Microsoft has just unveiled Office for iPad, the new version of its productivity suite that’s now available on Apple tablets as well.
Office for iPad will be published in the App Store at 11:00 AM PDT and will come with the top productivity apps included in the package, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
The new productivity suite comes with a touch-optimized interface which seems to be working really great, no matter if you’re trying to create or edit documents, spreadsheets or presentations.
As you might already know, Office 365 for iOS is already available for those owning an iPhone, but the new Office version is specifically aimed at the iPad, providing options to work with documents on the go.
Julia White, Microsoft’s chief of Office Division Product Management, presented the new Office for iPad during an event focused on cloud services in San Francisco, with the new CEO Satya Nadella also taking the stage to discuss about Redmond’s efforts in this particular market.
White guarantees that everything has been built from the ground up to work on the iPad, and “this is definitely not the Windows app ported to the iPad.” Everything is “very natural on the iPad,” she pointed out.
Office for iPad is available free of charge, but there’s still a catch. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will be offered to iPad users at no cost if they only want to download and view documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, but for editing capabilities, an Office 365 subscription is required.
This means that Office for iPad is available with a freeware license only if you want to use it as a document viewer, but the full productivity suite comes at a cost. The cheapest Office 365 plan is the recently-launched Personal package that is available for $6.99 (€5.05) per month or $69.99 (€50.5) per year and provides support for one PC or Mac and one tablet to be connected at the same time.
Another important feature of Office for iPad is local storage support, which basically allows users to save documents right on their tablets. Just as expected, OneDrive is also available, so you can upload your documents in the cloud and access them from another device, be it a Windows tablet or another iPad.
Everything in Microsoft's demo worked very well and Office for iPad seemed to be a productivity suite that would quickly grow in popularity, even though its full feature package would only be available with a subscription. We're pretty sure that lots of users would give it a try later today when it becomes available, so more on the subject will be available in just a few hours.
Check out the press release after the jump for more information on the new Office for iPad.