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Microsoft releases Office for iOS, sort of

Microsoft released a much-awaited mobile version of its Office software for the iOS platform, via a quiet blog post. The good news is that it’s free. The bad news is that, well, just read on.

Unlike the iPad screenshots accompanying last year’s rumors, the official version works only on the iPhone. It lets you view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, accessed from the cloud via SkyDrive or from your office network via SharePoint. You can create Word and Excel documents (not PowerPoint, though) from your phone, and have them sync to the cloud, and made available on other devices. Neat, so far. But…

…the product is officially called “Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers” Yup, it’s only available to subscribers of Microsoft’s MS-Office-in-the-cloud service, which costs $79.99 a year for the basic Home version, usable on up to 5 computers, or $12.50 per user per month, up to 25 users, for the Small Business Premium version. The second catch is that Office 365 isn’t offered in the Philippine market yet, so even if you were willing to subscribe to the yearly Office 365 plan instead of purchasing an Office license outright, you can’t.

Sounds like a “too little, too late” approach, a half-baked product that isn’t going to matter too much to iOS users, even those who’ve chosen to use MS Office for Mac instead of Apple’s own iWork suite of office apps.



Jason de Villa is teacher by day and a geek at all other times of the day. When he’s not teaching, he’s reading and writing about technology, looking for ways technology can help in education. His favorite noodles: Pancit Malabon Express.

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