It’s coming up on a year since the original release of Microsoft Office for iOS, but in all that time there’s been no iPad-specific version to be found. And now it’s here (for free, to try) as of 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, as a gift from Microsoft’s new cloud-guru CEO Satya Nadella.
Just like its iPhone predecessor, the iPad version of Office includes all the goodies you’ve come to expect from the suite including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Even better, Office for iPad is free!
Of course, this is all great for reading documents and spreadsheets, and horrible presentations with atrociously gaudy fade effects, but Office for iPad also has plenty of features to help you make things too, like simultaneous editing and track changes. It also plugs in to your own personal SkyOneDrive, so all your documents can float with you from device to device, including your iPad. It’s pretty much everything you’d want out of Office on a tablet. But there’s a catch; if you want to make or edit stuff, you have to be paying for Office 365. The good news is that it’ll work with the upcoming Personal Office 365 plan, which runs $7 a month instead of the usual $10.
Also like the iPhone version, Office on the iPad might not be anything to get you super excited. But it’s free, so maybe try it and see, you crazy PowerPoint freak. And either way, it’s been a long time coming, and proves ever more that Nadella is all-in on the cloud and services. Hopefully that’ll also manifest in some cool, fun toys soon.