Microsoft announced the launch of Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Android-backed phones on Wednesday. The latest move follows the previous efforts from the software firm of bringing Office to Android tablets and support for Office to iOS, Windows Phone and OSX.
Microsoft continues cross-platform strategy
Microsoft’s latest app again underscores its cross-platform strategy for its software. Previously, Office was only seen on Windows PCs, but now, the company is working to make sure its productivity suite is available everywhere, even on competitors’ operating systems. The strategy of making Office available cross-platform seems to be working for Microsoft. In April, the company announced that its total downloads for iOS and Android topped the 100 million mark.
In a blog post, Microsoft Office Team Corporate Vice President Kirk Koenigsbauer said, “I’m pleased to announce the general availability of the new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for Android phone.”
The office apps support a variety of tasks, including editing and reviewing of files on the go, using a phone to present PowerPoint presentations, and pulling up documents even stored on competing cloud storage platforms, including Google Drive, Dropbox or Box. This app, which is replacing the older Office Mobile app, requires 1 GB of RAM and Android KitKat (4.4.x) or above. As of now, it does not support Android M.
To come pre-installed later this year
This app will be free for users with a free Microsoft account, but access to extra features requires an Office 365 subscription. Also sometime later this year, the app will come pre-installed on devices from over 30 OEMs including Samsung, LG, Sony and others, according to Microsoft.
For those who can’t wait, the apps (Word for Android, Excel for Android and PowerPoint for Android) are now available for download on Google Play. In China, the apps are available on a number of alternate app stores such as Tencent, Baidu, Xiaomi and CMCC. Users in other regions can download this app from the Samsung Galaxy Store.
Prior to the launch, Microsoft tested the Android Office app on over 1,900 different phone models in 83 countries, which helped the company with the feedback. The feedback not only helped with troubleshooting but also allowed Microsoft to make changes in the user interface and add more features.