Microsoft has made good on its promise to bring its Office suite of products onto the iPad by taking a full version of its Office 365 productivity suite onto the iPad for the first time.
New CEO Satya Nadella, giving his first big launch event since taking the position, detailed a new “touch-first” version of Office that can be downloaded for free with a subscription for those that want to create or edit documents.
The suite encompasses three separate productivity apps in Word, Excel and Powerpoint, with each one being optimised for the tablet’s touch-based controls to make it much easier than the current web-based version of each.
Nadella’s move is at the centre of a strategy that empowers users “to be productive across all devices” using Microsoft’s brand of software
"We are taking great focus and great care to make sure Office on any device shines through," he said, suggesting that it will be available on other mobile devices in the future.
Analysts think that Microsoft could rake in between $840 million [£505 million] and $6.7 billion [£4 billion] a year in revenue from the native version of Office for the iPad, and that comes from the fact that Office is still the company’s best asset and worth $16.2 billion [£9.75 billion], or 60 per cent, of the firm’s operating profit.
Even though Microsoft has finally released Office for iPad, many have speculated that it has been too slow to do so and will suffer as a result. This has given way to other observers that are positive that businesses and consumers will be more than happy to pay the subscription fee, as it will make lives a lot easier.
"Often when you move from one program to another the DNA of a document gets twisted and distorted, with formatting errors and other problems,” Richard Edwards, analysts at Ovum research, told the BBC. "For the reduction in stress people and businesses will be more than willing to pay for the subscription cost."
Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium, which consumers will need to use the app, costs $100 [£60] a year whereas businesses get a reduction of almost 40 per cent depending on the level of features chosen.