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Microsoft launches Office for iPad, available today

Tom Morgan
27 Mar 2014
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Microsoft has finally launched Office for iPad, bringing document, spreadsheet and presentation editing to Apple's tablets

Microsoft has finally officially launched Office for iPad, bringing the company's long-running productivity suite to Apple's tablets for the first time. New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the announcement at a press briefing in San Francisco, one of his first as the head of the company.

Office for iPad is comprised of Word, Excel and Powerpoint, all as separate apps, which have each been tweaked specifically for the types of files that will be most commonly edited. That means a pop-out formatting toolbar in Word, a dedicated numerical keypad in Excel, and a touch-and-hold laser pointer in PowerPoint. Each one fully supports collaborations, letting multiple users edit an online document, and are much more than merely stretched versions of Microsoft's existing iPhone apps. Each one has the familiar Ribbon interface, adjusted for touch screens (even more so than Microsoft's own Office RT suite).

Office for iPad

As well as saving files directly to your iPad, you can also access your documents through SharePoint or OneDrive online storage.

As with Office for iPhone, Office for iPad will use Microsoft's Office 365 subscription for editing but allow anyone to download the apps in order to view documents. You'll also be able to give PowerPoint presentations for free, but won't be able to edit your files on the move. Each iPad install will count towards a new 5 tablet limit per Office 365 account, but won't eat into your existing 365 PC/Mac limit.

First rumoured back in 2012, and again in 2013, Office for iPad should be live in the Apple iTunes store from 11AM PST in the US. There's currently no news on a UK launch, so you may want to check the UK iTunes store at 7PM to see whether Microsoft has delivered on this side of the Atlantic.

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