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By 28 March 2014 | Categories: news

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After two years of rumours, some speculation followed by denials, it’s official – Microsoft’s Office for iPad is a real app.

The Office app actually comprises four components – Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft OneNote (newly updated and the only one here that has been available for quite a while on the iPad) and Microsoft PowerPoint.

The apps will allow users to open and view documents for free – but there is a catch – if you want to create or edit documents you will have to cough up for an Office 356 subscription if you don’t already have one. At R650 for Office 365 Home for one year, that’s rather on the expensive side if user’s main purpose was to use Office on their iPad.

Of course, the subscription does take into account using the programmes across other devices, which is where the value becomes a little more apparent.

On the positive side, those who use Office on a daily basis, should find using it on the iPad to be a very familiar experience. The apps have been optimised for a touchscreen, while all content and formatting remains the same across a myriad of devices. Additionally, the familiar features are all onboard, including tables, charts, SmartArt, shapes and equations, for example.

Perhaps the most useful feature though is being able to synchronise across and pick up a document on the iPad where one left off on one’s PC or Mac versions. Office for iPad offers an in-app purchase of Office 365 Home, which includes the facility to use the Office programs across five PCs or Macs and a further five mobile devices, as well as 20 GB of storage space on OneDrive.

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