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Microsoft finally took the wraps off of its long-awaited Office for iPad suite this morning, only to reveal that most of its functions require a $99 subscription to the Office 365 service. Even though you can get a discounted subscription through Amazon, $70 may seem pretty steep. Rest assured, Microsoft is planning to offer free one-year subscriptions to the service tomorrow.

All you have to do to get your free subscription is show up at one of Microsoft’s retail stores with your iPad in hand. The first 50 people to do so will get the sub completely free of charge. Microsoft announced the promotion in a tweet earlier today:

This sure seems like a fairly effective way to get people into the store, even if they are carrying a competitor’s tablet and walking out without actually buying anything.

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20 Responses to “Microsoft to hand out free Office 365 subscriptions to iPad owners in retail stores tomorrow”

  1. Mor Getz says:

    Microsoft finally took the wraps off of its long-awaited Office for iPad suite this morning, only to reveal that most of its functions require a $99 subscription to the Office 365 service.

  2. greyitout says:

    After the long wait, the reality was a disappointment. Couldn’t live up to the hype. I downloaded Office, hoping to be thrilled. Removed it after I realized, it’s useless without the $99 per year fee. Viewing only? And works only with OneDrive? What the H…?

    Pages and Keynote remain my “office”.

  3. chudman85 says:

    This is awesome considering here in New Zealand we have no Microsoft stores or nothing and the discount through the app dosnt apply here

    • Totally agree with you this – Microsoft’s approach here is quite jingoistic and US-centric. They’ve scored a large fail here – just think of the free publicity they could have created by offering a finite number of free versions globally than in just one country.

    • scumbolt2014 says:

      At least MS will have an excuse for no one taking advantage of the offer in New Zealand then, unlike anywhere else.

  4. I looked forward to using Excel formulas. Numbers seems limited compared in that regard. But I’m not going to pay $100 for a yearly subscription. I don’t use it enough as a home user to justify paying that much money. Numbers is a great program and works for my purposes.

  5. This is for sure a big Non sense from MS, they could have asked for $20 for single app but subscription thing really shows how much MS care about its customers, I’m very very disappointed, it helps me just viewing my excel sheet which is good for me as in productions i write so many things in comments and i always missed its that not even a single office suit offer to show comments, but now i can see them and tell back office what was purchase order number thats the only use for me at this moment, besides that i can use open in option from my dropbox app which exports my file to office and i can view that file there. so much limitation and so much greed i can see from MS

  6. Pooja Bhatt says:

    Microsoft is really working hard to promote their products, Hope this will work. Office is a great tool for all of us and we love it. http://www.sarkarinaukrione.in

  7. I had forgotten that Microsoft had retail stores.

  8. Yep, it seems as if MS run like 3 years behind everyone. A good move but quite simply too late.

  9. All Apple needs to do is release iWork for Windows… :/

    That CAN get MS pretty worried…

  10. Scott Simon says:

    I went up to my local MS store here in Oklahoma City and got my free years subscription :) There were about 20 people waiting when they opened. It was actually quite weird seeing a bunch of Apple people sitting outside of an MS store, then listening to the MS people walk people through downloading the app on the app store, opening Safari to activate the product key. Odd, but hey – free is free!

    • kpom1 says:

      I got mine in downtown Chicago this morning. I got there at 9:45 and was about 8th in line. At 10:00, when it opened, there were maybe 30 in line. We were joking that if it were an Apple event people would be lined up around the block. I was out of the store by 10:05. They just handed out cards, and asked us to give us our phone numbers (to sign us up for text alerts that I immediately cancelled) and let us take our pictures with a Windows Phone. Besides the associate pointing out that Surface 2 and 8″ WinRT tablets come with Office Home for free, there was really no sales pitch of any kind.

  11. vkd108 says:

    Stick with iWork apps, folks, they do everything you need — and they’re free.

  12. crazylarsky says:

    Got mine this morning. Didn’t have to fight at all for a spot.

  13. MS should have just released W.E.P. full function “free” to all users until year end. If they are that good on the iPad then those that like them will sign up for the subscription service after the trial period expires. MS failed to successfully market these apps for iPad that were at one time must have applications. Their on their way to becoming the next “Blackberry”‘… out of touch with its customers.

    Their non-discounted subscription price of $99 is way over priced. You would have thought in already being behind everyone else on the iPad platform they would have been more aggressive in Marketing it by making it initially free to users. It’s existing user community already using it on Macs or PC’s would likely have been the ones recommending it (if it worked well) to others. A significantly lowered annual subscription price might possibly have then made all the difference in users signing onto the service.

    Once I downloaded the MS Word app and saw it required a subscription I dumped the App immediately. I have full functionality to Microsoft Office on my Mac by way of “Splashtop” remote access app on my iPad and it serves it’s purpose at no additional cost to me.

    This uninspired release was a disappointment to most who commented here and likely to many who did not.

    It is just another in a long line of recent MS marketing fails! I thought Steve Balmer had retired as MS CEO, this feels exactly like something he would have signed off on.