Office Mobile will debut in the form of free apps that allow Android and iOS users to view Microsoft Office documents on the move. Like the existing SkyDrive and OneNote apps, Office Mobile will require a Microsoft account. On first launch, a Microsoft account will provide access to the basic viewing functionality in the apps. Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents will all be supported, and edit functionality can be enabled with an Office 365 subscription.
Microsoft will allow iOS users to purchase an Office 365 subscription within the app, or let organizations distribute codes to enable Office Mobile editing for users. The apps will allow for basic editing, but we're told this won't go very far in attempting to replace regular full use of a desktop Office version.
In the past too, there have been romours that Microsoft is busy working on an iOS and Android versions of Microsoft Office, but the company never shared any specific details about the launch. All that Redmond based company has shared so far is that "Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS and Android."
Microsoft is already offering an Office Mobile app on its newly launched Windows Phone 8 devices, including the Surface tablet.
Currently there are quite a few third-party Android and iOS applications that help users access and edit their Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Some of the popular apps include Documents To Go, OfficeSuite Pro, Quickoffice Pro and CloudOn. Even Google is now offering its Office Application - Google Drive for Android and iOS users.
The biggest advantage that Microsoft Office app has on its side is that people are already familiar with Office for desktops and might be keen to try the mobile version as well. However, on the downside, Microsoft seems to be a bit late is launching its Android and iOS apps and most users may already have one of the above office apps. To reach out to them, Microsoft will have to make sure that its Office app comes with some compelling features.