It might have been on the cards for a while now, but today new Microsoft boss Satya Nadella announced the immediate release of the Microsoft Office suite for iPad, possibly starting a new era for Microsoft as an application provider across devices.
The market has been talking about this being the start of the new vision for Microsoft, focusing on allowing users and businesses to use their office software across all devices, including Apple devices such as the iPad. While there are good alternatives available already from both Google and Apple, eating into Microsofts global dominance of office software, it’s expected that the launch of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad will generate a new big revenue stream for Microsoft. After all the Office package is still the most used solution amongst not only businesses, but also individual users.
While the new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps are available to download for free, they are based on the ‘Freemium’ model, meaning that to be able to edit and save documents in the apps, you will need to have an Office 365 subscription. The price of such a subscription varies, but for a business we could easily start talking £50 plus per user per year, so you can imagine that will equal some significant new earnings, not only for Microsoft, but also for Apple taking their cut as part of the App Store.
From the look of it, Microsoft have taken a lot of consideration into how they present their most popular applications on the iPad. The interface looks clean and intuitive, but will have to give it a proper test before saying more about the user experience.
Here are some screenshots.