Microsoft Office Free for Android and iOS

Microsoft Office is among the most popular and highly used productivity suites on the market today.  Whether editing an essay in Word or preparing for a presentation with PowerPoint, Office is highly capable and useful for millions of individuals every day.

As successful as Office has become on the PC and Mac, Microsoft has found it difficult to gain market share on Android and iOS, respectively. Prior to Friday, November 7, 2014, Microsoft required users to subscribe to Office 365 in order to perform anything short of viewing documents on mobile. On the first Friday of November, however, Microsoft announced a policy change that immediately effected Office for Mobile users. This new strategy eradicated the read-only functionality, allowing users to also perform basic tasks like creating and editing documents for free. Though advanced features such as formatting are still only available to Office 365 subscribers, this change has allowed Microsoft to push Word to #2 in Apple’s “Free Apps” category of the App Store the night of the announcement.

Microsoft is doing its best to provide users with powerful software in the new age of mobile devices. I believe that Microsoft is still learning how to prosper in this capacity. Offering so much Office functionality for free on mobile is certainly one way to gain market share. However, Microsoft is a software company that is intending to make a profit on all software sold; whether that’s on mobile or other platforms. I am not optimistic that Office users will subscribe to Office 365 to make this change profitable. Therefore, I do not believe that Friday’s announcement will greatly benefit the company.