Along with a new version of Office for iPad, Microsoft made Office for iPhone and Android smartphones free today. The apps have updated in the respective app stores and can be snagged here for iPhone and here for Android.
The change log notes that the apps are free for “home use.” As Emil Protalinski pointed out earlier today, this seems to imply that “Microsoft still plans to require that businesses have an Office 365 subscription.”
You can now use Office for free, including editing, on every device except for the iPad, ironically, which requires an Office 365 subscription to unlock editing capabilities. There are free Office apps on Windows Phone, iPhone, Android and Windows RT devices, and for anyone on a regular PC, Office Offline is a decent solution.
Microsoft’s goal is to arc people towards paying for Office 365. But at the same time, use of free Office apps leads to more use of OneDrive, which is another priority for the company. The free apps help OneDrive, and the iPad maneuver likely will help juice Office 365 subscriptions.
Microsoft giving away Office on platforms it doesn’t own? The times are changing.