Microsoft Office Apps For Android Tablets Now On Google Play

Android tablet owners can now download Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint onto their devices directly from Google Play as part of an expansion of the Office for Android tablet preview.

The apps have been available since November, but users were asked to sign up for the preview programme. However Microsoft has decided to make them available to as many people as possible in order to gain more feedback and to test the software on a wider range of devices.

To participate, users must have an ARM-based Android tablet running KitKat or Lollipop and a screen size of between 7 and 10.1 inches.

Office for Android tablets

Android smartphones have been able to use Office apps since 2013 but require an active Office 365 subscription in order to gain full functionality. Applications for iPhone and iPad are also available as part of a change in strategy by Microsoft, which had long touted the availability of Office on Windows Phone and Windows 8 tablets as a unique selling point for the platforms.

However it is now keen to get Office in the hands of as many people as possible in a bid to sell more subscriptions to Office 365. It stresses that the best Office experience is only possible with a subscription, touting features like OneDrive storage.

Last year, the company launched Office 365 Personal for home users, having had businesses packages available for some time. Office 365 has received a number of updates in recent times, with users now available to take advantage of unlimited storage and mobile device management (MDM) features, while developers now have access to more APIs for new applications.

A new version of Office for Mac is expected next year, while development of a touch-enabled version of the productivity suite for Windows 10 is well underway.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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