Microsoft Office for iPad apps are free, but it'll cost upto $120 a year to use it all

The big Microsoft Office for iPad news is that it's here – today – and that it's completely free to download. But to use the full featureset you'll be required to have an Office 365 subscription which at present costs upto $120 a year, $80 if you're a student or $69.99 on the personal tier.

For free, you'll be able to use Word, Excel and Powerpoint on your iPad to view documents and for delivering presentations. The Office 365 subscription unlocks everything else, giving you access to the full power and featureset of the applications.

Of course, Office 365 doesn't just give you full access to Office for iPad. The Home Premium version for example gives you desktop copies of Office for Mac or Windows for up to 5 different computers, access to the Office web apps, 20GB of SkyDrive and some inclusive Skype calling. Office for iPad is another of the value added propositions to the package.

Microsoft talked a lot about Office 365 and exposing it to developers, as well as each and every different platform. It's hard to look past the need for a subscription, but it looks as though this model plays an important role in Microsoft's future.

More: Office 365 pricing

Richard Devine

Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy. Follow him on Twitter and Google+