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Microsoft Office for Android Smartphones Finally Arrives

After a long time keeping its customers waiting, Microsoft has finally released the Android version of Microsoft Office, although this time only for smartphones.  Microsoft recently released the long awaited Microsoft Office productivity suite for iPhones and quite a number of Android users were worried that Microsoft were being too picky.  Microsoft announced Office productivity suite for Android smartphones is available for smartphones only- just the way it released the suite for iPhones but not for iPads.

Office

This new office release is however limited to subscribers of Office 365.  If you meet these two conditions – that is if you are an Android smartphone owner and are subscribed to Office 365, you can now install Microsoft Office Powerpoint, Word and Excel spreadsheet.  The application itself is free for download on Google Play Store, but to use the installed application, you must log in with your Office 365 subscriptions.  The application in itself is a cloud-based productivity suite that will cost you $99 per year or $10 monthly as a home user depending on the commitment term you choose.  The rates for business packages vary and offer different functionalities.

The newly released Android app for Microsoft Office is no different from the iOS application.  This may be proof that Microsoft is working on making all the Microsoft office suites across the mobile platforms cohesive and identical in appearance and functionality.  The biggest issue, however, is that these apps are for the smaller screen devices and the company has not indicated whether it is working on Office products for larger screen tablets and iPads.

This productivity suite would have been more productive on the larger screen tablets than smartphones, considering that most tablets today allow for external keyboard connectivity and some even come with docks that effectively transform them to laptops.  It would appear that Microsoft is being stingy because it is trying hard to improve the sales of its own tablet, the Surface, which runs on Windows 8.  Making the Office suite for tablets exclusively available on Surface tablets may improve the chances of the tablet against its Android and iOS rivals.

There are a number of other great productivity applications you can use on tablets and smartphones instead of Microsoft Office including

Olive Office, OfficeSuite Viewer, Kingsoft Office, Smart Office and QuickOffice.  If you are subscribed to Office 365, you can download the Microsoft Office Suite for Android on Google Store here.