Microsoft's Office Suite for iPad, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, in that order, have seized the top four spots in the Free section of Apple's App Store.
This isn't surprising, considering the pent-up demand for the product. Of course, there are many reasons for the skyrocket trip to the top. Part of it could be dissatisfaction with iWork. Part of it could be curiosity. And part of it could be some old-fashioned desire to dig in and get some work done on a favored platform, the iPad.
As we noted on Thursday, the suite is free for reading or presenting, but in order to create or edit documents, an Office 365 subscription is required. That costs $99/yr, and it's been reported that Apple will take its customary 30 percent.
This pricing scheme was a smart move by Microsoft. Customers are not accustomed to paying a lot of money for iPad apps, and this allows customers to try the apps out first. It may well, then, lead to the Office 365 subscription.
This is a good start for the venerable Office suite, but it remains to be seen how long these productivity apps can hold on to spots #1,2,3 and 4. The longer they stay on top, the more validated Microsoft's decision will be.