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Print 23 comment(s) - last by Jim_Liquor.. on Jun 17 at 9:55 AM

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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None of this is a shock
By Varun on 6/14/2013 10:13:54 AM , Rating: 5
With Apple's 30% fee model, this is the only way Microsoft would ever allow Office on iOS. They aren't going to give Apple 1/3 of their most profitable business.




RE: None of this is a shock
By Lord 666 on 6/14/2013 11:07:58 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure your logic makes sense; the app is free to Office 365 customers. Apple only gets 30% on whatever MS charges. Plus, Apple sells an enterprise license for apps purchased via the app store. Large deployments will use push methods not limited to Apple Configurator, MS Intune, or even Blackberry BES 10.1

Just tried installing on an iTouch 4 and it will not install due to "This App is incompatible with this iPhone. This app requires a camera with autofocus." What does Office need with an autofocus camera?


RE: None of this is a shock
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 11:10:51 AM , Rating: 2
His logic makes perfect sense and is exactly what's happening. Microsoft wants you to subscribe to their service straight from them so they get 100% of the subscription fee. The app is an extension to use that service.

They are selling it directly instead of via apple app store and thus skipping the 30%.


RE: None of this is a shock
By Samus on 6/14/2013 2:04:57 PM , Rating: 1
I'm surprised this doesn't violate Apple's terms. I was always under the impression if you didn't purchase it from the App store, it's a sideload, which requires a jailbreak? This app must be web based?


RE: None of this is a shock
By Lifted on 6/14/2013 2:20:07 PM , Rating: 2
Most, if not all, of the enterprise apps on my phone are free from the app store. Of course the app is useless, much like this one, if you don't have the corresponding software/license running in your environment or in the cloud.

Microsoft is not unique in what they are doing here.


RE: None of this is a shock
By BRB29 on 6/15/2013 11:28:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft is not unique in what they are doing here.


kindle app is the same so amazon doesn't pay apple when it's selling books.


RE: None of this is a shock
By TakinYourPoints on 6/14/2013 5:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, there are numerous enterprise and commerce apps that work like this


RE: None of this is a shock
By ltcommanderdata on 6/14/2013 11:29:36 AM , Rating: 2
I think Microsoft is requiring devices have 512MB of RAM. There isn't a way to limit devices based on RAM or specific model, only features like autofocus, so I guess that's how they decided to do it.


RE: None of this is a shock
By retrospooty on 6/14/2013 11:43:35 AM , Rating: 2
"What does Office need with an autofocus camera?"

Prism LOL ... Wial. Not LOL... SOB!


RE: None of this is a shock
By ltcommanderdata on 6/14/2013 11:27:08 AM , Rating: 5
quote:

With Apple's 30% fee model, this is the only way Microsoft would ever allow Office on iOS. They aren't going to give Apple 1/3 of their most profitable business.

Apparently Microsoft is offering the ability to buy a 365 subscription in-app although they aren't commenting on whether they're forced to give Apple the standard 30% cut or if they've managed to work out some other deal.

The importance of Office to Microsoft's finances is why I think the announcement of iWorks for iCloud has been under-reported at WWDC compared to iOS and OS X coverage. More investigation needs to be done on the abilities and limitations of iWorks for iCloud. If compatibility with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is as seamless as Apple claims, the feature-set is sufficient for general home use, and it ends up being offered free like other iCloud features thereby making iWorks viable for many Windows users, it would certainly be a concern for Microsoft.


RE: None of this is a shock
By drycrust3 on 6/14/2013 3:40:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If compatibility with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is as seamless as Apple claims, the feature-set is sufficient for general home use, and it ends up being offered free like other iCloud features thereby making iWorks viable for many Windows users, it would certainly be a concern for Microsoft.

This leads to the wider question of do you actually HAVE to have Microsoft Office, or can you use some other office suite that is much cheaper? If you are using an iPad or tablet, then it may well be you are also prepared to accept a small amount of incompatibility or loss a few of the Microsoft features as long as you can get most of your work done. For example, OnLive (http://desktop.onlive.com/ ), Picsel Smart Office (http://www.picselsmartoffice.com/ ), and Dataviz (http://www.dataviz.com/DTG_iphone.html ) all claim to be iPad compatible.


RE: None of this is a shock
By Lord 666 on 6/15/2013 8:47:02 AM , Rating: 2
Quickoffice Pro works well too. Renders PowerPoints close enough and sometimes better than ripping to PDF, not to mention the obvious cross platform access.

Google should make a Windows port.


Blink!
By Tony Swash on 6/14/2013 12:33:03 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft just blinked.

With Office retained as a Windows phone exclusive MS had a lever to encourage adoption of their mobile OS. However their mobile OS has not made an impact in the market and MS remains a tiny player in the mobile software market, a market which is fast becoming the biggest software market in the world. This decision means they have at least hedged their bet on their failing 'Windows everywhere' strategy.

It's a good move for MS but they need to move faster and further. Windows will be a lucrative and sizable legacy business for a long while but it's going nowhere in the mobile markets, markets that are much, much bigger than the old PC market. Microsoft is a software company and must build a business in the new mobile software markets if it wants to grow and prosper. The way to do that is to become a major software vendor on iOS and Android.

The iPad is spreading across the enterprise market and it currently does not run any Microsoft productivity software. That's crazy and Ballmer should be sacked for that failure alone.




RE: Blink!
By retrospooty on 6/14/2013 2:30:11 PM , Rating: 4
Isn't it funny how when MS changes their previous business plan its a bad thing, yet when Apple changes their previous business plan its a good thing?

Funnier still how you seem to think there is anyone at this site that doesnt know you are full of hooey.


RE: Blink!
By drycrust3 on 6/14/2013 6:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
What Tony wrote was a very astute piece of writing.
For Microsoft to survive means they need to do what they are good at, which is writing software that works and does what it does, but they also need a change in culture.
Until now they have been very staunch and written almost exclusively for the Windows OS market (which is entirely understandable), but they need to move on. MS have, historically, been apt to make their products that do run on competing operating systems so they didn't function very well, but for them to survive they will need to change that thinking.
For MS to behave as though people HAVE to have MS Office, when MS don't have a huge market share in the tablet operating system market, is silly. That boat left long ago. Like it or not, Android and iOS are currently the dominant operating systems in the market place, and it will remain that way for the next few years.
People don't have to have MS office, they only think they have to have it, and the longer MS dilly dally with bringing out a competitively priced office suite the more people will try alternatives to MS Office, and the more they try the alternatives the less likely they are to want to pay big money for MS Office.


RE: Blink!
By retrospooty on 6/14/2013 6:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
"they also need a change in culture...............for them to survive they will need to change that thinking."

Totally agreed. I was just pointing out that that keen observational criticism isnt the same when he is looking at "the precious".


RE: Blink!
By Tony Swash on 6/14/2013 8:01:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Isn't it funny how when MS changes their previous business plan its a bad thing, yet when Apple changes their previous business plan its a good thing?

Funnier still how you seem to think there is anyone at this site that doesnt know you are full of hooey.


Read what I said more carefully. I think Microsoft changing it's business plan is a good thing. I said:

quote:
It's a good move for MS but they need to move faster and further.


Try not to be so much of knee jerk. It's even OK if we agree on the occasional point :)


RE: Blink!
By retrospooty on 6/15/2013 12:13:13 AM , Rating: 2
Nooooooooooo! Say it isn't so! ;)


how come google always left with sloppy seconds...
By xti on 6/14/2013 12:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
seems like apple app store gets everything first. So I have to stick with this knock off office app from google store for how much longer?

i don't want to use alternative apps YET AGAIN...its been that way forever. get in the game google.




By cditty on 6/14/2013 12:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
Well, this has already been written for Android. Perhaps if Google wouldn't boycott putting their apps on WP8, Microsoft would release it. They want to.

In this particular case, it is the mighty Google that has taken the offense of being an ass, by depriving WP8 users first party apps.

Office is just fallout.


iphone only
By domboy on 6/14/2013 12:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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.


In my opinion this is probably fine. I'm somewhat of an app minimalist when it comes to tablets, especially when it comes to apps for web sites or web apps. A phone has a really small screen so having an app that is designed around it makes sense. But for larger screens I usually fail to see why I need an app when a browser works just fine. And if the Office mobile app doesn't provide any more functionality than the web version, ipad users aren't loosing anything.




.
By sprockkets on 6/14/2013 2:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
Already been reported that the Word app is just crap, excel isn't. Gdinero on ars wrote:

"The Excel portion isn't bad for the few simple spreadsheets I have but the Word portion is almost inexcusably bad. You apparently can't zoom in or out, it destroys formatting in places, and for simple text-only documents it's only useful for viewing as it reformats the text to fit on the iPhone screen."

http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1...

In other words it is just as useless as the version that came with WindowsMobile.




Excellent...
By Jim_Liquor on 6/17/13, Rating: 0
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads














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