What could be surprising yet logically comprehensible at the same time? Well, Microsoft making its Office productivity suite free for mobile users, of course, what else?
The software titan has just pulled a startling surprise.
In what is a clear shakeup of its mobile Office strategy, the company has stated that users no longer need an Office 365 subscription to edit (or even store) documents in the cloud. Remarkable, as Office is said to be the company’s biggest cash cow.
As John Case, corporate vice president Microsoft Office explains in a blog post:
“With Office on nearly every device, it’s incredibly important to us that customers have a consistent experience and the ability to do more–anywhere and everywhere. So, starting today, people can create and edit Office content on iPhones, iPads, and soon, Android tablets using Office apps without an Office 365 subscription.
Of course Office 365 subscribers will continue to benefit from the full Office experience across devices with advanced editing and collaboration capabilities, unlimited OneDrive storage, Dropbox integration and a number of other benefits.”
Although no Office 365 subscription is required, users that want access to some more advanced editing capabilities will need to pay. For example advanced chart management options, and the ability to track changes and so on.
Plus, this offer is to consumers that want to use Office mobile. It is not actually extended to businesses, where an Office 365 subscription will be required to edit documents.
Or store them on OneDrive for Business, for that matter.
But this surely is a statement of intent from Redmond, and a sign of things to come. The company wants to continue generating revenue from businesses and enterprises that rely on not just its productivity solutions but cloud platform too.
Oh, and along with unveiling the preview version for Android tablets, Microsoft has also updated the Office apps for iPad and iPhone that allow for easier and more streamlined editing.