back to article BITE that APPLE if you want to escape the Android garden, Microsoft

Microsoft has made Office on Android available on tablets at the exact moment its fortunes with Apple and Samsung are in flux. If Redmond's going to win, it needs to bet on Apple. Redmond removed the preview label from Office for Android apps on Thursday, making Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote available from Google’s Play …

  1. ZSn


    Is it true that you need a subscription to create docs? I found that (on the preview) that was not true. Or am I just incompetent?

    1. DaveMcM

      Re: Subscription?

      I can only speak for iOS but I seem to remember the original iOS releases needed an Office 365 subscription to do anything other than view a document but a recent update started to allow creation and basic editing without a subscription.

    2. Efros

      Re: Subscription?

      I just downloaded and installed Word, Excel and Powerpoint on my nook HD+ running KitKat, and they work well and you can edit and create documents without paying anything. What benefits you get from a subscription I don't know and I wont be using one to find out!

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: Subscription?

        Benefits from a subscription - my guess would be with an O365 sub you have access to OneDrive, and can thus store your documents in Microsoft's {*SPARKLE*}cloud{*SPARKLE*}

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Subscription?

      I've just updated my preview to the release version. I can create and edit documents as long as I log in to a Microsoft account. I can view documents if I don't log in. My Microsoft account does not have an Office 365 subscription.

      It also seems quite happy on an 8.1 inch tablet running Kitkat.

    4. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Subscription?

      It's not you that's incompetent...

      " screen of 10.1-plus inches."

      That's 7 and larger... it's installed on my Nexus 7

      And it needs KitKat 4.4 not Lollipop.

      You need an Office 365 account for screens bigger then 10.1. Only need a microsoft account for small screens.

      Silly Apple fanboy might want to read the description in the android store before spouting crap.

    5. Irongut

      Re: Subscription?

      It isn't you that's incompetant Z Sn it is Gavin Clarke. He has no idea how Android Office works or what the system reqs are. Nor does he know of MS long history of writing applications for other OS, often from Apple.

      How this obvious fanboy got a job as a journalist in the first place is beyond me.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Subscription?

      On iOS it's freemium, with creating and editing documents allowed. Some features require a 365 subscription. I expect it will be the same with Android.

  2. Otto is a bear.

    Open Office

    I use an Open Office port on my Samsung, can't remember which one, but on a personal level I use Open Office in preference to MS Office anyway. The latter is only a business choice, and I wonder, at this stage how many private individuals who want office functionality will bother to change away from what they have.

    Corporates, however, will love it.

    1. Stuart 22

      Re: Open Office

      I'm an LibreOffice user and installed AOpen - the android compatible version of OO so I could edit documents and spreadsheets.

      I have uninstalled it. I just wasn't using it on my 10" tablet. Viewing stuff is useful but is it really the medium for creation/editing? Well not here YMMV. Indeed documents in particular are increasingly being created and held in the cloud - whether shared or personal so the importance of LibreOffice is declining on my desktop. And why my Chromebook takes an increasing share of my keystrokes.

      I may download for a look. But I doubt for work.

  3. poopypants

    MS wants users

    Android has many more users than iOS. Apple's profitability isn't relevant.

    1. xenny

      Re: MS wants users

      Apple's profitability isn't relevant.

      However the App store appears to pay more to developers than Google Play.

      That is relevant, although possibly less significant than the relative likelihood of Apple v Android users spending money on O365 subscriptions.

  4. Roger Greenwood


    or as it known around here :- "Yorkshire Thrift"

  5. Stephen Booth

    Apps are not the product

    Office 365 is the product. The number of potential users for a cloud based office suite does not change depending on the relative popularity of android and IOS. The only difference occurs when one platform becomes so unpopular that client support for it no longer influences the choice to use office 365.

    I don't think the recent reversals are anywhere close to that yet.

    Support for android is not about shifting large numbers of apps but saying office 365 is device neutral.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Apps are not the product

      Exactly, Office itself is free on three mobile platforms and two desktop platforms. Office is supposed to be there whatever devices you're using at the moment, that's what they think is going to make people buy a subscription.

      There's more competition on Apple devices as iWork is free, many people might be perfectly happy with that. Locking out suits with Galaxy Notes/Tabs doesn't make sense, it only weakens Office.

      Oh, and there was Word for Xenix once upon a time.

      Has to be one of the stranger articles I've read recently.

  6. Indolent Wretch

    Yet more total garbage from this rapidly deteriorating website.

    "If Redmond's going to win, it needs to bet on Apple"

    Well that's the most stupid thing I've heard all year. Admittedly it's still January.

    Or maintain a code base with 3 mobile compilation targets and not just 2?

    Given that the mobile bits have probably been written in a cross platform environment.

    Because it should be interested in selling it's software to the most people possible?

    "It should welcome Android's reversal and the ascent of iOS devices"

    Based on what? The fact Samsung sold less phones and Apple finally released the bigger iPhone that a lot of people wanted? Record profits is not dominance it's merely an indicator of margin.

    But if you are going to stick that into your article at least back it up by showing an obvious worldwide trend in mobile use. When I last looked Android was laughably dominant worldwide.

    "but the App Store meant more to app makers' bottom lines; it made 70 per cent more money than Google Play"

    Please join the dots from that pointless non-sequitur to where it makes any difference to Microsoft who are charging..... NOTHING. Admittedly you can get an Office 365 subscription which I'm sure is the same for both systems.

    1. dogged

      > Yet more total garbage from this rapidly deteriorating website.

      To be fair, Gavin's articles have always been bollocks.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      You also forgot the "they only released on Windows," the author seems to have forgotten that Microsoft started writing software for other platforms long before they started writing their own OS and the first versions of Word and Excel were for the Mac, they were later ported to Windows...

  7. Preston Munchensonton

    "Microsoft has historically run a Windows-only apps strategy; its software was only for Windows, meaning it got two bites of the cherry when it came to earnings."

    Methinks you've forgotten their 30+ year history of creating software for Macs:

  8. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    To be honest, I see no point downloading this. For viewing and the minimal amount of editing I would do on a tablet, or phone, the Google Docs/Drive apps and Quickoffice work perfectly well.

    I'm certainly not going to do anything complicated with them, as it would be too painful, but at a pinch they do the job and don't require a subscription.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      You took the words right out of my mouth.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      re: the Google Docs/Drive apps and Quickoffice work perfectly well.

      I use a moto g with the stock android image on. About 50% of the time when I open a text document with google Quick Office it pops up a dialog with "The document is corrupt and needs recovery" (or words to that effect). To be fair, I haven't noticed anything missing from these "recovered" documents, but it's not what I call working perfectly well.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    People are missing the point... wouldn't buy a 365 JUST to use with a tablet, it would complement your other kit. So in a meeting, do you presentation from Powerpoint, scribble some notes in One note on the train, email a word document etc, all sync'd to 365. Then go back to the office / home and jump on your laptop and tidy it all up and create the next batch of stuff you need.

    If was a mobile worker I could see the real benefit, but I'm not, so don't really have the need, but I can still see where it comes from.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: People are missing the point... wouldn't buy a 365 JUST to use with a tablet, it would complement your other kit. So in a meeting, do you presentation from Powerpoint, scribble some notes in One note on the train, email a word document etc, all sync'd to 365. Then go back to the office / home and jump on your laptop and tidy it all up and create the next batch of stuff you need.

      Ah, I see. Why does that sound familiar? Oh, yes, I've been doing that with Keynote for ages. Not a big fan of Pages, though, I tend to use a combination of LibreOffice and Daedalus/Ulysses (using the beta on iOS and OSX) which works fine for me and costs nothing. And that's just Apple, Google has this working too.

      Having said that, in larger businesses where execs are still allowed to blow budgets on MS Office I guess this may be of interest, if anyone trusts the MS cloud. We don't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: People are missing the point...

        (slight addendum - Daedalus & Ulysses are not free - they are editors specifically created for writers that are distracted too easily :) )

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You need Android Lollipop, at least 1GB of RAM and a screen of 10.1-plus inches.

    Working OK on my Nexus 7.

    1. Fogcat

      I was going to try it out but the play store says it's incompatible with my Nexus 10 running Lollipop.

      The requirements (for Word) say...

      • Android tablet with screen size larger than or equal to 7 inches

      • OS version: KitKat (4.4.X)

      So I was thinking it didn't support Lollipop,... but from the AC above that doesn't seem to be the case

  11. Candy

    Why back only one horse?

    Leaving aside the fanboi v. fandroid vibe and the apparently flexible app capabilities and platform requirements for a moment.

    Can anyone point me to the bit of the article that makes clear why MS shouldn't pursue revenues from both of the market leading mobile platforms? How does it actually benefit from dropping one of them?

    I accept that it will make differing levels of revenue from each but that seems to be the only argument put forwards here. Why can't MS make money from both?

    1. Irongut

      Re: Why back only one horse?

      The bit of the article you missed that explains it all is at the top where it says "Gavin Clarke."

  12. cambsukguy

    > Except now tablet sales are falling, meaning Microsoft has missed the easy growth curve.

    They are falling but I strongly suspect that most of the tablets purchased are still in action.

    You don't need new tablet sales to sell Office, you just need extant devices.

    Personally, I got Office free already with my tablet, touch-centric might be nice for viewing but really, editing is better with the keyboard mouse.

    I assume I will eventually get the touchy build for the Surface RT but it is rightly not that important.

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Yes. App (/ subscription) sales volumes are much more relevant than hardware sales for this.

      People already have the devices and are now casting around for things to do with them - for a certain subset, Office might be just the sort of thing they were looking for.

  13. Bob Vistakin

    One word: Xiomi

    Wherever did the idea Androids fortune relies solely on Samsung come from? Not here.

  14. Radelix

    i got O365 for free when I bought Office 2013 pro using my companies (massive) discount. It turns out since I am in school, and Office for android was release not long after, I have really taken advantage of the cloudy features of Office. Since I do most of my schoolwork in Excel, for reasons that are not relevant here, it makes it easy to do the work at home and then have it checked and graded on my phone at school. In short I like was MS is doing with Office and I wish them the best of luck.

  15. DougS Silver badge

    Why does dropping tablet sales mean Microsoft missed out?

    If they're dropping for the reasons Apple says, because tablet replacement cycles are more PC like than smartphone like, dropping sales doesn't matter. All existing tablet sales are the potential market for Microsoft, it isn't like you have to download apps within a week of a tablet purchase.

    Microsoft's better off to put more support towards iOS for the simple reason that people who buy a higher priced tablet are more likely to pay for Office. There are some higher priced tablets on the Android side too, but most of the volume is in the cheap segment. People buying $100 tablets probably aren't going to pay for Office. The Apple/IBM enterprise deal is another factor in Apple's favor on this, enterprises are much more likely to consider Office a must-have for a tablet, versus people buying for their personal use who are much less likely to.

  16. Dana W

    More iOS users are willing to actually PAY for apps. In so many app reviews on the Google play store, the PAID version gets slammed for having more features than the free one, because Ghod forbid they have to sped a dollar on an app. Developers are apparently supposed to be paid in "satisfaction"

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