Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, said on Thursday that it would give away a comprehensive mobile edition of Office applications for free.
According to the NewYork Times report the free software for iPads, iPhones and Android tablets will do most of the most essential things people normally do with the computer versions of the product.
The suite of applications that includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint, first released in 1990, generated nearly a third of Microsoft’s revenue during its last fiscal year — about $26 billion of $87 billion in total.
Microsoft started to suggest a more open posture earlier this year, when it released an iPad version of Office that could be used to read documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
If users wanted to edit or print those documents, though, they needed to pay a subscription fee to Microsoft. Now Microsoft is doing away with those hindrances. It is starting to test similarly full-featured and free Office apps for tablets running Android, Google’s mobile operating system. And it is updating Office apps for iPhone to allow editing, at a time when Apple’s new big-screen smartphones are making it easier to get work done on the devices.
By making an unabridged version of Office available for free on mobile, Microsoft is betting it can get even more people to start using the software, without stealing sales from the PC and Mac versions of the product, where it still makes truckloads of money.
CNN Report on Microsoft Free Office Application
Apple, for example, made its iWork suite of productivity applications free a year ago for new buyers of Macs and Apple mobile devices. Google has won converts to a free suite of Web apps that competes with Office.
Microsoft announced this spring that it would give away some versions of Windows, its other big cash cow, to hardware companies that want to put it on devices with screens smaller than nine inches… Read More on NewYork Times