Microsoft Office for Android will require Office 365 subscription

If you’ve been patiently awaiting the arrival of Microsoft Office for Android, you’re not alone — we’re curious to see how Microsoft treats its Office suite on competing platforms. While we’ve known about its early 2013 launch since, well, almost forever, The Verge’s news that it’s coming in the first quarter of the year is nothing shocking or surprising.

The outlet did get a few details on how things would be carried out from a licensing standpoint, though. According to its sources, Microsoft Office for Android (and iOS, we imagine) will require an Office 365 subscription to get the most out of the suite of tools. With it, you’ll be able to both view and edit documents on the go.

For those just wanting to view documents you do need a Microsoft account but those are free and easy enough to sign up for. We’re told not to expect nearly the same deep level of editing that you can get on the desktop suites, and that’s fine — we weren’t expecting much to begin with.

But you have to wonder whether or not the official suite will be enough to make current third party options seem useless. I got a full editing suite from a Google Play Store sale for $.25, and it does just fine for me.

Even at the typical prices of $10 and $15 we usually see these apps go for, that’s a one time fee. We’re not sure if Microsoft is planning to introduce a new tier for its mobile apps, but for comparison purposes the current cheapest plan costs $4 per month, which amounts to $48 per year.

We won’t know what, exactly, the software giant will end up doing until we inch closer to that Q1 2013, but these early details aren’t leaving the best taste in my mouth. Anyone else not feeling the love from Microsoft or are you just happy to see that the company is supporting Android at all?

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  • Victor Ng

    Just hoping for the $0.25 sale to come again for the android office apps and probably won’t need Microsoft office unless they go all the way and make their documents incompatible with other apps.

    • ScubaSnac9

      Keep an eye on the Amazon App Store, they will have free office apps every so often. That is how I got mine free.

    • NexusKoolaid

      Another $0.25 sale would be sweet, but even without that I’d rather pay full price for one of the decent editing suites currently in the market than jump into Microsoft’s leechware option.

      BTW there’s no way MS would make their documents incompatible with other apps. Seeing how doc, docx, xps, xpsx, etc. are already established and supported by 3rd party editors, that ship has already sailed. If Office for Android were to rely on a new, closed proprietary format it would be D.O.A..

  • John Schuman

    I think microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot here. Google Drive is quickly closing the gap and its free…

    • warcaster

      Not to mention it will probably be fully integrated with Quick Office by next Google I/O. If Microsoft doesn’t actually want market share on Android, why did they even bother porting it?

    • mmark27

      I have yet to find a good app that understands animations from a .ppt or .pptx in presentation mode or even in editing mode. I have several “premium” document services like Quick Office Pro, Documents to Go Full and Office Suite Pro 6…..they claim to do animations, but they don’t really. I’d use that for presentations off my tablet in an instant instead of lugging around my laptop all the time. That said, I’m not going to pay $50 a year for an official MS application for Android. $10 once? yes. $20 once? maybe

      • itznfb

        Powerpoint is the devil. I’m sorry you have to use such an atrocity.

    • itznfb

      For personal use I’m exclusively using Google Drive now. I don’t even install Office on my PC anymore. For work though I’m still 80% dependent on Office. The thing is I can use DocumentsToGo and have a full suite for very little cost and still work with Office documents with 90% functionality.
      The only thing that would make me consider Office for Android would be a highly functional version of Outlook. If that was there I’d be sold and willing to pay.

  • ScubaSnac9

    My question is will it come with Outlook for Android and will it sync with and an exchange server and/or through a POP3/IMAP account?

    • ZzBallykingzZ

      Very good question!

  • guitarist5122

    Quick office pro works fine

  • Mark Reaume

    “Anyone else not feeling the love from Microsoft”. Pretty presumptuous statement since you’re extrapolating a pricing model based on a rumor from Verge. How about waiting to get real info on pricing before assessing how loved you feel?

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      Chill out, man. It’s just an expression.

      • Jonathan DeJesus

        I see someone is still feeling Microsofts prison love, his butt hole must still be sore.

        • Mark Reaume

          stay classy, Jonathan

      • Mark Reaume

        I guess I’m just irritated that I read the story hoping to find out real information but got nothing of the sort.

  • David Narada Brown

    THIS IS NOT WHAT IS WAS LOOKING TO HEAR! HOPE THEY HAVE SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THE APP UP THEIR SLEEVE IF NOT GOOGLE DRIVE AND OFFICE PRO WILL DO ME JUST FINE. WAS REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO MY NEXUS 10 REPLACING THE NEED FOR A LAPTOP!!!

    • TraderGary

      I have a Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T on order. It is a tablet that runs Windows 8 Pro and runs my Photoshop CS6 and full Interactive Brokers trading platform. Of course it runs Microsoft Office 2010. I wanted a tablet that actually did replace my laptop in every way. Check it out.

  • hldc1

    If my understanding is correct, an annual Office 365 Home Premium subscription at $99.99 allows you to use Office 2013 on up to 5 devices. Perhaps that’s not limited to PC/Mac.

    That being said, I currently use Quick Office Pro, and I too find it to be a capable app.

  • Edgar Cervantes

    I am really not that excited about Microsoft Office for Android. There are many alternatives out there that work just fine. Unless Microsoft plans to bring some awesome sync features or something.

  • Vadim Marchenko

    KingSoft Office is great and free. And even supports Styles. And it supports decent number of cloud services.

    Thus I don’t need any bit of code from worse software company on my beloved Android devices!

    • youmad_DUHWINNING

      too bad the “worse software company” makes the best office suite, clown.

  • http://www.harddrivehousecalls.com/ GadgetMomma

    My brother uses MS 365 in his law firm–he is a big fan. It does sync with everything, as well as provides back up for everything on it. His laptop died, he got a new one, and it was all there, just like before. It’s much cheaper and easier for him than having his own servers. Somehow he also has it where it’s working with his iPhone (hey, I can’t help what my brother uses).

  • PhoenixPath

    Lemme help you guys out here:

    365 is a subscription for multiple devices. The Android app is meant as a companion to the 365 running on your desktop, laptop, and tablet. it is not just “An app for Android @ $48.00 a year”.

    If anyone is planning on getting 365 for one device….they’re either doing it wrong, or have some truly bizarre use-case scenario that has no bearing on the intended mainstream use.

    • http://www.colossaldamage.com/ SuperMarino

      Exactly, you get the always up-to-date version for your Windows/Mac/iOS/Android/WinRT device for this price. Actually a pretty compelling offer, even if you need to be logged in to use it.

  • spicymeatball

    Google Drive is awesome. The only thing that will get our attention at this point is a closer to full featured text editor. Microsoft needs to take a lesson from Adobe. They’ve created some great full featured apps for a tablet/mobile. We’re waiting to be wowed and not just a replacement for quick office.

  • itznfb

    Am I the only one concerned about data integrity using Office 365? I haven’t seen it mentioned. I mean Microsoft is the only major email provider I can think of that has accidentally erased millions of people’s emails. And they’ve done it multiple times….