Business owners, rejoice: You can now get Word, Excel and PowerPoint on your iPad.
The apps are free to download from the iTunes App Store, but without an Office 365 subscription, you can only read and present existing docs. To create or edit new projects, you can pay $9.99 for the premium subscription or a new personal plan for $6.99 that is not yet available.
Unveiling the news at a press conference in San Francisco today, Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella spoke about mobile, the cloud and how the company aims to "serve our customers better." Nadella, a 22-year Microsoft veteran who previously ran the company's Cloud and Enterprise group, noted, "it's been an amazing five weeks for me…you see things from a fresh set of eyes and perspective and relearn the place in some sense."
During Steve Ballmer's tenure as CEO, Microsoft did not opt to adapt Office to run on Apple or Google tablets, and some are wondering whether the jump may be too late, given the proliferation of productivity startups like Evernote and Quip and availability of Apple's iWork apps like Pages and Keynote.
However, with the use of desktop PCs on a decline and the ubiquity of tablets, Microsoft could stand to gain by introducing this suite of programs to even more mobile devices.