Microsoft Office arrives on iPad as free download
As reported last week, Microsoft today took the wraps off Microsoft Office suite of productivity applications for the iPad. The product family includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad, which are available as separate apps that can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store.
Like Office Mobile, the iPad version feature OneDrive integration, and can only view files by default. An existing Office 365 subscription is required to activate the ability to edit and create files, cleverly sidestepping the need to pay Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) the 30 percent cut of all purchases made through the App Store. (You are allowed to subscribe to Office 365 within the app, which would qualify as an in-app purchase.)
According to very initial reviews of Word on iPad, this version of Word renders documents just like the desktop version, and includes support for compatibility mode with older-format documents. The by-now familiar Ribbon interface is there, though features are a tad slimmed down and closer to the smartphone version of Word than the full-fledged desktop version.
Do note that the apps weigh in at over 200MBs each, so avoid downloading it from the corporate Wi-Fi network if the lack of fast Internet access would hinder the work of your colleagues. Separately, Microsoft has issued an update to Office Mobile for iPhone as well as the Android version. Both updates remove the Office subscription requirement that was previously present, while the former also updates the application for iOS 7.