Microsoft Office once again reportedly coming to iOS, seriously

Microsoft Office really coming to iOS, seriously

After countless rumors, Microsoft Office is once again said to be on its way to the iPhone and iPad (and Android). Office for iOS will reportedly consist of separate apps for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, and will require a Microsoft account to use. The basic Office apps will allow users to view their documents, but an Office 365 subscription will be required for editing. But it's not all good news according to Tom Warren of The Verge:

Microsoft will allow iOS users to purchase an Office 365 subscription within the app, or let organizations distribute codes to enable Office Mobile editing for users. The apps will allow for basic editing, but we're told this won't go very far in attempting to replace regular full use of a desktop Office version.

Despite the lack of advanced functionality, the arrival of Office on iOS will be welcomed by many. Developers have tried to fill this particular gap since the App Store first opened, but there are many customers that have held out for the true Microsoft Office experience.

Whether Office for iOS proves to be enough for users, or they look to other apps, we will have to wait and see. Microsoft Office for iOS is said to be arriving in March 2013.

Source: The Verge

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Reader comments

Microsoft Office once again reportedly coming to iOS, seriously

14 Comments

if an office 365 subscription is required to edit documents, why would you buy an app? just view the documents through the remote office 365 interface.

The apps are free. The subscription doesn't unlock just mobile editing. It also unlocks the full desktop apps as well as loading the programs on computers you don't own. Think of Office 365 as Amazon Prime (especially now with the matching prices $8/month) for everything Office. Microsoft trying to through as much as possible under this subscription and that's good for consumers.

This capability exists today via Office Web Apps, via 365 or in an on-premise installation (typically linked to SharePoint 2010) if you are online; the native app may provide a way to address non-connected use. No Outlook this way either, however.

Wow...so, you get to use the FULL version on a PC after a ONE TIME purchase but have to have a subscription to use a broken down pieced together version on your mobile device? Sounds like garbage to me. I am really starting to be amazed at the things companies are trying to over one consumers for minute things that should be free. Thanks but not thanks Microsoft, guess I'll be sticking to Pages for my word docs.

Not until march, and only one feature at a time, not a package, and paid limited editing. Guess it will work for some, but most have been using pages, readdle, docs to go, or another app, and they all work well. Ms office will have to offer more for me to bite.

I recently downloaded the Pages app, Apple's version of MS Word. I love it, it's so simple to use. I can send, receive, open, create, and edit documents as Pages, Word or PDF format. Pages can store documents within the app, on-device. And it automatically backs up to iCloud. So What is the big deal about MS Office when Pages is already available? And as others have pointed out, Office can already be accessed via online access with an MS account. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't see the big deal here, especially if it's going to be watered down as described in the article.

I have Pages on my phone and tablet and really like it. iCloud syncing is very slick too. As long as there aren't many tables etc, it works OK for Word docs too.

The reason I will get set up with MS Office is that some documents created in Word do get messed up if you try to edit them in Pages. I recently got a Word doc from my lawyer that had a series of fairly complex tables. I needed to add financials to these tables and email it back. It ended up being a total mess. I emailed it anyway, but the lawyer's assistant commented on how much work it was to fix it up manually. I doubt her time was free for me.

Ouch! That would be $pendy! I guess I've been fortunate that I haven't had to deal with creating and editing charts and tables. But I can see where that could be a problem. Have you tried the online option for Office yet? If so, how did it work for you?

Microsoft is pushing their cloud solution (Office 365) over on-device apps. Platform agnostic it is. We'll see how many folks and businesses buy into this subscription based scheme.

As a consumer, I hate subscription based software. I don't mind the periodic upgrade fee for new versions, but a subscription? That's just evil. And I was so looking forward to a real MS Office app for my iPad. Guess I'll have to stay with my current solution(s): Documents To Go and QuickOffice (depending on what I need).