Microsoft plans to release Office Mobile in the form of free apps that allow Android and iOS users to view Microsoft Office documents on the move, according to a report in The Verge.
Like the existing SkyDrive and OneNote apps, Office Mobile will require a Microsoft account. When you first launch it, a Microsoft account will provide access to the basic viewing functionality in the apps. Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents will all be supported, and edit functionality can be enabled with an Office 365 subscription, the report said.
Microsoft will allow iOS users to purchase an Office 365 subscription within the app, or let organizations distribute codes to enable Office Mobile editing for users. The apps will allow for basic editing, but The Verge says its sources have them this won’t go very far in attempting to replace regular full use of a desktop Office version.
Rumors that Microsoft was planning to release a version of Office for the iPad first surfaced earlier this year, but turned out not to be true.
Some have speculated Microsoft has purposely withheld releasing the product because it wanted its own Surface RT tablet (with Office included) to get traction in the market before making Office available on other mobile devices.