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Windows giant Microsoft today released compatibility updates for its mobile Office app in the App Store—Word, ExcelPowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive—aimed at lucky iPad Pro owners.

Featuring full support for iOS 9’s new Slide Over and Split View multitasking modes, these apps now take full advantage of the iPad Pro’s massive 2,732-by-2,048 pixel resolution 12.9-canvas that in landscape mode basically runs two full-sized apps concurrently.

With Slide Over, pictured top of post, users can keep one of the Office apps open and open a second one by sliding their finger from the right edge of the screen to the left.

“You can easily review your email and add an important list to a OneNote notebook or create a sales presentation and quickly send an email to your team reminding them of the upcoming client pitch meeting,” writes the firm.

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iOS 9’s Split View multitasking mode, available on the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro, makes it easy to run two Offices apps (or any two apps that support Split View) in side-by-side view in landscape mode.

“For example, you can analyze your business results in Excel and update the corresponding chart in PowerPoint, so you can see your data and presentation side by side,” the company argues.

“Alternatively, you can review an email attachment and make the required changes to a related Word document right away. The changes are automatically updated in the attachment, so you’re ready to send in a single tap.”

Word, Excel and PowerPoint cost money on iPad Pro

Word, Excel and PowerPoint lets you view documents for free, but creating and editing documents on larger devices like the iPad Pro or Microsoft’s own Surface requires a qualifying Office 365 subscription—because Microsoft is treating larger form-factor tablets as laptop replacements.

The OneNote and Outlook apps are free to use on the iPad Pro.

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An Office 365 subscription lets you install Office apps on up to five PCs or Macs, access premium features and take advantage of 1 terabyte of free cloud storage via Microsoft’s OneDrive service.


Microsoft’s Office apps are compatible with any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad that runs iOS 8.0 or later and are localized in English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

Get Word, ExcelPowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive for free in the App Store.

  • Platy

    “because Microsoft is treating larger form-factor tablets as laptop replacements.”

    Here lies the problem. They treat the device as ‘laptop replacement’. But unlike a laptop, these devices do not have a standalone application/program option.

    I will never use a subscription for office. If that means I stop using it, then so be it.

    • Bendy

      That is stupid Microsoft should stop being a bully! It was supposed to be free.

      • Prithvi

        No. They are even enforcing this policy on their own devices. Office is free to use without a 365 subscription on all other devices.

    • Prithvi

      Treating larger form factor devices as laptop replacements is a part of Microsoft’s own branding, They are pushing their own Surface line as 2-in-1 devices. They even enforce this screen size rule on their own devices like the Surface Pro 4. Furthermore, an Office 365 subscription is a really awesome thing. You get continuous updates for Office and you can always stay on the latest version of Office.You also get a free 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage. Subscription models work because they enable consumers to get the latest products for a minimal yearly fee that is cheaper than buying the software outright. However, for those who are adamant against subscriptions for Office, then Microsoft also offers the option to buy Office 2016 outright and use that.

      • Subscription models work because they enable consumers to get the latest products for a minimal yearly fee that is cheaper than buying the software outright

        It’s not cheaper. If the software costs X and the subscription costs Y each month eventually there will come a point where you’ve spent more money than buying it outright and continue to spend more money because you’re only renting the software and never actually own anything (not that you own bought outright software either).

      • Prithvi

        But would you want to pay for every version to get the latest features? A full suite of Office with all the bells and whistles is around $150 and you can only use it on one PC. With a $69 subscription, you can get 1TB of onedrive storage and you can update to the latest version of Office when it comes out. Plus you can use it to get office on your iPad Pro or your Surface Pro along with your other main computer

      • How many new features can you add to a word processor? You could use Word 2010 and besides the UI differences there’s probably not much difference between it and the latest version. A word processor is the sort of thing you only want to buy once (or in the case of Google Docs, Pages, LibreOffice, etc not at all).

      • Prithvi

        It’s not just the features. If you want to change platforms then you can do that too. I mean you are entitled to your opinion on what to use, but I prefer to have an offline word processor that I can use on both my Mac and PC.

      • the hood

        I still run Office Professional 2003 with Windows 7 Pro on a Fujitsu S6410 no problemo. The other day I purchased an extra 2GB Ram on ebay for $30. It took about 10 years for the price to drop but worth the wait. 🙂

      • Platy

        “However, for those who are adamant against subscriptions for Office, then Microsoft also offers the option to buy Office 2016 outright and use that. ”

        That was my main point. There is no choice here. It’s have a subscription or nothing when talking about these tablets. Surface pro and other similar ‘laptop hybrids’ can run full Windows programs, so installing a standalone version works. It does not for these apple apps.

    • Santano Fernandes

      you don’t have Microsoft brains

  • Pokeh321

    It is fair as they have had this policy in place and continue to uphold it even for their own products.

  • Ashy Larry

    No thanks!!