OneDrive, and show up across your other devices with Microsoft’s Office suite.
You can sign up for a free Microsoft account to create, edit and save documents for home use. But if you’re a business, you’ll need a qualifying Office 365 subscription in order to create and edit documents. If you’re a student or just use Office casually, however, you can get the goodness of Microsoft’s productivity suite for free—and that’s great. Of course, making the mobile apps free is likely just Microsoft’s way of encouraging you to pony up for an Office 365 subscription on the desktop, or on the iPad.
It appears as though both the iPhone and Android updates are already live in their respective stores, so head on over to begin working on your mobile documents. Making the apps free is a nice touch on Microsoft’s part. It’s just too bad Office for iPad didn’t receive the same treatment (if you want to create and edit), although the suite of does look very beautiful.