Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) will release new, free version of its extremely popular Office suite for iPhones and iPads which will allow users of these two types of devices to create and edit documents free of cost, instead of having to pay for a subscription fee- a move clearly targeted towards capturing more mobile users. Free updates for Apple device users include MA Word and PowerPoint. The software giant is also said to be working on the Android version of these apps but they are not yet ready for release. Not time frame has been give for their release either.
Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has been aggressively working towards winning over more and more customers into its fold, regardless of device or operating system. Perhaps the giant has realized that the near dominance of Windows over computers does not translate into the mobile arena which is growing at a much faster rate than computers.
One of Nadella’s first moves after taking over as the company CEO in February was to make MS Office available for the iPad- a move which has helped attract 40 million users.
As more workers use smartphones and tablets along with — or instead of — desktop PCs, they want to have the same capabilities on all their devices, says Michael Atella, director of Microsoft’s Office apps product management.
The older version allowed iPad users to make minor editions or to view files. The new version of the app will be similar to that for iPads and have more capabilities. The users will not need to pay a subscription fee for creating new files and documents.
Though the apps are free, Microsoft hopes to earn profit by selling premium features which might include security tools for business users, through its Office 365 subscription service, reports MercuryNews.
“Although most of Microsoft’s revenue still comes from traditional software, CEO Satya Nadella wants to shift the company’s focus to mobile and web-based products. The Redmond, Washington based company recently said it delayed producing a new version of Office for Apple’s Mac computers so it could focus on mobile apps,” it added.
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