Expect a new version of Office for Android tablets later this year

I’ll be interested to see how Office fares on Android. The iPad versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote have all be huge hits with iOS users and, I suspect, have shifted a fair number of Office 365 licences.

It’s a smart move on Microsoft’s part, it needs to get those Office apps out there into the wild where they act as a sales tools for Office 365 subscriptions. I’m picking that, away from Samsung, the Android apps could also drag some customers over to Microsoft devices. I don’t see that happening so much with Apple users, but owners of some of the flakier Android tablets could be tempted.


Sure, there’s a basic version of Office(s msft) for Android(s goog) phones, but heavy Office users might be looking with jealousy at iOS’s(s appl) new touch-optimized version that works on the iPad. According to The Verge, Microsoft is preparing a new version of Office for Android, and is currently seeking beta-testers through a special pre-release program, ahead of a likely release later this year.

CEO Satya Nadella implied an Android version for tablets was in development when Office for iPad launched earlier this year. The current version of Office for Android is fairly bare bones: it doesn’t work on tablets at all and lacks any kind of local storage — so you wouldn’t be able to edit a document on a plane that has no internet service, for instance.

It’s expected the new Android version will require a Office 365 subscription to edit documents and will be heavily dependent on Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage. The new Android…

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