Office for iPad is finally a reality

Earlier this month, we covered the rumors that Microsoft was finally going to release a version of the popular productivity suite of applications known as Office for the Apple iPad. Since the tablet was released in 2010, consumers and businesses alike have been clamoring for this software to be released, and yesterday it finally was.

According to an article from ZDNet, at a press event in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled the new software. Word, Excel and PowerPoint are all available as individual applications for free on the Apple App Store. There is a catch, however, as the free version only allows users to read and present documents. If you want to create and edit, users will need to have an Office 365 subscription.

While some think this subscription idea is a bit on the nutty side, if you consider the goal is really to appease business customers, the idea is not that crazy.

"I am sure there are some business users, especially in Silicon Valley, who can say—with a relatively straight face—that it's been years since they've seen a Microsoft PowerPoint file," Mary Jo Foley, the author of the piece, said. "But here in the rest of the (real) world, many businesses of all sizes have standardized on Microsoft Office."

She added that while the consumer/student market may not have a large component of eligible Office 365 members, small and midsize business, enterprise customers and government users are a large potential marketplace.

For business users, this has been a long time coming and gives an iPad deployment more credence in the enterprise landscape.