Finally – Office for Android and iOS free at least

Microsoft Office Logo

Being an armchair corporate strategist is easy, but just occasionally a company does something that has people saying “What took you so long?” Today the company is Microsoft, the reason is “new CEO Satya Nadella has new vision for company” and the decision is “dump the subscription fee and make Office for Android and iOS free”. That’s right, from now you can view and edit office documents natively on your phone or tablet.

You can access, view and edit your Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint documents from virtually anywhere. Documents look like the originals, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. When you make quick edits or add comments to a document, the formatting and content remain intact.

In itself this is a good move from Microsoft and is hopefully a precursor to a new direction from Microsoft as they embrace other platforms more enthusiastically. Office for the desktop has always been a cash cow but it seems to have taken Microsoft a long time to come around to the fact that the same model just didn’t work on mobile devices. Even the subscription model never took off outside of corporate environments. Making it free is the logical move to keep Office dominant in the face of increasing competition from the likes of Google Docs.

What’s next, I wonder?

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