Microsoft is hoping to bait Android and iOS customers with a smartphone version of its Office suite.It looks like Microsoft’s Office is well on its way to iPhones, iPads and a slew of Android devices. Screenshots of an Office application have been ascertained by The Verge and, according to ‘several sources’, the application will be released early 2013.
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Office Mobile will be available as a free application, helping it transition to mobile platforms and retain its status as the go to document suite. Much like the current SkyDrive and OneNote apps, a Microsoft Office account is a requisite to view supported Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents.
Those who are interested in creating Office content will have to sign up for a Microsoft 365 subscription. It’s a clever way of Microsoft gently nudging users to their cloud service, taking a monthly fee in return to share your documents across multiple devices with little effort on the user’s part.
Although Windows is dynamically rolling with the mobile shift, Office Mobile is a little more reserved. Reports indicate the basic model will facilitate basic editing alone to prevent it from replacing the desktop version.
Currently Office is a big selling point for Microsoft’s Windows Phone (WP). Unfortunately for them, the IDC estimates WP accounts for a lonely 2% of the smartphone market; a market that is being hailed as the future of computing. Not introducing Office to the smartphone masses could’ve given an aspiring rival, such as Polaris Office, dangerous market share.
In spite of this, and other corroborating leaks (including an accidentally leaked Microsoft Press Release), Microsoft still insists Office is for iOS and Android is a rumour.