After about four years, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) finally launched its Office productivity suite for iPad at a media event in San Francisco. Users can download Word, Excel and PowerPoint from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s App Store. Viewing, reading and presentation of documents won’t cost you a dime. But you’ll have to shell out $99.99 a year for the Office 365 subscription if you want to edit those documents on your iPad.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) emphasized that Office for iPad is designed to look and feel familiar to those using it on Mac or PC. You can use iPad features such as AirPlay to project a presentation on a TV screen wirelessly. However, here are some important things you should know.
Apple will take its usual 30% cut from Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has agreed to pay Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) a 30% on Office 365 subscription. The iPhone maker usually takes a 30% cut for every paid app sold through its App Store. Previously, there were reports that Microsoft was reluctant to launch the Office apps on iPad because of Apple’s hefty fee. Users can still bypass Apple by purchasing the Office 365 subscription on the web. That way, the Cupertino-based company won’t get its 30% App Store cut.
The key issue here is not that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has given in to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s avoidable stipulation, but instead that Satya Nadella is willing to expand the Office suite to other platforms to reach more users. In related news, Tim Cook welcomed the Office for iPad app through a tweet.
For Microsoft, it’s more about business users
There have been many reports that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is providing too little, too late with Office for iPad. But statistics show that business users are tied to Microsoft’s platform. More than 90% of PCs in office settings run on Windows. Its Office suite is used in more than 95% of office applications in the workplace. And iOS makes up more than 70% of activated mobile devices in businesses. Now mix Office with iOS and you’ll get a killer combo.
That’s the reason Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has made full functionality of Office available to those with Office 365 subscriptions. While a few of its plans are aimed at home/student users, the other plans are for businesses of all sizes.
Get Office 365 for iPad without paying a penny to Microsoft
The Office for iPad is free to download. But you’ll have limited access to features such as editing, for which you have to pay $99.99 a year. But Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has decided to offer one-year of free subscription to Office 365 to the first 50 people who bring their iPad to a Microsoft store. According to ZDNet, the offer runs from March 28 to March 30.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares jumped 2.87% to $40.49 at 12:53 PM EDT.