Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at the launch of the company's Microsoft 365 cloud service in New York, June 28, 2011. (Photo : Reuters)
Android and iOS users who bought Microsoft Office 2013 and want to take advantage of the cloud-based nature of their Office 365 subscriptions may be disappointed in the experience.
Microsoft has been loath to offer useful or convenient ways to edit Word, Excel and other Office Suite documents on Android or Apple devices. Currently, there is no Office app for Android, iOS or BlackBerry, just Windows Phone and Symbian.
Out of the box, you can't even view Office documents on those operating system, only sync contacts, calendars and email.
Microsoft does offer a subscription to its WebApps feature, but functionality seems low there as well.
"Using my iPad, I tried out the Word Web app, which is available to me through a free trial of Office 365 small business," writes CIO.
"(It costs $6 per month after the 90-day free trial). I opened a document I'd collaborated on in desktop Word that included footnotes, edits marked with Track Changes and comments. The Word Web app supports none of these features. The same is true on my Android smartphone. It's essentially the same limited set of Word features that the Word Web app offers for free via SkyDrive."
While there are rumors that Microsoft is finally working on iOS and Android apps for Office 2013, there aren't supposed to offer much more functionality than WebApps, so it's doubtful that they'll actually be useful.
For now, if you need access to Office documents on-the-go, it looks like your best bet is still carrying around a laptop with the full set of programs installed.