GLOBAL TECH WRAP: Finally - Microsoft offers Office for iPad

Office for iPad

Microsoft unveils Office for iPad, free for reading and presenting reports the Verge.  Just like Office for iPhone, the iPad version will make use of Microsoft's Office 365 subscription for editing features and will be available to subscribers at no extra cost. However, the iPad version will be free for reading and presenting purposes. That's a significant change from the original iPhone version, and one that will allow millions of iPad users to make use of Office for viewing documents.

At the same time, Office for iPhone and Office for Android are being updated to make it free for home use..

To many people, the move is a refreshing sign of a new Microsoft, one slowly unshackling itself from an era when all of its major decisions were made in deference to Windows, Microsoft’s operating system, the New York Times writes.

But to skeptics, Office for the iPad is arriving dangerously late.

That’s because the delay has given people who use iPads, especially business professionals, years to get used to using the tablet without Office, a suite of programs that includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Start-ups like Evernote, Quip, Smartsheet and Haiku Deck, along with Apple’s own iWork suite of applications, have filled the void left by Microsoft with productivity applications that work on tablets and other devices.

Microsoft’s shares are trading near their highest point in 14 years, partly in anticipation of Office for the iPad, the Times says. (There's also a less positive source of momentum - millions of Windows XP users being forced to finally upgrade next month as Microsoft ends support, opening them to security risks).

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