I feel like I barely know the Microsoft of today. A few years ago, Microsoft was playing catch up with everything. Plus, you would have never seen their core Office products on iOS. Fast forward to today, and not only is Office already on iPhone – now they are making it free.
Microsoft is ditching Office Mobile for iPhone in favor of standalone Word, Excel and Powerpoint apps. Today’s iPhone release will move past the pathetic Office Mobile for iPhone and bring the Office apps towards the great iPad versions.
Microsoft will keep a few premium features. For example, advanced text editing and accepting or rejecting tracked changes in Word will remain behind a $99/year Office 365 subscription.
Microsoft’s move to free Office apps is a bet to get more people using Word, Excel and Powerpoint again without impacting its success on PC and Mac versions of the product. Microsoft says they have over 7 million consumers subscribing to Office 365. Their hope is to convert some of these new mobile users into paying users on the desktop side.
There is some risk for Microsoft by offering these apps for free. The differences between desktops/laptops continues to shrink. But, it also shows that changes had to be made on the mobile side to bring in new users. And, for once, Microsoft isn’t afraid to make them.
Search Word, Excel and Powerpoint on the iPhone App store to pick up your favorite Microsoft app today.