Microsoft on Thursday said users of its Office suite of applications on Apple's iPad and iPhone would be able to create and edit documents for free, in a bid to capture more mobile users.
In March, Microsoft announced Office for the iPad, a major step in commitment to bring Office to everyone. Since then, Microsoft has released native apps for OneNote, Lync, Yammer, OneDrive for Business and OWA for iOS and Android and has continued its investment in the Mac platform with the release of Outlook for Mac and the Office for Mac beta scheduled for the first half of 2015.
Previously, iPad users had to buy a subscription starting at $7 per month, to create or edit them docs on their devices. Now it's free.
Microsoft also announced on Thursday it is releasing Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for the iPhone for the first time, and rolling out a test version of those apps for Android tablets, which are expected to be released fully early next year.
In addition, Office apps customers are coming to Android tablets with the start of the Office for Android tablet Preview. Microsoft is also delivering Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for iPhone and updates for the iPad apps. A new, touch-optimized Office apps for Windows 10 are also in the works, Microsoft added.
The move is the latest in Microsoft's new strategy, led by new Chief Executive Satya Nadella, of getting customers to use their services regardless of device or operating system, rather than lose them.
The move also comes just days after Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Dropbox to integrate the cloud storage service into Office across desktop, mobile, and the web.
While consumers using Office mobile will be able to access the apps for free, Microsoft isn't extending this free functionality to businesses. An Office 365 subscription will be required to edit documents that are stored on OneDrive for Business or Dropbox for business.