When Apple unveiled the iPad Pro earlier this month, the company invited Corporate VP of Microsoft Office Division Kirk Koenigsbauer to showcase how well the Office apps work on the iPad Pro. With its optional stylus and keyboard cover, the 12.9-inch iPad aims to replace laptops. But iPad Pro users who want to edit documents in Microsoft’s Office apps will have to pay for the Office 365 subscription.
iPad Pro is not a ‘true mobile device’
The Redmond-based software giant allows iPhone and current iPad users to view and edit Office documents for free of charge. But Microsoft told Ars Technica that the iPad Pro users will have to subscribe to Office 365 to enjoy the same privileges. Without a subscription it will serve as nothing more than a document viewer.
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That’s because, with its 12.9-inch display, the iPad Pro is not a “true mobile device.” Microsoft says devices with the screen size of 10.1-inch or less are “true mobile devices,” so they can enjoy free access to Office apps. Any device bigger than 10.1-inches would require an Office 365 subscription. The iPad Pro is considered a hybrid device, filling the gap between tablets and laptops.
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This may be yet another burden on current iPad users looking to upgrade to the pricey iPad Pro when it arrives in November, if they want to make use of editing functions. The cheapest iPad Pro model with 32GB storage costs $799. And if you want an Apple Pencil, you have to shell out another $99. Microsoft’s most affordable Office 365 subscription costs $70 for single user license. The subscription comes with 60 minutes of Skype calling and 1TB of OneDrive storage.
The iPad Pro with its multi-tasking capabilities goes against Microsoft’s Surface Pro line. Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad is slimmer and lighter than the Surface Pro 3. But the Redmond-based company is expected to launch a new Surface Pro 4 later this year.