Microsoft Announces Office For iPad

| News

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave a talk Thursday morning in San Francisco about Microsoft's vision for mobile devices, and made a few announcements, the most notable being the release of full versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iPads running iOS 7. They are free apps, allowing for reading/presenting documents on the iPad. In order to create or edit documents, an Office 365 subscription is required.

Mr. Nadella's presentation emphasized the customer as the important part of the experience, not the screen they use. So not only is there an Office for iPad option, but Office for Android was also announced. As part of the demonstration, it was pointed out that there is now "file fidelity" across all the versions of Office.

Along with new versions of Office, the Enterprise Mobility Suite was also unveiled. This is an IT-focused set of cloud services for mobile device management as well as data and identity protection for corporate IT departments to wrangle the wide (and expanding) variety of hardware now available in the enterprise.

Image credit: Microsoft.

More about Office for iPad is available on the Office Blog, and if you want to find out more about Mr. Nadella's mobile-first, cloud-first vision, you can check out his blog post, or watch the intro video.

Popular TMO Stories



Oh boy!!! Now my iPad finally becomes useful!


In order to create or edit documents, an Office 365 subscription is required.

To quote an article Jeff wrote on March 18 of this year:

If Office for the iPad is little more than a shell for Office 365, Microsoft shouldn’t even bother.

By not allowing content creation without an O365 subscription that’s exactly what this is.


Fairly useless as just a viewing platform; except for dedicated Office users who may have limited uses.

Kelly Guimont

@skipaq, I disagree. As long as I have the option to install a free app on my iPad, I can read a more complicated Word or Excel file in a pinch, and that’s super handy. At least for me it’s great news, because I have Office installed on my computer for exactly this “just in case” setup, because it happens often enough I need to keep it around.

Kelly Guimont

@geoduck, I hope they understand the need of some people to not have all the apps (I couldn’t find pricing for say, just Excel in Office 365) and maybe adjust pricing accordingly. But for someone like my husband who is all Windows at work, the option to maybe view something on a second screen at work or maybe outside the office occasionally, this is pretty handy. And if his company switches to Office 365 licensing, he’ll like it even better.


@Kelly Your points agree with what I said: There is a limited utility for dedicated Office users. Many, like myself, haven’t used Office in years and this news won’t change that.


I’ve used O365. We evaluated it at our work to see if it would be a good option for our remote and sales staff. It was rejected for being too slow, too buggy, too unreliable, too insecure, and over the long run too expensive.
I stand by my earlier statement:



I’m somewhere in between these points of view - of course its useful for me to be able to read Office docs, ppts, xls on my iOS device.

But it would be even more useful to edit them and send ‘em back - even to myself (to my Windows-mandated computer) - without an Office 365 sub.  Because my org would NEVER put our docs etc into a cloud run by ANYONE.  Period. 

So is it a Fail?  I dunno - there is certainly some convenience for me.  I suspect they are reserving the functionality of creating and editing new files - for the time being - as a marketing advantage for their Surface tablets.  I suspect this functionality will come to iOS over time WITHOUT the requirement to pay for 0365.

Kelly Guimont

As of now they’ve made the iPhone version *totally* free, you don’t need O365 to edit there. It’s not the iPad, yeah, but it’s better than nothing.

@geoduck I totally get your point, when I first tried O365 it was really rough around the edges, but I’ve heard from people lately who view it as a necessary evil that it has improved quite a bit.

@MacFrogger, I don’t know that it’s required to use OneDrive or whatever they are calling it these days. You could probably email it back and forth like iWork docs. Remember Apple says the same thing about their cloud service: “Yeah, you *could* email a document back and forth, but why would you want to when you have….THE CLOUD!” (:


Kelly asked: “Yeah, you *could* email a document back and forth, but why would you want to when you have….THE CLOUD!”

I guess you missed this earlier: Because my org would NEVER put our docs etc into a cloud run by ANYONE.  Period.

Fear of hackers, and yes, of course said hackers could just as easily gain access to our systems but our IT people feel more secure without our stuff in a cloud they have no control over.  Turf and ego issues matter here too - remember decisions made by humans are almost never based 100% on logic.  smile

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account