Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:05

Microsoft Office – free on all devices under 10.1”

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Microsoft’s Office 365 chief Kirk Keonigsbauer has confirmed that editing and viewing of Office documents will be free on all small screen (mobile) devices regardless of operating system.

“Currently, we are using screen size to delineate between professional and personal use,” Koenigsbauer said. “Based on our research, we are classifying anything with a screen size of 10.1 inches or less as a true mobile device: You’re probably using it on the go, when it’s not practical to use a larger computing device such as a PC or a Mac. You probably are not using a mouse or a keyboard, instead navigating via touch interface. It’s probably not a “pro” category tablet that is used for design or presentations.”

“On these mobile devices, the core editing and viewing experience will be free,” Koenigsbauer said. “Until you get to those premium, subscription features, like integration from one app to another, security, and reliability—all part of the Office 365 suite, and not the individual apps.”

Which simply means Office will be everywhere and payment is required for professional users.

I have used the Office 365 apps and frankly they are very good – certainly not as fully featured as full Office 365 (2013) but more than capable of opening and editing a Word, Excel or PowerPoint document. The professional version of Office includes things like 1TB of OneDrive, free worldwide Skype calls and more robust editing and review tools.

Koenigsbauer said that Microsoft will continue to push its free individual apps, such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Skype, and others, to third-party hardware makers, as Microsoft did Monday. The company partnered with Samsung, Dell, and others to bring Office and Office 365 to Android tablets.

"Office for iOS has been downloaded more than 80 million times already. Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal grew to more than 9.2 million subscribers in the last quarter, up 30 percent,", Koenigsbauer said. And as Microsoft continues to push its apps across the whole of the computing ecosystem, that number will continue to grow.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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