David Papp Blog

We need Microsoft Office on iPad and Android Tablets

Windows has been the preferred platform for Microsoft applications, especially in the business community. It remains very important. Already released was a version of Office for iPhones however they are leaving money on the table by not bringing their productivity suite to tablets and androids.

SkyDrive, Skype, and OneNote (all by Microsoft) are already available on iOS and Android. We hope they continue in this direction.

Keeping in mind Windows 8 was optimized for tablets, especially the new Surface RT tablets; some speculate Microsoft doesn’t want to hurt the value in their own products. However they should keep in mind the strong trend of people only carrying smartphones and tablets with them in our mobile society. I believe not having Office products available on tablets hurts the Microsoft bottom line.




58 thoughts on “We need Microsoft Office on iPad and Android Tablets”

  1. Kingsoft Office is an excellent alternative for Android users. They have a free and a paid version of the app and it does the trick when you want to do some editing of files on the go.

    It’s available via the Playstore (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cn.wps.moffice_eng&hl=en) and is compatible with a very wide range of Android devices starting at version 2.1

    Check it out – I don’t know if there’s anything comparable for iOS, but I assume there is.

    • Thanks so much for sharing this. I didn’t know about Kingsoft Office for Android. I have been using OpenOffice for the past several years on my laptop. I also use Google Docs and Google Drive. This looks like an excellent alternative to Microsoft Office.

      But for those who still want Microsoft Office, I must say I’m surprised that it’s not available, as of yet. I find this quite surprising. One hopes this will change, as not everyone wants to switch or possibly they may be constrained in some way and unable to use viable alternatives.

      • If you’re happy using OpenOffice, you should also consider looking at LibreOffice. It’s a fork of OpenOffice with a slightly different feature set. I’ve found it to be more useful than OpenOffice when I need to deploy an open source office suite.

        • That’s great to know. Thank you. I had heard of LibreOffice a couple of years ago, but I hadn’t investigated it further. I’ll definitely look into it. I’m very glad to see such alternatives. And in general, I’m very excited about the further development of these kinds of open source software programs as they do foster much innovation, and give us so many options.

        • I have LibreOffice myself. I’m curious though what’s the difference between OpenOffice and LibreOffice and what you like better from one than the other?

          • I’m also curious to know about the similarities and differences between OpenOffice, LibreOffice and Kingsoft Office. Could someone shed some insight into this?

            I want to give on of the last two a try and would appreciate some help choosing.

    • I have not heard about the Kingsoft Office for Android. Does it have the same features as the Microsoft Office such as word count, spelling check, and auto format? What does the free version offer? Let’s say if you are going to write a 1000-word essay, does it limit to a specific number of words you can write? Thank you for the recommendation! I will check it out now.

  2. I agree with you.
    I don’t see Microsoft not putting office on their tablets, in the future. I think that they are working on figuring out something and how to get it to work with the tablets for MS Office. They still want to be tops on the market and the stock market. I think it’s coming.

  3. Does anybody still need Microsoft Office on any plattform? There are very good alternatives on the market and most of them are freeware. So I just don’t follow your thought here. We should suppert the available open source software by using it.

    • Some businesses still ‘require’ the use of certain tools, sadly.

      And yes, there are proper alternatives… but sometimes they just fail to deploy them.
      Same goes for browsers, ever wondered why IE6 still has market share? Right: Business usage.

    • I think we do, after all, Microsoft Office software’s are the most widely used and most office based jobs requires knowledge of Microsoft Office. I’ve tries some office freeware, and though they’re useful, they don’t compare to Microsoft Office, much less Excel. I think its just a matter of time.

      • I think it’s more of people being used to Microsoft Office, than there being an actual need for their office suite. That’s what I see as Microsoft’s problem these days. They haven’t really done anything yet beyond what was expected of them, meanwhile, other businesses are producing their own alternative that tend to have something new to offer.

        • I follow this view fairly strongly. MS Office has a new release every so often with not that much in terms of new features. To me, there still is no particular unique selling point to the suite. What attracts people is the fact that they know about it and it is widely considered the normal.

          New products produced by other companies bring a fresh approach and are looking to offer what the likes of MS Office don’t; which is great. Unfortunately, in the case of tablets, there isn’t really that much choice around for a good Office suite.

          I would like to see it be introduced onto platforms, but I would prefer to see some solid freeware be released as well.

          • I honestly want Microsoft Office to be released into mobile devices, not so I can use it, but more to keep healthy competition on all office suites. Microsoft would be the most popular office suite for which most people can look up to for standards on what they need. I mean, we do know what we need but it would help the less technically-inclined in making decisions.

  4. How in the world has this not happened yet? There are attachable keyboards for tablets so people are definitely going to use them to word process, create spreadsheets etc. That means we ought to have all of the Microsoft Office Suite software available. I’ll be shocked if it isn’t for sale for ipads/tablets by the middle of 2014.

    • Office is a massive undertaking from a programming standpoint. Porting it to a different environment is a difficult process. Look at Office 2011 for Mac – it’s awkward at best, doesn’t supply the same amount of features as the Windows versions and is extremely prone to crashes. RT is the same, it’s Microsoft’s own platform and they don’t have full Office support yet.

  5. I think iOS and Android versions of office are most definitely a must.
    I’m not sure why Microsoft hasn’t taken this step yet, but I recon it’d take a lot of work to make a functional port.

    The fact that OneNote is available already gives me some hope for future releases of Office tools, though!

    In the meantime, Kingsoft Office is most likely the best alternative.

  6. So many people are accustom to using Microsoft Office and it may be a bit difficult for them to switch so i believe if they would put Microsoft Office on the Apple Ipad and tablets then it would be a quicker seller.

    • If Microsoft is going to make their Office suite available in mobile devices such as iPads and tablets, I don’t think it will resemble their desktop equivalents 1oo%. People will still need to adjust even a bit so the alternative is still good, especially since it’s free.

      I’d like to see what it should look like though. Would be funny if it ends up looking like KingSoft.

      • With Microsoft’s track record, I wouldn’t be surprised if they just ended up buying out KingSoft and rebranding as Microsoft Mobile or something haha!

        • It would be easier for Microsoft to tackle having a mobile office suite too. I hope not though. I like KingSoft as it is. I believe they’re working hard for a Linux version of their product and I don’t think Microsoft would like that.

  7. I have yet to fully transfer my mobile usage to tablets and smartphones. I still use those silly old laptops for all of my work related needs. Still, I agree. We do need more of those sorts of products on these mobile devices.

    • Same here. I just like the option to be able to tweak my files saved from Dropbox for when I’m on the go. If I were to continue studying, I’m glad there’s a great number of ways to do schoolwork without being restricted to renting a PC which was what I used to do in college.

      • Likewise. I am still using my laptop for virtually all of my work. I still like typing on a keyboard when working on documents. I find it much quicker although it is cumbersome for travel. So for that reason alone, I’m sure I’ll make a transition at some point. I remember it took some getting used to to transition from the keyboard of a desktop PC to a laptop.

        So I think it’s great to have these apps for KingSoft Office which others have mentioned. Being able to read documents on the go, even if one does not work on them or revise them, could be a time saver. The synching of data on such Dropbox and Google Drive and other cloud storage really begs for this kind of app to really allow us to be mobile.

        • I know people are still used to desktops and laptops when editing documents but I really like a mobile office suite because while I’m out and maybe waiting for something else, it’s a way to pass the time. I also like it for when I suddenly have an idea I need to incorporate to my writing assignments.

        • You can buy an add-on keyboard for tablets and ipads. I find it much easier to travel with a tablet/ipad and I’d rather just bring that instead of a big, bulky laptop. Yet, I can’t because I need a device that has a word processor and spreadsheet capabilities so I always end up traveling with my laptop.

          • Yes, I can relate. I think it’s just a matter of time before the technology will enable us to be liberated from laptops. We’ll get the software we need. Of course, it was not so long ago that the laptop was such a liberation from the desktop PC. I still remember those ancient days of having to ship my PC whenever I had to relocate for a significant period of time. But now we are never away from computing power of some kind.

  8. I don’t know if I have this need, but I agree on the importance of a possible release of Office for those platforms. Many people are very accustomed to the operation of this specific software and the fact of using a different word processor or a spreadsheet developped by another company, means an inconvenience. Sure, we live in an era in which software development is well suited to the needs of the user, but they sometimes omitted to draw attention to such details.

    • I’m satisfied with the alternative, but I agree how important it is to release Microsoft Office to mobile devices, more for Microsoft’s sake. They are known for releasing the most preferred office suite and if they don’t release one in time, the other alternatives might just surpass them. I know they’re doing a lot of things (buying Nokia, tweaking Windows 8, dealing with Xbox One) but they should keep up to date with their strengths, one of which is the office suite.

    • I agree. For some businesses and corporations, the original Microsoft Office may be their standard software, and it could be a hassle to get employees to use an alternative even if it has features which are quite similar to what they are used to. It may mean additional training and/or lead to incompatibility issues.

      From the business and PR perspective, it’s certainly not helpful for Microsoft to ignore this market sector.

      • They are making a gigantic mistake by delaying so long. It is terrible PR wise, I agree. My co-workers do not want to use an alternative to Microsoft Office no matter what as they are set in their ways. So, we all bring out laptops on trips and leave the tablets at home. That’s not how things should be in 2013. These tablets have been around for a while now.

  9. This is so true. Just 2 weeks back I had to present something in my University and was thinking of taking my tablet there for presenting it, but was disappointed to find there isn’t MS Office available for it.

    Really hope they release it sometime soon, as there is no doubt there are many more people such as me waiting for it already.

  10. Has anyone else tried this on an iPad? http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/web-apps/ It works on browsers so this might be another alternative if you really want to have something from Microsoft. Unfortunately, you would need internet connection with this. Other office alternatives might be better for use still.

  11. While I do agree that Microsoft Office is an important tool, it’s difficult to say that they should spread it to other platforms. Of course, Microsoft has been pushing the new Windows Phones as much as they can. I don’t think Microsoft’s monetarily affected enough to even care. Really, other platforms might have shiny bits-and-bobs, but if you’re looking for a system that understand practicalities and work, you need to look into getting Windows.

    • I get that they’re the king right now, but looking at how quick the industry moves, they should keep on playing on their strengths and even improving. BlackBerry was king several years ago, look at how they are now. Not saying Microsoft might fall the way Blackberry did, it’s just they should do things to make people prefer them, instead of waiting for their competitors, as small as those can be, into improving so much that they provide a better service/product than Microsoft. (This actually feels odd to write about, since I don’t even like Microsoft).

      • Fair enough. If Microsoft doesn’t keep making progress, I can see that their competitors will. Microsoft does seem to have a false sense of security. If they were to establish their product in a way that no one need to recreate it, then there would be no market for competitors. Perhaps they will sometime after they further branch into the mobile market, once people lose the excitement of a Windows Phone.

        • I agree. Microsoft really should go ahead and release Office for iPad and Android. It’s not as if this would make a significant difference with the Windows 8 Phone or tablet sales. Even though the sales are up, the latest statistics show that the phone has only 3.5 percent of the market share and the tablet has around 5 percent. I doubt that even the Nokia acquisition will make a huge difference in the long run.

          • Well, what exactly is stopping them from doing so? I do not understand their stance on not releasing the software for the ipads and tablets. It seems stupid not to. Why leave potential profits on the table? All I can think of is that they perceive the users of tablets to be people who bought the device to surf the web and send messages, not to use it for a word processor etc.

  12. Concurring with the sentiments of the author, I’m also pretty surprised Microsoft hasn’t taken this pivotal spot in the Android market yet. I’ve been using QuickOffice Pro on my Android devices, but there are some features of Microsoft Word and Excel that I’ve become quite reliant on.

    For example, having the ability to build tables within Word documents on Android would help me tremendously; Microsoft always makes this super easy and I imagine with multi-touch controls this could be pretty cool for them to implement on a droid.

    • I do hope it’s just a technical problem, not really a decision that they can’t carry because of corporate politics. At least with technical problems, it can eventually be solved.

      I agree about Microsoft Office having extra features not being available for the alternatives. It would probably the biggest reason why I’d get Microsoft Office on my phone instead of using KingSoft. The latter can be quite a pain to work with beyond word processing.

  13. I’ve only used Kingsoft word processor while on Android but it works almost as well as Microsoft Office in my opinion. I haven’t tried anything else other than word processing with Kingsoft but I am wary to do so after some of the other comments on this post.

    I am a little confused about why Microsoft would keep word off of Android and iOS tablets as they’ve caved on just about everything else. It’s just a matter of time most likely.

  14. Why would Microsoft not put Office out for the iPad and Android devices? It looks like they’re still looking if Windows 8.1 would draw people’s attention from iPads and Androids if Office is an exclusive to Windows 8.1, according to one analyst. If Windows 8.1 fails even with Office exclusivity, that’s the time when we might see Office unleashed on our devices of choice. Looking at things now, we just might have to wait for when Microsoft realises we still like iPads and Androids over their Windows 8.1 device. Oh, I’ve read the analysis from here: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9242569/Microsoft_inches_toward_Office_on_iPad_Android_tablets?pageNumber=1.

    • Thanks for sharing the article. The Microsoft officials quoted were remarkably noncommittal. I think that analyst that Computer World quoted at the end who says Microsoft may be “testing the boundaries” is probably correct. They seem to be operating on their own timeframe and adhering to their own agenda as they must already know that people are clamoring for Office on iPad and Android. There’s simply no way it would be a flop.

  15. I normally use LibreOffice for my own projects at home, which, unfortunately doesn’t have an Android version. For my Nexus 7, I had been using Google Drive, which fulfilled my most basic needs, but only so.

    A few weeks ago, however, Google announced that it was putting its QuickOffice suite for free on Google Play, and since then, I’ve been using it. It works very well and syncs automatically with Google Drive, so I can access it from wherever, whenever.

    There’s also Kingsoft Office, although I personally haven’t used it yet – but I have heard very good things from them!

    • I’ve been using KingSoft for a long time now and I like it. That said, I haven’t really tried any of the other alternatives. I’ll go and check QuickOffice. It should be good because it’s from Google.

  16. I use S-Note on my Samsung Note 8.0. I do wish Microsoft office does support IPad and Android Tablets. I do a lot of writing and blogging. It’s much easier for me to write my posts using Microsoft Office.

  17. Oh, I just found out that Microsoft sort of has it on mobile, but you’d have to get an Office 365 subscription to be able to use it on Android and I guess iOS. I really hope there’s a stand alone version for iPad and Android tablets.

  18. I agree with you. I think there should be Office products for tablets as people are on the go all the time. Of course people can use other applications like Quick Office but I personally prefer to use Microsoft Office in order to avoid changes in formatting. I sometimes encounter changes when I open my Word docs in Google Drive or vice versa.

  19. Today, no one can stay away from all travail.On ends up needing to Microsoft Office.
    This is the proggramme that I use most often for work.

    When sending documents to me, I’d like to open on my tablet without having to switch to a PC. Now it’s easy read bin. Office is available on Android OPUR we avoid looking.

    I think it is ideal for large projects. Thank you Microsoft.

  20. Well, currently the Apps are now available on Apple devices, and I mean the one that came from Microsoft not the third party apps.

    Although I must say I like the ones from the third Party better that the one Microsoft provides. I have an IPad Mini and have downloaded the Excel App in the hopes that I will be able to use it to at least copy the content of a file to a text file. But no, you have to have a Office 360 to do that. That also goes for creating a new spreadsheet, so basically the 200 MB app can only do viewing if you are a free user. I might as well download the 60 MB app from the third party providers.

    Well that just me, I know other may find it useful using the Office 360.

  21. I never knew that Microsoft Office products were available on iPads or Tablets. This is new information to me and I am certainly going to check it out. I absolutely love Microsoft Office.

  22. They do have an MS office app available on Android I believe, and it requires an Office 365 subscription. I honestly think that Google Drive is going to take over, because their wide array of support reaches pretty much everyone on all platforms. What’s even better about Google Drive is that it supports Word documents, so again, a wide array of support that can’t be beat.

  23. Microsoft has produced their own line of gadgets to be used with the software. To use Microsoft in our tablets and our pads would be helpful for people who are used to the Microsoft experience. But suppose I have already gotten a laptop or another gadget that is not manufactured by Microsoft, I would still want to use the software. It takes some adjustment to move between operating systems.

  24. There are plenty of great office suites on the android that allow you to open office documents. While it may be nice for some people who want an ‘official’ app, there really is no NEED for one. Check out ‘Office Suite 8’ or ‘Polaris Office’. They both retail for under $20.

    If you don’t want to spend any money you can check out Kingsoft Office or even just Google Docs.

  25. When I first got a tablet I really wished there was a MS Office version for it 🙁 I had to download something similar, but it’ll never be the same. I used that one a lot in the past when I was working as a freelance writer, so I could work on the go, not very handy but better than nothing. But really made me wonder how hard it can be to create a MS office version for an android tablet.

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