Microsoft’s Office suite of productivity apps has long been rumored to be in development for the iPad shortly after the tablet’s debut in 2010. Most notably was The Daily (now defunct) reporting it had knowledge (and screenshots) of Microsoft’s software for Apple’s mobile platform in 2011, something Microsoft was quick to deny was legitimate. Three years and one CEO later, Microsoft is finally ready to play nice with the iPad.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO following Steve Ballmer’s retirement earlier this year, outlined Microsoft’s new cloud and mobile strategy for the company today including full Office for iPad support. Unlike the Office 365 app Microsoft introduced early last year, Microsoft’s new apps today include individual apps for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Microsoft’s Office suite of apps will each be available as a free download, but will require an Office 365 subscription (which offers a 30-day trial) to create and edit documents. Users can still read and present documents with Office for iPad without a subscription. Office documents will rely on Microsoft’s OneDrive service for syncing content.

WordPowerPoint, and Excel are now available on the App Store.

“Microsoft is focused on delivering the cloud for everyone, on every device. It’s a unique approach that centers on people — enabling the devices you love, work with the services you love, and in a way that works for IT and developers,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer for Microsoft.

Microsoft debuted its Office for iPhone software last June for Office 365 subscribers and today updated it to version 1.1 saying it’s now “free for home use.”

Apple made changes to its iWork suite of productivity apps last fall including making the software available for free with purchases of new devices. Microsoft has previously ran a number of ads comparing its mobile hardware against the iPad using the lack of Office on Apple’s platform as a point of contrast.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Microsoft is slated to release an update to its Office software for Mac later in the year. Microsoft also debuted its OneNote app for Mac earlier this month and currently have three apps in the top 20 free Mac App list.


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24 Responses to “Microsoft announces new Office for iPad apps including Word, PowerPoint, & Excel”

  1. we want office for mac 2014 NOW!!!!!


  2. I’m not going to pay for a office 365 subscription. My iWorks apps came for free with my brand new ipad.


  3. Saw the live keynote. Looks like they did a pretty bang up job with it.


  4. I agree… I’m not buying into this. iWork has gotten better and we are in the process of transiting over most of our staff. The only hold out is Excel so far because of how the rest of the industry is reliant on it’s macro’s and a few other things. If we could get Numbers to interact with Excel’s macro’s ‘perfectly’ then it would be a complete transition. Microsoft is late to the party and there is no more beer & nuts for them. Pick up the scraps and keep going.


  5. Does that mean that they will stop using that point in their ads against ipads?


  6. truth42 says:

    Just tried it. Crippled crap. Now way I’m signing up for a Microsoft subscription. Doomed to failure. The company is still run by idiots.


  7. Steve Ballen says:

    The subscription requirement is the deal breaker. I am, however, interested in reports on usability for Excel. Is it fast, smooth, and accurate anywhere near its conventional mouse-and-keyboard counterpart?

    And what about shortcuts? For me, one of the biggest prohibitors to using the iPad’s (and that includes every other tablet’s) productivity apps (be they iWork or 3rd party apps) is that it’s always just a slow and clunky experience.

    If I need to do anything more than a quick edit or a really, really basic document that doesn’t matter much, I’d almost always prefer to wait until I’m at (or can whip out) my MacBook, and the net effect is less time and a better result.

    Do these apps change that?


  8. Isn’t Microsoft subscription thing agains AppStore license? I thought the purchase of additional functionality inside app had to be done through AppStore and could not refer to 3rd parties (Office 365 subscription)?


  9. yeah right.. €10 a month to use office on my iPad?! I’ll stick to Pages and Numbers thank you.


  10. Cool! So everything you can do for free without MS Office, you can do WITH MS Office… nice… why bother? Why would you pay when you can simply download iWork for free and actually open all the MS Docs and create other things… didn’t think this all the way through I don’t think…


  11. The subscription is WAY overpriced. Unless my employer purchases it for me, I am not paying $99/year — I just don’t need the ability to edit MS docs that much. I can already view them without their apps.


  12. I think that it is a good idea that Microsoft are allowing there Office Apps on the App Store, but the fact that you have to pay a subscription fee in order to use it is pointless. I think that I will just stick with iWork, its free and its just as good.


  13. Winski says:


    Microshaft were Klowns yesterday and they will be tomorrow.. This announcement means – ZERO. IF it had happened two and a half years ago, maybe…NOW, NADA….meh……


  14. This is great news. Microsoft is officially back to its core business, software, and honestly these apps offer many more functions than the iWork suite. I have been using both Office and iWork on the Mac for years, and the latest iterations of Keynote, Pages and Numbers are disappointing to me, there is little or no innovation and they have become too simple, even highlighting words in Pages has become a pain, and on the iPad it is virtually impossible! Today Microsoft is proving that high quality software can be ported to the iPad without the oversimplification Apple has inflicted to its best Mac software.


    • pecospeet says:

      I agree with Giacomo. There is a segment of users who need the compatibility with other Office users and the comfort that the features used will work seamlessly. I have found that for my needs, I cannot be confident iWork will deliver what I need, so the availability of Office for iPad is much appreciated.

      I do not know how big the segment of users like us is, but I suspect it is significant enough that Microsoft will do very well out of this offering, even if the majority of iPad users decide they do not need it.


  15. NZ$164.99 every year? You’ve gotta be joking. Microsoft, I’m outta here. I’ve been a Mac user of MS Office since 1988, upgrading as and when new versions arrived. But as a small business enterprise, I’m not renting software. Not from you. Not from Adobe. Not from no-one. You’ve just lost a customer. You’re no longer the only game in town. Thanks for the memories.


  16. I guess if you already have a 360 subscription it is good news, but I have a hard time imagining that there are many users that will get a sub just to use this, considering the decent cheap and even free options out there.


  17. Too little, too late. If they had made this move BEFORE Apple made their productivity suite free, then this would have sold well. Then Apple would have seemed like they were BEGGING people to use their Apps.

    Unfortunately for Microsoft, many people have already found that they are quite content with the iWork suite, making the idea of paying a subscription for Office seem Ludicrous! Now, if MS were to make Office free, that would really shake up the game! But, they aren’t going to give away their software just to stay relevant in the space. They would sooner abandon the product altogether than give it away (because they aren’t making money off of the software like Apple is)!

    Note: I understand that some people need the greater functionality of the MS Office suite, however these people are the minority.


  18. Office for ipad is the best app for document creation and edition. However it’s indecent price make it unaffordable for the average consumer. Nevertheless, if you are lucky like me and work in a company that provides you an ipad with Office you’ll be addicted very quickly. Especially if you use some good productivity apps such as Beesy ( ) , which allow attachments and many other features that really light your workflow, you’ll never be able to stop using both apps I can guaranty it.
    However, I heard about some alternatives for Office that are pretty good and way cheaper. This one for example, for those who are not as lucky as me: