According to a tweet from official Office Twitter account, Office for iPad apps has been downloaded over 12 Million times so far by the iPad users since its release at App Store about a week ago. Office for iPad is not a single application; the suite consists of four separate apps – WordExcelPowerPoint, and OneNote – that are all available as individual downloads. So, the figure is likely to represent the total number of downloads of all the applications collectively.

The free subscription of Office for iPad allows its users to read and view documents and PDFs. For one to create and edit a file or document, a user needs to purchase the subscription.

But these features can be unlocked without paying a single penny. CNET reported, “Similar to sharing around an HBO Go password among friends, all that’s required to exploit the loophole — which, again, is against the rights agreement that limits you to authenticating only five tablets — is to have someone with a valid Office 365 account log in to Word, Excel or any other Office app on iPad. Once that happens, the tablet is automatically authenticated for all Office apps and any future users, regardless of whether or not those users have paid for 365.”

Anyone who has purchased Office 365 for iPad, when makes a login on some other device to either of the Office apps — Excel or Word, the application provides a full featured access for the user to edit and create new documents. It then drops the barrier limiting the access to premium features.

On being reported about, Microsoft spokesperson told CNET that, ” Similar to our commercial use rights, we do not strictly enforce the limit on tablet installations, but trust that our users respect and understand the device limits outlined in the EULA [end user rights agreement],”

With this loophole, a user can have multiple installations across a number of devices but the EULA mentioned above restricts the users from installing the application only to a limited number of devices.

Microsoft, for the promotion, was also giving away an one year license for the first 50 customers to bring their iPads to the Microsoft store. Although the offer was only valid for 28th March, it carried a $99 license.

The 12 million downloads in a week is good news for Microsoft, and no doubt Office for iPad is the best way for Office users to view and edit their documents on the go.

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