Microsoft’s long-anticipated Office Mobile app for Apple (AAPL)’s iOS operating system turns out to be a total non-event.
Ever since the iPhone ushered in the era of ubiquitous mobile computing — and especially since the release of the first iPad began a shift away from traditional personal computers — the question has been whether and how Microsoft Office would adapt.
Here’s the answer: Grudgingly, and not very well. Office Mobile, which slipped into Apple’s App Store with little fanfare, turns out to be a stripped-down add-on that will leave both Office and Apple users wondering, “Is that all there is?”
Office Mobile is technically free. But it’s useless unless you’ve already paid at least $100 for a year of Office 365, Microsoft (MSFT)’s effort to convert its traditional shrink-wrapped, purchase-one-time-only software business into a pay-as-you-go subscription model. (By contrast, the version of Office Mobile included on devices running Microsoft’s own Windows Phone software doesn’t require an Office 365 subscription.)