Microsoft has continued to make changes over the past few years in the way in which they deliver office to consumers. Since the introduction of Office 365 which offers the current versions to consumers in a subscription based model, there has been a push for Microsoft to make Office more mobile in the tablet age.
This past fall Microsoft rolled out the complete Office experience to iOS and these new apps match the modern look and feel of Office 2013. Furthermore, these apps now let you view and edit office documents for free. In order to use more advanced features for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, users can either make an in app purchase or redeem a license that comes in a multiple device subscription, now offered by Office 365.
For those unfamiliar, Office 365 is a yearly subscription to Office, but it includes cloud based storage and provides users with the most updated version. When used on multiple devices, this model can be a more economical option. Microsoft Office is further expanding the availability of Office beyond iPhone, iPad and PC platforms, as they will be rolling out new android versions in the coming months.
However, Microsoft’s Office Everywhere for Everyone campaign would not be complete if it did not bring the modern office experience to Mac. It has been more than four years since Office for Mac 2011 launched in 2010 making Office for Mac 2015 long overdue. The new screenshots released by Microsoft confirm that Office for Mac will match the Windows experience and aesthetics. This will no longer be a less powerful version. Additional improvements include support for SkyDrive and Retina Displays, in addition to One Note for Mac, which is available for free right now on the Mac App Store. Office for Mac 2015 is expected to launch in the later half of 2015, with a beta coming sometime in the spring.
To summarize, Microsoft is making big changes in the ways that Office is brought to consumers. They brought new apps for iPhone users in addition to updating their iPad apps. They are previewing and testing new android apps and are working to update the Office for Mac experience. However, the biggest change is there is now limited free access to such a critical tool for everyone, even if they don’t have a subscription. If you have thoughts on the new Office experience or Office 365, you can share them by commenting below. It will be interesting to see how these apps shape up in the coming year.