Phew, it’s only been – what? – four years since the late Steve Jobs unveiled the first-generation iPad, so one could hardly accuse Microsoft of rushing out its Office for iPad suite.
Microsoft Office for iPad arrives in three standalone apps, but to do anything other than view documents, you’ll need an Office 365 subscription, and it ain’t cheap.
I made the mistake of searching for “Microsoft Office for iPad” this morning, but what you’re looking for is Microsoft Word for iPad, Microsoft Excel for iPad, and Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad – three independent apps.
Makes sense, I guess, since each app in the Microsoft Office for iPad suite weighs in at more than 200MB. In terms of compatibility, you'll need iOS 7.0 or above.
As for that Office 365 subscription, you’re looking at £7.99 per month, or £79.99 annually (two free months, effectively). With that, you can use Office on up to five PCs and Macs, plus five tablets, with an additional 20GB of OneDrive storage.
"When it comes to Office 365, the vision if fairly straightforward," purred Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at a press conference in San Fran yesterday. "It is to make sure that the one billion Office users have access to the high fidelity Office experience on every device they love to use. Today's announcement marks one more step in that direction."
Again, Microsoft Office for iPad has been a long time coming, but it’s worth noting that this touch-centric version arrives before something similar for the Microsoft Surface, despite rumours to the contrary.