Last week Microsoft released Office for iPad; a long-awaited move that will enable users to share data from Excel, Word and Powerpoint across multiple devices and between work and home, much more easily.
Wondering why it's taken so long for this to happen? I think it's fairly obvious that Microsoft's new CEO, Satya Nadella is steering the ship in a different direction. Former CEO Steve Ballmer wanted Windows Surface tablets to be the only tablet that would run Office in order to increase sales of the Surface, an idea that met with mixed results when compared to sales of other tablets.
Nadella seems to have realised that this isn't the best way to do things, and has acknowledged that Microsoft must make its applications and services available wherever its customers want to use them, which these days is often on non-Microsoft devices.
There are two ways of getting Office on your iPad - download the free Office Mobile app from the App Store, which is limited to reading and presenting documents, or have complete functionality (create and edit documents, and more) with an Office 365 subscription (£7.99 per month, or £79.99 for a year).
Announcing Office for iPad at a press briefing Nadella said: "Microsoft is focussed on delivering the cloud for everyone, on every device. It's a unique approach that centers on people - enabling the devices you love, work with the services you love, and in a way that works for IT and developers." Watch the briefing in full via Microsoft's News Center.
Microsoft has stated that the app has been ‘built from the ground up', providing innovative touch controls with the iPad's native functionality in mind. The requirement being that the iPad is upgraded to the latest operating system, iOS7.
I think one of the biggest benefits of Office for iPad is how much more user-friendly it is. As with a lot of mobile apps, the interface is a little simpler than the computer version, without losing too much functionality. Just take a look at the below!
A view of Excel on my computer (above) and Excel on my iPad (below).
For more information about Office for iPad, including links to the app store and Office 365 subscriptions, click here!