31 March 2014

Microsoft Unleashes Office For iOS And Enterprise Mobility

Microsoft office logo orange
After industry speculation of “will they or won’t they” ever release Microsoft Office for the iOS, Microsoft announced several new and updated applications for the iPad and other iOS devices, as well as the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite, at an industry event on Thursday. Microsoft also said Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium would be available soon, as well as enhancements to Windows Intune.

Enterprise Mobile Suite is a set of cloud services that help businesses manage corporate data and services. The suite works across devices, whether those devices are company issued or a “bring-your-own” device that some companies are adopting.

“Microsoft is focused on delivering the cloud for everyone, on every device. It’s a unique approach that centers on people enabling the devices you love, work with the services you love, and in a way that works for IT and developers,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer for Microsoft, in a corporate statement.

Office 365 became immediately available for subscribers on their iPad. As part of the subscription benefits, users can create and edit documents with Word for iPad, PowerPoint for iPad, and Excel for iPad. The apps are available as free downloads from the App store. “Office for iPad brings full file fidelity across Office on PC, Mac, tablet and phone, and along with cloud storage from OneDrive or OneDrive for Business your files are up to date, wherever you need them on whatever device you want to use. Office for iPad apps have a familiar look and feel that are unmistakably Office but are built from the ground up for iPad, factoring in the unique nature of touch and functionality native to iPad along with what people most commonly want to do on a tablet,” the Microsoft statement said.

Microsoft released additional apps optimized for the iPad such as OneNote, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX, Bing, Lync, Outlook Web Access, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Yammer and Skype.

Office 365 for the iPad, as well as other announcements, were made by Microsoft’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, who said it was day 52 in his post as CEO of the software giant. Nadella said after 22 years at Microsoft, he was learning to look at the company in a new way.

In his first address of this sort, Nadella outlined a vision for Microsoft, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“In a roughly 40-minute session with journalists in San Francisco, Mr. Nadella said Microsoft was uniquely positioned to usher in ‘the magical coming together of the cloud and mobile’ for the roughly 1.5 billion smartphones, computers and tablets sold each year. His reference was to software applications hosted on remote computers, rather than a user’s own device,” wrote the Wall Street Journal’s Shira Ovide.

Ovide also reported that full use of the Office iPad app is limited to subscribers of Office 365. Subscriptions for Office 365 cost $99.99 a year, and include the Office suite.

Apple welcomed the availability of Office for the iPad, The Wall Street Journal reports. Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted “Welcome to the #iPad and @AppStore! @satyanadella and Office for iPad” after the app became available on Thursday.

While Microsoft discussed updates to a number of apps, the company issued a quiet update to Office Mobile for iPhone, reports Ars Technica. Version 1.1 of the software updates the application for iOS7. It also removes the Office subscription requirement, making the app free even for users who do not subscribe to Office 365.



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