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Microsoft releases Office for iPad

Bryan Glick

In his first press conference since taking over as Microsoft CEO last month, Satya Nadella has announced the long-awaited version of Office for the iPad.

The product is available now on the Apple App Store, with a free version offering a Word, Excel and Powerpoint viewer. Full editing functionality is available through a standard subscription to Office 365, the cloud-based version of the Microsoft productivity suite.

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Nadella also talked about opening up APIs (application programming interfaces) for other aspects of Office 365, such as OneDrive and Sharepoint, for non-Microsoft mobile devices.

The move marks a significant change from Nadella's predecessor, Steve Ballmer, and the predominantly Windows-centric view of the world that Microsoft has preferred.

The new CEO also dropped hints about the much-rumoured release of a new version of Windows, expected to be announced at Microsoft's Build developer conference next week. Speculation suggests that the supplier could launch Windows 9, to replace the heavily criticised Windows 8

Nadella talked about recognising that users increasingly live in a "cloud-first and mobile-first" environment, and that Microsoft needs to deliver experiences to reflect that. 

Earlier this month, Microsoft also released an open source software development kit (SDK) for Android.

The new SDK will allow Android applications to access Office 365 data, such as SharePoint files, Exchange calendar details and contacts, for use within Android apps such as Google Drive, Gmail and Google Docs.


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