Friday, 28 March 2014 07:12

Microsoft releases Office on iOS and Android Featured

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Nadella makes the announcement Nadella makes the announcement

Microsoft has finally announced Office for iPad, allowing users to run MS Office apps like Word and Excel on Apple iPhones and iPads. And Android too – though that seems and afterthought.

It was part of a larger announcement covering a range of new cloud-based services. Microsoft also announced the Enterprise Mobility Suite, which it describes as a “comprehensive set of cloud services to help businesses manage corporate data and services on the devices people use at work and at hom,” and upgrades to its Azure cloud platform and enhancements to Windows Intune.

The iPhone and Android apps are free, but you need to be an Office 365 subscriber to use them. Users download the app, then add an iOS or Android machine to their chosen Office 365 devices. They can then create and edit Office documents.

“Office for iPad brings full file fidelity across Office on PC, Mac, tablet and phone, and along with cloud storage from OneDrive or OneDrive for Business your files are up to date, wherever you need them on whatever device you want to use,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO.

”Office for iPad apps have a familiar look and feel that are unmistakably Office but are built from the ground up for iPad, factoring in the unique nature of touch and functionality native to iPad along with what people most commonly want to do on a tablet.” More detail on the announcements can be found at Microsoft’s Office blog.

Nadella said Office 365 is Microsoft’s fastest-growing commercial product ever, “with increasing popularity of the subscription service among consumers because of the ability to move between devices, share subscription benefits with household members with an Office 365 Home subscription, and have constant access to important Office documents online.”

In addition to Office for iPad, Microsoft also announced other iPad-optimised productivity applications including OneNote, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX, Bing, Lync, Outlook Web Access, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Yammer and Skype.

“Customers continue to use more devices and services, and IT needs an integrated and economical way to manage it all,” said Nadella. “The new Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) provides comprehensive device, identity and access management with data protection from the cloud. EMS includes Windows Intune, Azure Active Directory Premium and Azure Rights Management Services.”

The new Azure Active Directory Premium delivers cloud-based identity and access management with single sign-on to software as a service (SaaS) applications, self-service tools for users, and machine-learning-driven security reporting and anomaly detection. Microsoft also announced additional enhancements to Windows Intune, including support for the Samsung KNOX platform, Remote to My PC capability for Android and iOS devices, and support for the next update to Windows Phone.

Microsoft Office for iPad is available immediately in 29 languages.


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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