Office 365 Arrives On Apple's iPhone, But Not iPad
June 14, 2013

Office 365 Arrives On Apple’s iPhone, But Not iPad

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

It´s a development which no one would have believed twenty years ago; Microsoft and Apple bringing products and devices together under one roof. But it has happened. The Redmond, Washington-based software giant announced its Microsoft Office 365 app is now available on the Apple iPhone.

This app is free for Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 ProPlus subscribers, allowing them to view and edit Office files, such as Excel, PowerPoint and Word on their Apple smartphones.

However, Microsoft is still holding out from releasing this app for iPad, where it would arguably be most useful; holding out on iPad is likely to drive sales to Windows 8 tablets.

This cloud-driven app works with Microsoft´s SkyDrive and, like the rest of the Office 365 suite of apps, gives individual users and teams the ability to edit documents on the go and keep the changes up to date. Office 365 users can also add comments to the document and share them through their SkyDrive or email.

“Office Mobile is designed for people on the move. We made it quick and easy to access your Office content in the cloud on SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro,” reads an Office blog introducing the new app.

“When you're on your phone, you'll easily find the content you viewed on your computer in the Recent Documents panel. And, of course, you can view and edit Office documents sent in email,” reads the blog.

Though the app is available in the App Store now for free, users won´t be able to take advantage of any features until they sign in with their Office 365 login credentials. This subscription can be bought for $100 a year and will allow Office to run on up to five Macs or PCs.

This new Office 365 app is also available to iPod Touch users. While iPad users will be left in the cold, they are not alone. Android smartphones and tablets will also not be getting the Microsoft tools anytime soon.

According to Paul Thurrott of Supersite for Windows, Microsoft isn´t saying when they´ll be releasing these apps for iPad or Android, but they are regularly updating the web app versions of the software.

Thurrott also mentions some tricky licensing issues which caused many to wonder if Apple and Microsoft would learn to get along enough to bring this app to market. Any company that sells an app in Apple´s App Store must give the iPhone maker a 30 percent cut off the top for the right to use their marketplace.

It´s the same agency-style model that´s gotten Apple into some trouble with the Department of Justice with their alleged e-book price-fixing scheme.

It had been previously wondered if Microsoft, a company which was built on licensing their products to other companies, would be comfortable letting Apple dip into their profits for the privilege to sell in the App Store. Additionally, it´s important to remember that this app only works for those who are giving Microsoft $100 a year to use the service. Those who don´t already have the service but download the app on their iPhones are given the option to sign up for Office 365 service on the spot, earning the Redmond company another $100 per year.

While Microsoft isn´t giving any specific details about how they settled with Apple, Thurrott claims he´s been told the two companies were able to agree on a partnership to bring the app to market and allow users to sign up for service through the mobile software.

Rumors of an Office product for iPad have been flying around for years – some news sites and blogs have even seen early beta versions of such software – but Microsoft has continually denied these claims and has yet to show any official interest in Apple´s tablet.