Microsoft, with new CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, is certainly taking its cloud and mobile strategy seriously. The recent announcement of a strategic partnership with Dropbox is now followed up with a shocker: the Office Mobile suite is now free for iPhone, iPad and Android.
Microsoft wants to be a “platform and services” company, with productivity tools being its bread-and-butter. So making Office, the most widely used and known productivity suite on the planet, ubiquitous across all platforms be it mobile, desktop PC, console or wearables, makes complete sense.
Making Office available and running the best it can be on as many platforms as it can not only helps with overall branding, but also provides a stepping stone for users to later on upgrade to premium services.
A free Office on mobile will keep users hooked and keep competitor services away from the mobile space. Apple and Google may have reason to worry as it may mean users moving away from iWork or Google Apps.
You can download all three apps later today from the App Store for free and start editing your Word, Excel and PowerPoint projects right away.
There is still value for paying consumers where you’ll get more OneDrive storage, more advanced editing features and benefits of Office for Mac and PC.
For business users, an Office 365 subscription is required to edit documents and files stored on OneDrive for Business or Dropbox for business.
It’s a disruptive move by Microsoft, and a smart one.
Your move, Apple and Google.