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Microsoft Puts Cloud-Based Office 365 on iPhone

It’s only for the iPhone, not the iPad, which is presumably too close to Microsoft’s own tablet ambitions

Without any fanfare Microsoft last Friday released a feature-limited copy of its cloud-based Office 365 for iOS formatted to fit the little screen.

It's only for the iPhone, not the iPad, which is presumably too close to Microsoft's own tablet ambitions.

There is of course the slow-moving Microsoft Phone but since that isn't likely to become dominant anywhere anytime soon Microsoft probably couldn't resist iPhone's numbers anymore. Android is another matter.

The new Office Mobile for iPhone app is available free through Apple's app store but it takes an Office 365 subscription to use. The subscription costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.

For the money, consumers can view and at least lightly edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files and create and edit Word and Excel files. The edits will appear when the files are accessed on a PC or Mac.

Users can also use the widgetry to access Office on five iPhones and five PCs or Macs and store the documents on Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage. Updates come free with the package.

Since time immemorial Microsoft has supplied Office, however belatedly, for Macs. Apple now says it's going to put hosted versions of its productivity apps, Pages, Numbers and Keynote, on PCs while it has a chance. PCs are after all a declining market.

iPad users can currently access Office via Office Web Apps, which requires an Internet connection. The widgetry isn't as powerful as the installed software.

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Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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