Finally, the anticipated debut of Microsoft Office on the iPad is here. Today Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella headed off a presentation focusing on “the intersection of cloud and mobile computing.”  After opening the event with a general introduction, Nadella handed the presentation off to Microsoft Office’s general manager Julia White. At 1pm Central Time, the app will go live in the App Store. White jumped right into her presentation, showing the crowd the app’s capabilities including its table of contents and charts. Each service has its own application: Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Each application syncs across your devices thanks to the cloud. Microsoft Office’s app has powerful formatting and touch-oriented features, making usability much easier. Spectators noted that the style of the app has an iOS 7 look to it, making it more “Apple-like” instead of something Microsoft created. Like regular Office, you can view a markup of your documents and see changes from other contributors. White showed an Excel-made chart embedded in the Word document and explained that interacting with these charts and photos can be done in-app.

Users were likely concerned about Excel’s functionality on an iPad, considering previous issues with Excel on Mac products. This concern was at least somewhat settled once White opened the app and began to show some of its notable features. Microsoft designed a special numerical keyboard for Excel. The program has “Excel-recommended” graphics based on the data you input. PowerPoint wasn’t disappointing either. If you touch and hold the screen, you get a laser pointer on the screen.

Office 365 subscribers have the full capabilities of the Office for iPad apps. Applications will be downloadable from Microsoft portal to reinforce security purposes.

Aside from unveiling the Microsoft Office app for iPad, Microsoft also announced the Enterprise Mobility Suite. Julia White said, “IT has one place to go to manage devices and keep apps secure.” She guided the presentation by walking viewers through a DocuSign demo on an iPhone, showing how it syncs with Office 365 and moves across all platforms. Nadella ended the debut by reiterating Microsoft’s goal to make sure users can access their files from anywhere. He said, “With trends like BYOD and identity management…what we’re announcing today is both offerings and a road map to build a comprehensive enterprise architecture for IT professionals to be able to bring together identity management, device management, and data management into one suite that works across all devices.” Microsoft will release more details at its developer conference next week.

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Jaclyn McClellan
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jaclyn is an intern at AAII. She is a recent honors graduate from DePaul University with a Bachelor's of Science in Business with a major in finance.

6 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Wayne Thorp
    Wayne Thorp March 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    About time! I’m looking forward to testing this out on my iPad. Having used the Office suite for over 15 years, I’m hoping the familiarity carries over to the iPad. I haven’t really embraced Google Docs and other online productivity suites because, for what I do, nothing really tops Office!

  2. Wayne Thorp
    Wayne Thorp March 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    An interesting aside, as of 4 p.m. (Central) on Thursday, I couldn’t find the iPad apps by going directly through the App Store on my iPad. I had to go to the Microsoft Office website and link to the apps on iTunes from there.

  3. Jackie
    Jackie March 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Yea they said it will only be available from Microsoft portal for “security purposes.” Interesting!! I’ll be testing Office on my iPad as well, although I have an older version (iPad 2). It’ll be interesting to see the functionality.

  4. Wayne Thorp
    Wayne Thorp March 28, 2014 at 8:53 am - Reply

    Oops! Missed that tidbit. I’m up and running with Word, Excel and Powerpoint. This is also an ingenious way to get people to upgrade to Office 365 as well.

  5. Jackie
    Jackie March 28, 2014 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Can’t wait to try it. Let me know what you think about the Excel capabilities, I know that is a main concern not only for me but many users.

  6. Wayne Thorp
    Wayne Thorp April 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    I will be reviewing Office for iPad as the “Featured App” for the April CI e-newsletter, which will be posted on Saturday, April 19.

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