Office on the iPad Pro won't be free

Microsoft's Office suite for the iPad Pro won't be free of charge.

The apps for any smaller device will remain free, but if you want to use the new office tools on a larger device such as the iPad Pro, you'll need an active Office 365 subscription.

That will set you back $6.99 (£4.60) a month, or $69.99 (£46) a year.

Microsoft argues that anything smaller than a 10.1-inch device is essentially a mobile gadget, and thus qualifies for free access to the core editing capabilities. Anything above that, and the gadget is no longer a “true mobile device” – it is something else entirely, and it will need an Office 365 subscription as a result.

According to a report by The Verge, the same restriction applies to Microsoft's Windows 10 Office Mobile apps and versions for Android. Even though Microsoft confirmed the licencing situation, it said that the user experience has not been finalized or publicly revealed, and that it is too early to say precisely what will happen, if anything, when users try to run the software on the iPad Pro.

During a recently held Apple event, the company unveiled the iPad Pro, the largest tablet to come out of Apple’s factories. The device has a 12.9-inch display, and will be available for purchase in November this year.

The iPad Pro offers 78 percent more screen real estate than the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2, Apple's previous flagship tablet, which it also takes design cues from.

It also comes with a stylus, which is a separate entity called the Apple Pencil.