Microsoft Office for iPad Arrives with Word, Excel, & PowerPoint
Microsoft has brought the popular Office suite to the iPad, including full featured versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Each app is offered as a free download through the App Store for iOS, but there are some functionality differences between the free and paid subscription plans. To put it simply, the free plans of the Office apps can only view, copy, and share contents, while the paid plans are necessary to gain complete editing and new document creation across the Office suite.
The Microsoft Office suite of apps for iPad works very well and they are indeed full featured with everything you’d expect to be there – assuming you get the full subscription version at least – which should make this popular amongst business, education, and corporate users, and really for anyone who exchanges a lot of documents between the Microsoft Office suite of apps in general.
Admittedly, it’s a little confusing to have a free app that requires a subscription to gain additional features, but the handy table below shows the specific differences between the Office apps in their free form, and the Office apps with their 365 with a subscription. As you can see, the key differences between free vs paid are primarily editing and new file creation:
Speaking of the paid version, a years subscription to Office 365 usually costs $99/year or $10/mo, but you can get a great 33% discount if you buy Office 365 at Amazon, and there’s also a free 30 day trial available if you aren’t sure whether paying for the full version is worth the expense or not.
Download links for each individual Office app from the App Store are as follows. Each app is free to download for the basic functionality, but to gain the full feature-set you will need to have an Office 365 subscription:
- Microsoft Word for iPad on the App Store
- Microsoft Excel for iPad on the App Store
- Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad on the App Store
- Office Mobile for iPhone on the App Store
If you’re in need of perfect compatibility with Microsoft documents while you’re toting around an iPad, the apps are well worth checking out. Even the free versions should be useful to have around for occasionally reviewing documents and files sent over from the Office world.
Here are a few screenshots of Excel, Powerpoint, and Word running on the iPad:
There’s also a free version of Office Mobile for the iPhone available, which allows viewing and editing of documents, but obviously it’s a bit more limited since you’re working with a smaller screen area.
Those interested to see a bit more can view this promo video of Office for iPad from Microsoft:
More casual users who need just occasional access to view spreadsheets, take a peak at a Word document, or review a presentation, may find the free versions of Office to suffice for viewing, so long as you don’t need to do any editing. Otherwise, those who prefer to stay on the cheaper end of the spectrum may find the excellent iWork suite from Apple is sufficient for spreadsheets, word document composition, and simpler spreadsheets.