Earlier today, Microsoft expanded its Xbox SmartGlass app to the iPhone and iPad, following up on the earlier release for Android. Now, we’re getting a glimpse of how the company may bring its traditional Office franchise to those platforms, as well.
The report comes from Tom Warren at The Verge, along with screenshots of the apps. The most interesting nugget is that Microsoft will allow users of the Word, PowerPoint and Excel apps to access and view documents by default for free, after users log in with their Microsoft accounts, but editing functionality will be enabled with a paid Office 365 subscription.
Microsoft includes versions of the Office programs with editing capabilities on its Surface RT tablet.
According to the report, Microsoft will let iOS users buy Office 365 subscriptions from within the apps, or organizations will be able to distribute codes to enable the editing functionality for their users.
Here’s my question: Will Microsoft actually be willing to share 30% of those in-app Office 365 subscription purchases with Apple? Based on the screenshots and Apple’s in-app purchasing policies, it looks like that would be the case. These are interesting times, to say the least.
The Verge reports that Office for iOS is due in February or March, followed by Android in May.