Microsoft Office available for iPhone - WFLA News Channel 8

Microsoft Office available for iPhone

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK, NY -

Even as a pared-down version of Microsoft's Office software package arrived on the iPhone, the company is holding out on extending that to the iPad and Android devices as it tries to boost sales of tablet computers running its own Windows system.

Microsoft also isn't selling Office Mobile for iPhone separately. Instead, it comes as part of a $100-a-year Office 365 subscription, which also lets you use Office on up to five Mac and Windows computers. Microsoft made the app available through Apple's app store Friday.

Microsoft Corp. is treading a fine line as it tries to make its subscription more compelling, without removing an advantage that tablet computers running Microsoft's Windows system now have - the ability to run popular Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Microsoft has been pushing subscriptions as a way to get customers to keep paying for a product that has historically been sold in a single purchase. The company touts such benefits as the ability to run the package on multiple computers and get updates for free on a regular basis. Microsoft said it wants to give customers yet another reason to embrace subscriptions by offering Office on the iPhone only with a subscription.

The iPhone app will let people read and edit their text documents, spreadsheets and slide presentations at the doctor's office or at a soccer game. But many people will prefer doing those tasks on a tablet's larger screen. Office is available on those devices through a Web browser, but that requires a constant Internet connection, something many tablets don't have.

"The nature of the Office suite, being productivity-focused, makes it better-suited for a larger mobile screen," said Josh Olson, an analyst with Edward Jones. "The issue then becomes, 'How do you provide the Office offering in its best-suited mobile environment without negating a distinguishing characteristic of the Windows 8 tablets?'"

He said Microsoft isn't likely to offer Office on the iPad and other tablets until it sees sufficient adoption of Windows tablets first. Because of that, the new mobile app is likely to increase consumer awareness, but it won't significantly increase subscriptions.

Another analyst, Rick Sherlund of Nomura Securities, warned that delaying a tablet version on non-Windows devices will merely help competitors.

"Office is a bigger business for Microsoft than Windows, so we see more urgency to preserve and extend the Office franchise cross platform," he said.

Apple, for one, is refreshing its iWork package this fall, while Google bought Quickoffice last year. The two offerings are among several that are capable of working with Office files on mobile devices, though people using them may lose formatting and other details.

Chris Schneider, a marketing manager with Microsoft's Office team, would not comment on any plans for the iPad or Android.

The regular version of Office works on Windows 8 tablets, and most of the features are available on a version designed for tablets running a lightweight version of Windows called RT. Customers needing to use Office on a larger screen than a phone might be drawn to the Windows tablets, which have lagged behind in sales and cachet compared with Apple's iPad and various devices running Google's Android system.

The iPhone app comes with Word, Excel and PowerPoint and will sync with Microsoft's SkyDrive online storage service. Microsoft said people will be able to pick up a Word document exactly where they left off on another computer tied to the same account, while comments they add to a Word or Excel file will appear when they open it up on another machine.

Although documents will be reformatted to fit the phone's screen, the company said the iPhone app will preserve charts, animation, comments and other key properties. That's not always the case with programs offered by Google and other companies to work with Office files on mobile devices.

But the app doesn't offer the same range of features available on regular computers.

It's meant for lightweight editing, not complex calculations or heavy graphical work, Schneider said. Someone about to give a speech can review a PowerPoint presentation and fix a typo, for instance. Someone getting a Word or Excel document as an email attachment can add comments or make changes, then send it back, either as an email attachment or through a sharing feature on SkyDrive.

Rather than have it do everything, Schneider said, "we designed the Office Mobile for iPhone to meet the scenarios that make the most sense."

The iPhone app also won't have Outlook for email, Publisher for desktop publishing and Access for databases. Microsoft's OneNote software for note-taking has been available for free separately for iPhones and iPads.

People with Office 365 subscriptions will be able to run the new app on up to five iPhones, in addition to the five Mac or Windows computers. People in the United States were able to get it from Apple's app store Friday. Availability in other countries will follow in the coming days. Downloading is free, but a subscription is needed for the app to work.

It's possible to use the iPhone app on an iPad, but the documents are merely blown up to fit the size of the screen. You won't get to see more of a document despite the larger screen, and text and graphics won't look as sharp when enlarged.

Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, Wash., already makes a version for phones running its Windows Phone 8 operating system. An Office 365 subscription isn't required for that, and those apps do not count toward the five mobile devices permitted for each subscription.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @wflatampa

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Hyundai recalls 888,700 Sonata Sedans

    Hyundai recalls 888,700 Sonata Sedans

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:14:48 GMT
    Over 800,000 Hyundai Sonata Sedans have been recalled. Over 800,000 Hyundai Sonata Sedans have been recalled.
    Hyundai is recalling its popular Sonata midsize sedan to fix problems with the gear shift levers.The recall covers 883,000 cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years.Stay connected with the news of the day.
    Hyundai is recalling its popular Sonata midsize sedan to fix problems with the gear shift levers.The recall covers 883,000 cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years.Stay connected with the news of the day.
  • Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:06:23 GMT
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
  • SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:50:00 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Family, friends hold vigil for slain Sarasota teen

    Family, friends hold vigil for slain Sarasota teen

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:49 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:49:45 GMT
    Family and friends of 17-year-old Teria'le Rawls gathered for a memorial service Wednesday night in Sarasota. Family and friends of 17-year-old Teria'le Rawls gathered for a memorial service Wednesday night in Sarasota.
    There wasn’t a dry eye in sight as friends and family of 17 year-old Teria’le Rawls gathered for a memorial outside her Sarasota home on Wednesday night.Rawls was shot and killed early Monday morning when she was hit by a stray bullet while in the parking lot of the Royal Palm Movie Theater in Manatee County.
    There wasn’t a dry eye in sight as friends and family of 17 year-old Teria’le Rawls gathered for a memorial outside her Sarasota home on Wednesday night.Rawls was shot and killed early Monday morning when she was hit by a stray bullet while in the parking lot of the Royal Palm Movie Theater in Manatee County.
  • Seminole man injured in crash on Blind Pass Rd.

    Seminole man injured in crash on Blind Pass Rd.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:00:01 GMT
    The crash occurred just after 1:30 pm Wednesday.The crash occurred just after 1:30 pm Wednesday.
    A 27-year-old Seminole man was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Blind Pass Rd. and 77th Ave. in St. Pete Beach.Adam Keehnle was transported to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with life-threatening injuries.
    A 27-year-old Seminole man was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Blind Pass Rd. and 77th Ave. in St. Pete Beach.Adam Keehnle was transported to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with life-threatening injuries.
  • Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:19:12 GMT
    Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool. Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool.
    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks.

    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks. And, if it invades your body, you're in for a rough ride - it's called Cryptosporidium.


  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:50:00 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
  • Lakeland gymnastics coach accused of sex with minor

    Lakeland gymnastics coach accused of sex with minor

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:56:59 GMT
    A man who works as a gymnastics coach in Lakeland has been accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
    A man who works as a gymnastics coach in Lakeland has been accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.