Office for iPad: It's arrived!

Microsoft has released its highly anticipated Office suite for iPad, a freemium app that lets everyone view documents but grants Office 365 subscribers full editing capabilities.

Microsoft has released its highly anticipated Office suite for iPad, a freemium app that lets everyone view documents but grants Office 365 subscribers full editing capabilities.

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduces Office for iPad. (Credit: Microsoft)

It has happened. After much speculation, Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella has announced the release of Office for iPad at a special event overnight.

The four individual apps, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote, are all free to download and give document viewing capabilities to all users. Full edit privileges are preserved for Office 365 subscribers, which costs $119 per year or $12 per month (which includes Office on up to five Windows or Mac PCs, 20GB OneDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype calls per month) or $89 per year when the new Personal Edition is released soon for use on a single computer and single tablet.

There are whispers that the Office 365 and an Office for iPad edition is too little, too late, but finally the proof will be in the pudding. Either way, the launch speaks directly to Nadella's push to make Microsoft a "mobile-first, cloud-first" company.

"The real goal for us is to provide the apps and services that empower every user across all of these devices and experiences," said Nadella. "That's perhaps the job number one that we do: to empower people to be productive."

"It's not a trivial port," Nadella told CNET. "One of the things we wanted was to do this with particular care and focus. I still think it's in the early days. I understand that anything can be done quickly but we wanted to do it right."

About the author

Seamus Byrne is CNET's Editor for Australia and Asia. At other times he'll be found messing with apps, watching TV, building LEGO, and rolling dice. Preferably all at the same time.

 

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