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It's also only for the iPhone, not iPad

The day has finally come: Microsoft launched an Office app for the iPhone. But before you rush to iTunes and download, know that there are some restrictions. 

The long-awaited Microsoft Office app for iOS -- called Office Mobile -- was released today, but many Apple users may not even be able to use it due to the following conditions: it's for Office 365 subscribers only, and only iPhone owners can use it (too bad for folks with iPads).

The Office Mobile app offers Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but not for the purpose of document creation; only editing of documents previously created on other computers/devices. The files will sync with Microsoft's SkyDrive Web storage service, and has features like "Resume Reading" (directs users to the point in the document last viewed in Word on a computer) and the "Recent" key (takes users to the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps they most recently worked on from another device).

While the Office Mobile app for iPhone is free to download, being an Office 365 Home Premium and ProPlus subscriber in advance means paying an annual fee of $100 to Microsoft. So free doesn't look so free anymore. 


Also, if you were hoping to work on Office documents using the larger screen on your iPad, tough luck. The app has been restricted to iPhone users only. So iPad and Android users -- you're stuck with Microsoft's Office Web Apps services through a Web browser.

"We don't think it will be optimal for that experience," said Chris Schneider, a marketing manager in Microsoft's Office division.

IPhone users also can't use Apple's iCloud service for Office documents. The app strictly works with SkyDrive. 

Microsoft is likely placing these restrictions on the iPhone version of its Office app in order to boost its own services rather than give consumers another reason to buy an iPhone over a Windows Phone. Up until now, the Windows Phone used the Office app as an advantage over iOS, and there was no way Microsoft would let Apple users have their cake and eat it too.

There are currently only 1 million Office 365 subscribers, and Microsoft hopes that this will lead to a surge in users.  

You can grab the new Office Mobile app here

Source: iTunes





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