Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference is next week, but the company isn’t saving all of its announcements for that show. CEO Satya Nadella took to the stage in San Francisco today to talk about the company’s future, putting an emphasis on the company’s “cloud first, mobile first” agenda. To drive that point home, the company today announced the long-rumored version of Microsoft Office for iPad, which trails the iPhone and Android versions of the software by about nine months. The software goes live in the iOS App Store at 11am Pacific Time today.
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for iPad can all create and edit files created in other versions of the software, and they feature the same OneDrive integration as the Windows and mobile versions. The tablet applications appear to be more substantially capable than the phone versions, and Microsoft boasted that the apps will preserve the formatting and visual fidelity of documents created on other platforms (the company even poked fun at the existing OneDrive application, which can view Office files but often displays formatting incorrectly).
Microsoft said that the applications would be available for free, though as usual this comes with strings attached. Anyone can download the applications from the App Store, but without an Office 365 subscription you’ll only be able to view your files, not edit them. We’ll give Office for iPad a more thorough review in the coming days.
Update: Microsoft has also issued a quiet update to Office Mobile for iPhone. Version 1.1 of the software updates the application for iOS 7 and removes the Office subscription requirement. Viewing and editing of documents stored in OneDrive is now free to anybody with a Microsoft account, regardless of their subscription status. The Android version of the app still requires a subscription as of this writing, but we’d expect an update soon.