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Microsoft Makes Office Mobile Free to Download, Looks to Move in On Google Drive

Microsoft Office logo 2012

Even though a lot of us have invested in the Google ecosystem for our document creating and editing, Microsoft Office is still a giant in the game. Up until today, editing and sharing Office documents through mobile wasn’t accessible or it cost money if you were not on a Windows device.

Today, Microsoft is changing up its strategy. 

In a post today on its blog, the Office team announced that its Android mobile app is now free to download and use to your heart’s content. As long as your Android phone is running Android 4.0 or up, and you are using Office for home use, you should be in the clear.

Office users who are using the service in a business situation need a paid Office365 subscription. At least it’s a step in the right direction. In addition, tablets are not supported quite yet.

The update is live in Google Play, so if you have not grabbed it yet, hit the link below to bring Word, Powerpoint, and all of the MS Office goodness to your phone.

Play Link

Via: Microsoft
  • DaveCXT

    This app from MS is so limited it doesn’t even compare to Quickoffice… nor the various other suites available for Android.
    No font choice… limited font colors… no justifcation… no bulleted lists or outlines…. can only open local files if done through another file browser (and even then doesn’t show the file in your history.) Overall, a pretty pathetic app that doesn’t deserve the MS Office branding. MS Works was more functional than this.

    One thing going for it is the support of excel formulas… but that’s not enough to keep it installed on my device. I’m back to Quickoffice on my device, and LibreOffice at home.

    You can get it to work on tablets, btw… I simply copied the apk to my Nexus 7 and it installed just fine… bigger screen only makes the lack of features stand out that much more, however.

  • bionicwaffle

    If you need great compatibility with Microsoft formats make sure you try SoftMaker Office TextMaker, PlanMaker (Excel), and Presentations. They’ve been around forever, starting on Pocket PC/Windows Mobile long before there was an iPhone, on mobile and they’re probably still the best. It may not look as nice as the others but SoftMaker Office is feature rich and probably has the best mobile device Word, Excel, and PowerPoint file filters available. Yes, most likely better than what Microsoft has on mobile. It was, by a long shot, on Windows Mobile and probably still is now. Give it a try!

  • http://www.chasehammer.com/ Chase Hammer J

    Lol only compatible with my phones but not the N7 which is where I would use it. Lame.

  • JRomeo

    Let me guess, this is free to download, and view documents with, but you need to pay to create or edit, am I right?

  • Common Sense

    Useless app without proper access to local storage. “The cloud” is nice and all, but pointless on its own.

  • NexusMan

    All this time and it doesn’t work on tablets? FAIL.

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    Impressive app… what’s amazing is how much tech media is covering Office for iPad release, but hardly a mention of Android. Thanks guys

    • miri

      The Android and iOS apps have been available for months. It’s just accessible without an Office 365 subscription now. The iPad app is new.

      • itpromike

        Responded to the wrong post sorry

  • Prime7

    Excellent. The *one* feature of Windows Phone I really wanted is now available.

  • http://www.chrome-focus.com/ Aaron Hurt

    Microsoft releases a product everyone wants – but makes it difficult to get. I’m sticking with Quickoffice!

    • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

      I just wish QuickOffice could open RTF files

      • http://andymerskin.com/ Andy Merskin

        Or Google Drive documents… unless I’m missing something.

        • miri

          Have you tried using Google Drive?

          • http://andymerskin.com/ Andy Merskin

            @disqus_byS20xDW96:disqus: I have, and it’s… okay. Quite buggy I’ve gotta say, at least on my Nexus 4. It’s a miracle if any of my changes get saved and pushed back to Drive.

            The overall feel of Office for Android seemed pretty good after playing around with it for a bit.

            But it’s unfortunately that Google Drive documents cannot be edited directly by other apps.

      • bionicwaffle

        Try SoftMaker Office Text. It probably has the best import/export filters in the galaxy for mobile devices. It supports .rtf, .txt, .htm, .odt, as well as a ton of Word version – import and export. It also has a built-in option to export your files as a PDF.

    • michael arazan

      And Bing for Android sucks, think they would have done a better job, considering phones are powerful enough now to run desktop software.

  • AbbyZFresh

    Sorry Google Drive. It was a decent run despite the price drop.

  • Dan

    I would love to be able to just have MS Office do all my stuff since it’s what I use at home, but this app I so limited it’s ridiculous. Office Suite Pro still rules on this.

  • PoisonApple31

    Do any of the Office alternatives allow for editing a protected excel document? The official Office app does not.

  • BillySuede

    damn me for using openoffice then…

    • Troof

      LibreOffice is a better free alternative.

      • BillySuede

        first i’ve heard of it. will have to check it out

      • creed

        That’s what I use also.

  • JBartcaps

    I believe you can only read and present with the free app. No editing allowed. Correct me if I’m wrong

    • AndroidUser00110001

      The play description claims you can edit by signing in with your free Microsoft account…

      • Croq

        The iOS version (packaged as three separate apps) requires an Office 365 subscription to be able to create/edit documents. As of now, the Play link says that’s free for home use in the Android version. Time will tell if that’s true or if they just need to update the description.

        • itpromike

          Correction, the iPhone version of this is the same version in the play store; it requires no subscription and is only one consolidated app for everything. The iPad app(s) which are new and were just announced require a 365 subscription and is designed specifically for tablets. It’s designed to make use of the screen real estate tablets offer as well as the additional power they offer by providing many many more features that makes it closer to the actual desktop app and not just a watered down mobile app meant to just do quick editing only

  • Jeremy Miller
    • https://soundcloud.com/camnointros Neichi

      You’re the man!

  • Tyler

    Can’t even edit on my tablet…. Fail

    • HateHateHate

      I can edit on my tablet and on my phone so win!

      • Tyler

        What tablet? I have a nexus 10.

        • AbbyZFresh

          I can edit on my tablet just fine.

    • Droid Ronin

      It FC on me when I try to open a doc.

  • kaufkin

    No Nexus7 support? #FAIL.

    • Jeremy Miller

      See above for download link

      • Hothfox

        All I see is a link to the Play Store, where the app says it’s incompatible with my Nexus 7.

        • Jeremy Miller

          I put a separate comment in with a Drive link.

          • Hothfox

            F5-ed and see it now. Thank you!

        • HateHateHate

          That’s because your Nexus 7 sucks!