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Microsoft Launches Office For iPad

by Graham Needham (BH) on 28th March 2014

On the 27th March 2014 Microsoft finally announced Office for iPad (iOS).

Depending on who you are this may sound like brilliant news but frankly Microsoft are late to the game and there is one big gotcha. Apple has had their own iWork software available on iOS for some time now (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) and the latest versions are compatible with their OS X counterparts plus they can handle basic Microsoft format documents (incidentally the iWork apps now come free with all new Apple hardware purchases). The big gotcha is that although the Microsoft iOS apps are free, they can only view/present documents. To be able to create and edit documents you need to pay for an Office 365 subscription!

If you have already bought and paid for Office 2011 (but not as Office 365) then you have no way to purchase and use the Office for iPad apps without paying all over again for the Office 365 subscription. Maybe at some point Microsoft will offer a new version of Office for OS X but until then, if you already have Office 2011, the Office 365 is not a great value proposition unless you really need Office for iPad and/or the online services that are included with Office 365 (OneDrive storage, Skype minutes, etc). Office 365 is offered as a 30-day trial from Microsoft's website but note that you must provide a payment method. The trial can be cancelled within the first month without being charged. Most Office 365 subscription plans include all the Office 2011 desktop applications for OS X including Outlook, Office for iPad iOS apps including OneNote, plus OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive) online storage space and Skype minutes. The subscription licensing is similar to Adobe's Creative Suite in the Cloud. You pay monthly/yearly, you download the software, it works while you pay, it stops working when you stop paying. If a new version comes out while you are subscribing you get the new version.

Current Microsoft Office Options

NOTE: You can buy Office 2016 as perpetual licensed / boxed editions but you won't get proper access to the Office apps for mobile devices including iOS (iPad/iPhone). Boxed editions are "medialess" and do not contain installation media/discs. You get a unique code in the box that allows you to download the software installer via the internet but it is not a subscription.

Office 2016 Options

  • Office 2016 Home & Student available as a single user license but does not include Outlook (RRP £119.99 inc VAT)
  • Office 2016 Home & Business available as a single user license and includes Outlook (RRP £229.99 inc VAT)
  • Office 2016 Volume Licensing minimum 5 licence purchase, includes Skype Business for Mac + has single serial number and does not require activation

Office 365 Subscription Options

  • Office 365 Personal [1 user, non-commercial use, 1 PC/Mac, 1 tablet, 1 phone] (~£59.99 inc VAT per year)
  • Office 365 Home [5 users, non-commercial use, 5 PCs/Macs, 5 tablets, 5 phones] (~£79.99 inc VAT per year)
    {previously called "Home Premium"}
  • Office 365 University [1 user, 2 computers + 2 mobile devices] (~£59.99 inc VAT for four years)
  • Office 365 Business Essentials [up to 300 users, online services only] (from £3.10 ex VAT per month per user)
  • Office 365 Business [up to 300 users] (from £7.00 ex VAT per month per user)
  • Office 365 Business Premium [up to 300 users + corporate networking inc. email, Skype/OneDrive for Business, SharePoint and Yammer] (from £7.80 ex VAT per month per user)
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1 [unlimited users, online services only] (from £5.00 ex VAT per month per user)
  • Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus [unlimited users] (from £10.10 ex VAT per month per user)
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3 [unlimited users + corporate networking inc. email, Skype/OneDrive for Business, SharePoint and Yammer] (from £14.70 ex VAT per month per user)
Office 365 for non-commercial users
Office 365 Education for Students (account provided by the educational institution)
Office 365 University
Compare all Office 365 Business plans

Purchasing Links

Download Links

Office for iOS/iPad

Office for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch requires iOS 7.1 or later
NOTE: One month's access to all three apps via Office 365 is now available as an in-app purchase. Home (1 user/1 device) costs £5.99. Personal (5 users/5 devices) costs £7.99.
NOTE: Microsoft allows iOS devices that have screens smaller than 10.1 inches to edit documents for free so the iPad Pro requires an Office 365 subscription to be able to edit documents (this is not just an iOS restriction - it applies to Android and Windows devices too).

Additional Office 365 Apps

Other Microsoft apps available for iOS/iPad/Apple Watch

Apple iWork for iOS

All three iWork for iOS apps are free with all new iPad, iPhone and iPod touch purchases. The latest iWork apps require iOS 7 or later.

Apple iWork for OS X

All three iWork for OS X applications are free with all new Macintosh computer purchases. The latest iWork applications require OS X 10.9 or later.

Blog Post Author = Graham Needham (BH)
Blog Post Created On = 28th March 2014
Blog Post Last Revised = 31st August 2017 17:32
Blog Post URL =

This blog post is representative of the blog author's individual opinions and as such any opinions that may be expressed here may not necessarily reflect the views of everyone at MacStrategy or the holding company Burning Helix Limited.

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