Following its launch of Office for the iPhone in June, Microsoft has now brought Office to Android phones with basic document, spreadsheet, and presentation editing.
The Android version of Office is similar in many ways to the iPhone version, including the requirement that you must be a Office 365 subscriber to actually use it. Office 365 is a cloud-assisted subscription version of Office that costs $100 a year, and Microsoft likely believes that offering Office for iPhone and Android behind a paywall will encourage more people to sign up (or at least try) Office 365. (Read our Office 365 review.)
In terms of capabilities, Office for Android matches the iPhone version. The app handles basic writing and editing of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents that are connected to your SkyDrive account. The app is also smart enough to resume where you left off reading or editing a document while using Office elsewhere.
Office for Android only works for Android 4.0 phones and above in the United States. Microsoft says more countries will get access to Office on Android “over the next several weeks.”
Noticeably missing in this release is support for Android tablets, which matches what it did on iOS with no iPad support. It’s likely that Microsoft is not offering iPad or Android tablet versions to incentive people to look at its Surface tablets, which include Office on them at no cost.
Our fourth annual VentureBeat Mobile Summit, April 14-15 at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif., will gather the top mobile 180 executives to tackle the biggest growth opportunities in the industry today. Request an invitation.