Microsoft is making good on its promise to be more responsive to users' needs ... just not all of them.
Last week the company released a preview version of Office for Android tablets, along with Office for iPad upgrades and new iPhone apps. Even better, it made all of the options free. You no longer need an Office 365 subscription to edit documents on mobile devices and store them in the cloud (whether it’s OneDrive or Dropbox).
But what about iPad users who enthusiastically signed up before that announcement — and are already locked in to spending $7 a month for an Office 365 subscription?
We Hear You
On Thursday, Microsoft announced it was making many Office for iPad features available for free. "Just install the Word, Excel or PowerPoint apps from the Apple iTunes Store and sign in with a Microsoft account. In addition to viewing and printing documents, you’ll be able to create new documents and perform core editing tasks," the company boasted.
But it made no mention of refunds, noting only existing Office 365 Home or Personal subscribers will continue to have access to select premium features on their iPads, like tracking and reviewing changes in Word and customizing Pivot Tables in Excel.
Understandably, a lot of people who signed up to Office for iPad following its launch last spring were unhappy. But one of the things Satya Nadella promised when he became CEO earlier this year was a more responsive company. And sure enough, by Saturday morning, he kept that promise.
In a statement on the Office Online website, Microsoft explained how some Office 365users can get refunds. The big caveat is that refunds are available only to home and personal subscribers. In addition, only those who purchased an Office 365 subscription on or after March 27 and activated that subscription before Nov. 6 are eligible.
It's not automatic: You have to request a refund by Jan. 31 — and refunds can take as long as eight weeks.
But what about business users? So far, t here is no explanation as to why those that have signed up for business plans are not getting their money back. And alienating business clients seems pretty foolhardy, especially when competitors like Google are making such a big play for these kinds of accounts.
Satya, are you still listening?