Microsoft's new CEO, Satya Nadella, made his first appearance for the company on stage today to announce that Microsoft Office has finally been optimized for iPad. The iPhone version became available in June of 2013, letting you access your documents on the go, but only if you signed up for a subscription to Office 365.
Microsoft debuts Office for iPad
- Microsoft Office finally comes to the iPad
- ZDNet: Microsoft Office for iPad sets the gold standard for tablet productivity
- ZDNet: A closer look at Microsoft Office for the iPad (photos)
Read the review for Office for iPad from ZDNet, but check back later in the day for my full review.
From what we could see from the presentation, it looks like the Office tools for iPad have a few more features than the iPhone version. The design is clean and seems to fit in with both Apple's vision for iOS 7 and Microsoft's flatter Metro design elements. You also can do complex formatting within Word, move images around in documents as the text automatically wraps around, and create graphs and charts in Excel with smart gesture-based features. I also noticed a special keyboard designed for navigating and entering data into spreadsheets that was not available in the iPhone version of the app.
In my review of Microsoft Office for iPhone, I thought it was a must have for Office 365 subscribers, but also felt that Microsoft should have let people have the basic editing tools in the app for free, and offer another more robust version for subscribers. I also thought an iPad version was crucial to the app's success.
From the announcement today, it's clear Microsoft is finally trying to get all iOS users on board, but will the iPad version be enough to entice people away from free options such as Apple's iWork suite or Google Docs?
Check back here throughout the day for more details about Microsoft Office for iPad as they become available.