Microsoft Matches Google By Upgrading Office for iPad

Microsoft Office is part of the iPad arsenal and 35 million users have downloaded since it was launched in March. Now Microsoft has issued several updates, which it describes as the features users request most often.

The upgrades — improvements for the Word, PowerPoint and Excel applications — are designed to enhance the user experience.

Luring Apple, Google Users

You may recall some of the excitement around the launch of Office for iPad four months ago. While most of it was in response to launch of the applications themselves, some of the buzz stemmed from the fact that it was  Satya Nadella’s first press conference and first product launch.

Leaving Nadella out of the equation, the launch targeted users of Apple iWork and Google Docs and looked to create new revenue streams from Office. As a result, those who wanted to use the apps on iPad had to sign up to Office 365. The minimum cost is a Personal Office 365 plan that includes a license one PC and one tablet for $6.99 a month.

Since then, Google has really been tightening the screws with Google Drive and Docs. With the recent addition of Office document tracking and editing in Google Docs, the company is providing workers a viable and cheaper alternative to Office.

That said, one of the things that will keep users coming back to Office is familiarity with the applications as well as regular enhancements to the apps in Office 365.

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Office upgrades for iPad: Excel

With these upgrades, Microsoft is adding functionality that will make it easier to use all three apps. They are particularly beneficial for mobile users, who will play a key role in the battle for dominance in the productivity apps market.

Get the Party Started

According to a blog post from the Office team, Microsoft is adding the ability to export a file as a PDF, new picture editing tools and support for third party fonts. In addition, it has enhanced PowerPoint by adding a presenter view when projecting, audio and video playback, the ability to insert media and the ability to add and edit hyperlinks.

In Excel, it has improved the way users interact with data by enhancing pivot table interactivity as well as adding print and scaling options and a new flick gesture, which makes consuming and selecting large ranges of data on iPad much easier.

The Send as PDF is available in the Share menu in all the apps, and it’s available for everyone to use, whether you have an Office 365 subscription or not.

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Office upgrades for iPad: PowerPoint

Microsoft has  been pushing the Office product hard where ever it can, including the Google Chrome store, and providing new, business orientated functionality like advanced collaboration and analytics.

Although the upgrades to iPad are a relatively small affair, the commitment this shows to developing the product and engaging with Office users also shows that no matter what Google offers, Microsoft can at least match it.