Back in March, Microsoft took things to another level and finally rolled out its popular Office suite of apps for the iPad. But the tech giant will not be stopping here.Redmond is also targeting the lofty Android ecosystem and has already rolled out the smartphone-friendly version of Office back in July last year.
Now the company has kickstarted a beta testing program for future versions of Office apps and the one bound for Android tablets might be added at some point.
Users who will join the private-beta tests (the offer applies for both business and home users alike) will be allowed to test the upcoming versions Word, Excel and PowerPoint free of charge.
Gradually, the beta program will come to include all future versions of Office, including one dedicated for Windows 8, Android and desktop.
The Android tablet version of the apps will certainly be optimized for touch and might even make it out before a touch-centric version arrives on Windows tablets.
Even as the Google Play Store offers tons of Office-replacement wannabe apps, users will most likely still be inclined to get the Microsoft suite.
Like the iPad version, the Android tab should be made available for download free of charge, but those looking to unlock more advanced features will have to pay extra to do so.
So if you’re interested of being a beta tester for Microsoft in their developing Office for Android story, you can register by taking part in this survey.
Android tablets hold the larger market share, so Microsoft will be hitting big. According to figures coming from Gartner, the green robotic platform has hold of almost 62% of the worldwide tablet market, while Apple has control of 36%.
Throughout 2013, Android tablet shipments grew with an impressive 127% which amounted to a total of 121 million tablets shipped worldwide.
But the question remains, are Android tablet users prone to using their slates for productive activities? The existence of professional products such as the Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, which also comes with a stylus, seems to suggest the answer is a positive one.
However, the majority of Android tab owners use the devices for gaming, streaming of content and browsing the web, so will they be interested in getting Office? It could go either way. We guess we’ll have to wait and see how the apps are received by the Android tablet crowd.
Office for iPad proved to be super successful and was downloaded 27 million times in just 46 days. And Microsoft is showing users how much it cares by readily unleashing updates, like the one that arrived in April and bought a new printing feature.
[Update]: Microsoft is currently updating the website, so the registration process has been halted for the time being.