Microsoft has finally started offering an iPad edition of its Office software suite.It was announced at the first launch event hosted by Satya Nadella since he became chief executive of the firm.
Three separate productivity apps are available – Word, Excel and Powerpoint – each of which has been optimised for touch-based controls.Within hours of the launch, Word became the most downloaded application for iPads in Apple’s app store.The Excel and Powerpoint apps were the third and fourth most popular free app downloads, respectively, in the store.The popularity shows that customers are interested in accessing Microsoft’s signature Office products in their new, easier to use incarnation, compared with the web-based alternatives provided before.
Mr Nadella said that the announcement was part of a strategy to empower people “to be productive across all devices” with Microsoft software.
“We are taking great focus and great care to make sure Office on any device shines through,” he said, indicating that his firm would release versions of the apps for other mobile devices in the future.
However, the iPad edition is more powerful than the original iPhone version – for example more complicated edits can now be made to Powerpoint presentations and the programs make recommendations to help create visually appealing documents – and several experts believe there will be strong demand for the product.