Office comes to Android but Microsoft leaves tablets out in the cold

by Doug Drinkwater

July 31 2013

The new Office Mobile for Android app is available from Google Play
The new Office Mobile for Android app is available from Google Play

Microsoft has today released the Office Mobile app for Android, which is available for current Office 365 subscribers.

The Android app can now be downloaded for free from Google Play, providing the Android smartphone is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later.

As with the recently launched Office for iPhone app, users must be subscribers to the cloud-based Office 365 in order to create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, and then save these to SkyDrive.

Non-subscribers are able to open the app but it will find that it is almost useless. Unfortunately, there is no option to upgrade to Office 365 when in the app.

The bad news is that the Office app is only available on certain devices and in some regions. The application doesn’t currently support Android tablets and can only be downloaded by people living in the U.S. Microsoft expects to add more countries in the coming weeks.

Office 365 costs $100 a year and allows users to install Office apps on up to five devices, including PCs, Macs and smartphones. The cloud service is expected to come to Apple iPads and Android tablets at a later date.

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  • John Swain
    1 year 2 months ago

    As ridiculously expensive as it seems, it is probably cheaper in the long run to lease the software. This is exactly how this $100 per year fee should be regarded. It has several positive and negative effects on the consumer as well as Microsoft. First of all, 5 different devices is $20 each. so small business and families with several devices will benefit. The problem is people have an adverse mindset to fees but a positive response to ownership. Individual users will find this fee exorbitant and gravitate to other free apps. Not surprisingly, this opportunity to fill this demand will occur within the 3 to 5 years Microsoft is extracting revenue from fewer and fewer disgruntled customers. One of two things will occur, Microsoft will step up its product to entice its user base to stay on, (very unlikely) or Google Docs will evolve into a product capable of knocking Microsoft Office into Kodak heaven.

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