If you buy the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, you'll get to use Microsoft Office for free

Here's a little tidbit you likely weren't aware of. Did you know you could take advantage of Microsoft Office apps on the smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro for free? Thaks to the way Microsoft structures its Office suite offering, those with the new iPad Pro won't have to pay for the Office 365 subscription. The Office apps on iOS will be freely available fo download.

The reason behind Microsoft's decision to offer a free suite of apps for what the company considers mobile devices is due to the fact these lightweight apps are developed for on-the-mobile productivity. While the full version of Office apps available for Windows and Mac will always be utilized for powerful content creation, mobile apps are seen as tools for light editing. How does Microsoft distinguish between the two? Screen size. As reported by MacWorld:

"What Microsoft settled on to divide mobile and desktop users was screen size: specifically 10.1 inches. Anything smaller than that and users can pretty much do anything they want with the appropriate iOS, Windows, or Android app, including creating, editing, or sharing documents. But if you're using the Office apps on a device whose primary screen is larger than 10.1 inches, Microsoft won't let you create a new document, just edit and view an Office document created elsewhere."

It's an interesting bonus of Microsoft's own Office strategy, which will enable those of the new iPad Pro to get the Office suite of apps for free, while those who opt for the larger variant will need to fork out for a subscription. When making the comparison against Surface tablets, this addition of Office makes the 9.7-inch iPad Pro appear more competitive even with the inability to run a full blown version of Windows.

Rich Edmonds