Microsoft under Satya Nadella truly is a new company. Microsoft on Thursday announced that you’ll now be able to use its Microsoft Office mobile apps on your iPhone or iPad even if you don’t have a subscription to Office 365 — in other words, Office for iOS just became a free mobile app. And don’t think that Microsoft has left Android users out in the cold either, as the company says that Office for Android tablets will be free to use without an Office 365 subscription in the near future as well.
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“With Office on nearly every device, it’s incredibly important to us that customers have a consistent experience and the ability to do more–anywhere and everywhere,” Microsoft explains. “So, starting today, people can create and edit Office content on iPhones, iPads, and soon, Android tablets using Office apps without an Office 365 subscription. Of course Office 365 subscribers will continue to benefit from the full Office experience across devices with advanced editing and collaboration capabilities, unlimited OneDrive storage, Dropbox integration and a number of other benefits.”
This is interesting because it looks as though Microsoft is embracing the “freemium” software model that’s taken over much of the mobile app world where you deliver an app that offers basic utilities for free and offers premium features for extra cash. It also shows again that Microsoft is being much less protective about its prized software and is trying to get as many people to use it as possible.