The free software is for iPads, iPhones and Android tablets and it will do most of the essential functions as the computer versions of the product. Microsoft previously offered a free iPad version of Office for reading documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, while editing and printing required a subscription fee.
Mobile-functionality is becoming the most popular choice in the tech-world. Microsoft felt the effects of this reality last year when consumer revenue rose a mere 2 percent, according to The New York Times.The company is in tough competition with Apple, Google, and Evernote, who offer free and cheap mobile alternatives.
“We’d like to dramatically increase the number of people trying Office,” John Case, corporate vice president of Office marketing at Microsoft, said concerning the new offer. “This is about widening the funnel.”
Microsoft announced that by providing a complete mobile of version of Office for free more people will begin using their software. But their gain should not take away sales from the PC and MAC versions of the product.
The free offer is predicted to have little risk, since only about 13 percent of the company’s revenue comes from consumers. The greater risk remains that the similarity of mobile Versions of Microsoft and Office and premium versions will decrease the sales of the latter.
Case said the company’s decision comes with some risk, but he expects the impact will be positive.