It’s taken a while but the moment has finally arrived for iPad users who are also fans of Microsoft’s world-class productivity software. Microsoft on Thursday announced that it is bringing a touch-centric versions of key Office suite apps — including Word, Excel and PowerPoint — to the iPad for the first time, roughly nine months after Microsoft unveiled Office for the iPhone. Microsoft says that bringing Office to Apple’s tablet is a way to “empower people to be productive” and to “do more across all devices.”
Office will officially go live on Apple’s App Store at 2 p.m. ET, 11 a.m. PT. Microsoft says that the Office for iPad apps will have a “freemium” model — any iPad users can download them for free and use them to view and present their Office data but they’ll have to subscribe to Microsoft Office 365 if they want to edit documents on the iPad Office apps.
Bringing Office to the iPad is the first major product announcement made by Microsoft ever since it appointed Satya Nadella to become its next CEO and it’s an important move that will help keep Office as the world’s No. 1 productivity software suite as more business users adopt the iPad and Android-based tablets.