Office for iPAd (WYSIWYG)

Microsoft last month released its native and rather nicely done Word, PowerPoint and Excel iPad apps as free downloads from the App Store. You’re limited to using these apps to view Microsoft Office documents on your tablet as editing and creating new ones requires one of the many Office 365 subscriptions available.

The iPad apps launched with Microsoft’s entry-level Office 365 Home subscription plan costing $9.99 per month. If you don’t want to pay ten bucks per month just to edit Office documents, Microsoft now offers a more affordable Personal plan for $6.99 per month…

According to the official Office blog, the new Office 365 Personal subscription plan allows for one PC or Mac, and one tablet (including the iPad) to be connected to the service.

Also included in the tier: twenty gigabytes of OneDrive storage for one user and 60 minutes of Skype calls.

Microsoft is advertising the new tier as “the best option for individuals interested in using Office 365.”

Office for iPad (teaser 004)

By contrast, the previous $99 per month entry-level tier called Office 365 Home includes unlimited access to the Office applications for Windows, Mac and mobile on up to five different devices, with twenty gigabytes of free OneDrive storage and 60 free minutes of Skype calls per month.

Both Personal and Home plans are designed for home and non-commercial use.

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The new Personal tier can be purchased at Microsoft Stores, via its online and retail partners and online at Office365.com.

At post time, only the Office 365 Home plan was available as an in-app purchase in Office for iPad apps (yes, Apple is getting its standard 30 percent cut).

You can sign up for a free 30-day Office 365 trial.

Don’t forget that Microsoft is also offering free web-based editions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps (formerly known as Office Web Apps) that run inside Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome.

Earlier today, the Windows giant released these Office Online applications in Google’s Chrome Web Store.

You can download Word, ExcelPowerPoint and OneNote for iPad free in the App Store.