There has been a great deal going on this week, but by far the biggest news of the last seven days for Microsoft was the launch of Office for iPad. This is an app that has been rumored for quite some time, but this was the week that saw the dream become a reality. It was a launch that was eagerly awaited by owners of Apple’s tablet, and Word, Excel and PowerPoint all very quickly became big hits in the App Store.
While each of the Office apps has been made available for free, editing is only available to users who have an Office 365 subscription. People who already have one in place need simply sign into their account to take full advantage of the apps’ features, but there’s an in-app purchase option available for anyone who need to buy one — which, interestingly, means that Apple manages to make money from the three free apps (30 percent of the purchase price, no less).
If you were quick off the mark, there was a chance to get your hands on a free Office 365 subscriptions just by turning up at a Microsoft store with an iPad — this was the official way to get full functionality for free. But there is also a slight loophole which was quickly discovered, making it possible to unlock all of the editing features for free — sneaky!
So what are the apps like? Word is probably going to prove to be the most popular of the suite’s apps and it’s very impressive — we liked it a lot, anyway! While at the moment there is no built-in print support, this is something that could well be added in a future version. It wasn’t just the iPad that felt the benefit of Office; the iPhone and Android versions were turned into free apps.
But while iPad users were embracing the arrival of Office 365, Microsoft is preparing to bid a fond farewell to Office 2003 which has reached the end of its life, just like Windows XP. Delving further into the vaults of software history, the source code for MS-DOS 1.1, MS-DOS 2.0, and Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a was made publicly available for the first time.
Following a recent case in which Microsoft accessed customer emails without a warrant whilst investigating the leaking of Windows code the company came under fire from civil liberties groups. The Electronic Frontier Foundation voice concern that the lack of a warrant meant that there was potential for abuse, but Microsoft quickly responded by announcing a change in company policy. From this point forward a change in privacy practices means that Microsoft will call in law enforcement if it is believed that company services such as Outlook.com are being used to deal in property stolen from Microsoft.
This week promises to be one that’s packed with announcements — there’s Build to look forward to for starters!