Microsoft unveils Office for iPad

SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft on Thursday unveiled Office for the iPad, a software suite that includes programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and works on rival Apple Inc.’s hugely popular tablet computer.

The app was to be made available for download Thursday in the App Store at 11 a.m. Pacific time.

Office for the iPad corrects layout problems that users experienced when accessing files they had saved on Microsoft’s cloud storage service, OneDrive.

The app has touch-enabled features that allow users to drag photos around Word documents and grab elements like pie charts in Excel.

The app will allow reading and presenting of documents for free, but will require a subscription to Office365 to enable writing and editing. A subscription for up to five computers and five smartphones costs $100 a year, but a personal version for one computer and one tablet costs $70 a year. The subscription includes 20 gigabytes of storage space on OneDrive.

The Redmond-based software giant unveiled the app at an event in San Francisco where Satya Nadella addressed reporters on his 52nd day as Microsoft Corp.’s chief executive.

“This, in a sense, is a cloud for every person and every mobile device,” Nadella said.

He built on comments he has made previously that Microsoft will develop key software for mobile devices regardless of whether they run on Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android or Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Thursday’s announcement follows Microsoft’s move earlier this month to release a version of its OneNote note-taking software for Macs.

“There’s no tradeoff,” Nadella said. “What motivates us is the realities of our customers.”

Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, said the move to develop key software products for Apple devices is a “great first step.”

Microsoft had previously resisted introducing Office for the iPad, preferring to leverage the software suite as a key selling point of Windows 8 tablets and its own line of Surface tablet computers. But those tablets have struggled in the marketplace.

“They finally looked in the mirror and realized they needed to go with the crowd in terms of iPads,” Ives said. “I think it signals there is change in Redmond, even if they picked an insider.”

More in Herald Business Journal

More business, more competition for Everett kidney dialysis center

Nonprofit Puget Sound Kidney Centers sees large for-profit competitors enter state market.

Suitors, beware: In Seattle, Amazon also brought disruption

The company has grown there from a workforce of about 5,000 to more than 40,000 in 33 buildings.

Boeing rushes to bring back retirees as temps

It’s unclear if this could be a definitive turn in the downsizing tide.

Tax cuts won’t generate as much economic growth as Trump says

There’s little historical evidence that tax cuts actually pay off in boosting economic growth long-term.

City of Marysville adds HR director

The City of Marysville has hired Bill Kolden as its new human… Continue reading

Economic Alliance to host After Hours event at Clothes for Kids

The next Economic Alliance Snohomish County Business After Hours event is from… Continue reading

Speed Networking planned by Lynnwood Chamber

The next Good Morning, Lynnwood Chamber Speed Networking is from 7:30 to… Continue reading

More self-awareness could help build a better medical system

Marcy Shimada of Edmonds Family Medicine writes the second in a series about fixing our health care system.

Scratch-and-sniff brochures aimed to prevent disaster

Puget Sound Energy has distributed more than a million scratch-and-sniff brochures to… Continue reading

Most Read