In early 2014, Microsoft released their Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications for the iPad. Launching their Office suite on platforms other than Windows was something that they had seemed reluctant to do for many years, and so the release of Office on iOS was a pivotal moment for the company. Even more surprising was the fact that iOS received a touch optimized version of Office before Windows did. Unfortunately, users of Android tablets seemed to be left out in the cold, and there was no indication of if or when the applications would make their way over to Google's mobile operating system. But in November 2014, Microsoft released preview versions of their Office applications for Android so they could perform testing and accumulate feedback from users.

Today the Office for Android applications are graduating from their preview status to become complete supported applications that Microsoft feels are ready for widespread use. According to the company, the three applications received a combined 250,000 downloads during the preview period, and were installed on over 3000 different Android device variants. Microsoft's system requirements for the final versions of Office on Android are a device with 1GB of RAM or more, an ARM based SoC, and Android 4.4.x KitKat. Devices between 7" and 10.1" will be able to use the apps for free, while devices larger than 10.1" will require an Office 365 subscription to have access to creation and editing features. Microsoft indicates that the applications are functioning on Android 5.0 Lollipop, but that it is not currently supported. Users of Intel x86 tablets will have to wait for a support update that will be arriving later in the year.

Source: Microsoft Office Blog

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  • GrayTwig - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    I think the licensing is actually the same for Android (7 to 10") and iOS -- users get free, functional but somewhat limited, versions. With the Office 365 subscription, more features are added.
  • melgross - Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - link

    What do you mean? They're free on iOS. There's no difference in the licensing. All the features that are free in the Android version, at least, possibly more from what I've read.
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    Moments like this are why people who question whether one should ever own an Intel-based Android tablet are justified.
  • Michael Bay - Friday, January 30, 2015 - link

    Make that just android and I agree.
    iPad experience is much smoother overall, and for work there are win machines.
  • defter - Friday, January 30, 2015 - link

    Is this a real Office that can be used offline? Or just some 365 crap.
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, January 30, 2015 - link

    I was under the impression that you can also use 365 online. Have you used 365?
  • melgross - Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - link

  • hrrmph - Friday, January 30, 2015 - link

    Looks like it is being blocked on devices that were purchased outside of the US.
  • melgross - Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - link

    Of course, if you guys find Google's offerings less than useful, and Office to be distasteful, you can look into what's being done with Libreoffice:
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - link

    It's nice to see Microsoft finally rubber stamp Office on Android and it's really good for people left out in the cold without a work-friendly suite because they purchased an Android device, but for people shopping for a new tablet that aren't already in an existing ecosystem (Apple/Android) or who are okay with switching, I'm not sure it's beneficial to go with anything but an x86-based Windows tablet. There are a few that are RAM limited like the Stream 7, but $100 and some wise shopping can get someone a quad core Bay Trail Atom with 2GB of RAM and the ability to run full desktop applications (given some limits on performance expectations and local storage of course) so entering into a pact with Google on Android to deal with all the data that invariably gets mined from the usage of the device is no longer offset by a lower cost of entry. I guess if you already have an Android phone in your pocket, you're already being heavily monitored and monetized so there's that part too.

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