Microsoft finally expands Office productivity suite to Apple's iPhone
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is extending its signature Office productivity suite to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, enabling Office 365 subscribers to access, view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the go.
The free Office Mobile application enables access to documents stored in the SkyDrive, SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint cloud services, as well as files recently viewed on the desktop and email attachments. All Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents are optimized for the iPhone form factor, with all formatting and content remaining intact, complete with support for charts, animations, SmartArt Graphics and shapes. Users may also create new Word and Excel files on their phone, view and edit recently viewed documents offline, review and add comments and share files via email or save them to SkyDrive or SharePoint.
Office Mobile access is limited to current Office 365 subscribers, meaning services are not available to iPhone owners who purchased the most recent Office desktop suite as a standalone product. In addition, the app is currently compatible only with Apple's iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and fifth-generation iPod touch, and not with the bestselling iPad tablet.
Office users have long clamored for access via iOS devices, but AllThingsD reported late last year that discussions between Microsoft and Apple stalled after the two companies failed to agree on revenue sharing. Insiders said Microsoft balked at giving Apple its standard 30 percent App Store cut of revenues from Office-branded, native iOS apps: Because Office is a perennial cash cow, Microsoft did not want to hand over such a large chunk of profits. Microsoft reportedly also argued that Office's value and utility would bring significant benefits to the iOS platform as a whole, meriting an adjustment to the 70/30 split. Apple declined to comment on talks with Microsoft but has indicated it will not bend on App Store revenue sharing.
The Next Web reports consumers can sign up for Office 365 from directly within the Office Mobile application, meaning Apple will claim 30 percent of the $100 annual subscription fee. The publication was unable to confirm whether or not Apple will receive an ongoing 30 percent of Office 365 revenues for customers who sign up within the iOS app.
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