Dec, 03 2012

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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