Office Mobile Now Available for Android, Bad Reviews Continue
July 31, 2013 4:08 PM
comment(s) - last by
Office 365, subscription is required and there's no support for tablets
Microsoft Corp. (
) has been
pushing hard to drum up support
Office 365 suite
of cloud-connected productivity products. The service
$9.99 USD per month or $99.99 USD per year
. Ultimately that's a pretty good profit opportunity for Microsoft, given that a full-blown Office suite costs
around $100-140 USD
at its cheapest for basic personal computer editions.
Microsoft is justifying the relatively high subscription fees with the perk of universal access -- having your data stored on the cloud and accessible anywhere. While
Windows 8.1 is expected to offer identical functionality
in the standard Office applications via the ability to save to SkyDrive, the other upside to this location-agnostic access is that it essentially acts like an unlimited floating license for home users (where as standard Office
is limited to a small number of PCs, sometimes just one
Until June, the only people who could access Office on the go were Windows Phone users (Windows Phones come preloaded with free lightweight Office mobile clients). In June Microsoft
added "Office Mobile"
to Apple, Inc.'s (
) App Store.
Available on iPads and iPhones, the app has drawn
pretty poor reviews
, earning just 2.5/5 stars from the Apple legion. Criticisms include:
Office 365 subscription is required, although app is free
The lack of a dedicated tablet (iPad) layout
No undo/redo options
No ability to edit/insert images into documents (except in One Note)
No chart editing/insertion functionality
another version of the Office Mobile app for Google, Inc.'s (
) Play Store. The Android version has thus far drawn
, a slightly warmer reception than the app for Apple saw. The criticism for the Android app echoes the Apple one, though:
No tablet support
Won't open many DOCX/PPTX/etc. files
No support for password-protected files
Text formatting options missing from some apps
Some enterprise device buyers have previously cited Office Mobile
as a reason to switch to Windows Phone
. Despite the criticism of the product, losing exclusivity is clearly a bit of a blow for Windows Phone. That said, it does add more value to an Office 365 subscription. In (calendar) Q2 2013 Microsoft saw
$1.5B USD in Office 365 revenue
, indicating around 50-60 million users.
On Android devices the primary competition is the (free)
, while on i-devices there's Apple's $9.99 (each) iWork apps (e.g.
). Other popular mobile documents apps include
Documents to Go
. Ironically, these third-party solutions have many of the features that Office Mobile users are griping about the lack of (e.g. the ability to insert charts in a spreadsheet).
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RE: Facepalm Microsoft...
7/31/2013 10:28:32 PM
i write books and only need MS word compatibility to do that. i do actually write things on my phone (with a bluetooth keyboard), and i write and save them in the free kingsoft office app. it's more than enough for what i need it for, and i don't need something as fancy-sounding as cloud access to email myself a copy of what i wrote, or to transfer it onto my desktop via a simple USB cable when i get home.
sure, there are corporations who need their roadwarriors to have access to the "real" MS office, with all its features; but i would think that especially on android this represents a minority of people. those who really depend on office to get the job done already have a laptop or ultrabook 9and i hear 5 or 6 people actually bought a surface tablet, good for them!).
for everyone else, free solutions like kingsoft office are going to be good enough. and by the way, 10 bucks a month for a program that costs 100 bucks is a lot. over several years of use you're paying much more than what you would have paid for a desktop version... here's an idea, MS: why don't you simply package the desktop version with a free mobile client app?
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