Microsoft Hedges Its Bets With Free Office For iPhone And Android

Alongside its new Office for iPad, Microsoft has made another piece of its vast software portfolio available to a wider audience. The Redmond software behemoth's Office Mobile for iPhone and Android is now available in each respective app store, and it's all free.

Office Mobile, as it's called, is free for home users on both the Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iPhone, although you'll have to sign up and sign in with a Microsoft account to access the features of the app. It's not entirely clear how this will be enforced, but it looks like businesses will still need to buy a subscription to Office 365, with various subscription tiers able to use the service.

Office Mobile will let users create, edit and save Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents, emulating the functionality of Apple's Keynote, Numbers and Pages on the iPhone. The interface has been optimised for smartphones' smaller screens, and a few useful Web-connected features — you can edit the attachments of your emails, for example — should make Office an attractive choice to anyone with a Microsoft account and a non-Windows Phone device.

So just in case Windows Phone fails, everyone turns away from Windows 8.1, and the Xbox One does a spectacular turnaround to become a complete flop, Microsoft will still have its software in the pockets of millions of smartphone users. [Microsoft]

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