Microsoft is back to doing what it does best — making good software — and today the company has announced that it’s Office suite for iPad, iPhone, and Android is free. This is definitely a surprising move, as the software giant shakes up its mobile Office strategy to keep consumers locked into the world of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. This means that from today onwards you’ll no longer need an Office 365 subscription to edit documents or store them in the cloud.
You can now download Office for iPad and store all your documents on Dropbox a move which comes after the recent partnership between Dropbox and Microsoft which involved no penny exchange.
Microsoft’s plans to move all its free web apps to mobile. Microsoft’s head of Office marketing Michael Atalla explains
“It’s an extension of the strategy that we’ve got, It’s not a total strategic shift, as much of an extension of the existing strategy. Microsoft offers free Office apps online, and Atalla argues that recent development model changes inside Microsoft have allowed the company to open up editing functionality to mobile clients. We’re taking that same user experience we provide online to the native apps of iOS and Android. We want to make sure that our customers can be productive across all the devices they have.”
Free for customers not for Enterprise
As expected consumers using Office mobile will be able to get access to the apps for free, but the company isn’t dishing out this free functionality to businesses. 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.
Image Credit: The Verge