Microsoft says core editing and viewing Office features will be free for devices smaller than 10.1-inches

Hammad Saleem

Microsoft says core editing and viewing Office features will be free for devices smaller than 10.1-inches

Microsoft reiterated in a blog post that Office 365 core editing and viewing features will be free for users in possession of devices smaller than 10.1-inches. Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office 365 Client Apps and Services team, said that tablets bigger than 10-inches cannot be classified as a professional tablet or PC which can perform extensive tasks.

He further said things get a little different when it comes to premium and subscription based features, which are not the requirement of every individuals, or those who are using their tablets on-the-go, differentiating the usage of mobile and professional users. As far as professional users are concerned, they are more concerned about the features which they could utilize in their office tasks along with the improved security offered by paid services. 

“Currently, we are also using screen size to delineate between professional and personal use. Based on our research, we are classifying anything with a screen size of 10.1 inches or less as a true mobile device: You’re probably using it on the go, when it’s not practical to use a larger computing device such as a PC or a Mac. You probably aren’t using a mouse or a keyboard, instead navigating via touch interface. It’s probably not a “pro” category tablet that is used for design or presentations. On these devices, the core editing and viewing experience is free, until you get to those premium, subscription features,” says Koenigsbauer.

This is not something new, the software giant dropped the news back in January when it talked about the technical preview for Office 16 and revealed that touch friendly versions of Word, Powerpoint and Excel will be free for mobile devices running Windows 10. The post from Koenigsbauer just reiterates the fact, and make it a little more specific about the devices which will be able to make use of the freemium features.

In the past few months, we’ve seen a number of small tablets from manufacturers across the globe boasting a screen size under 10.1-inches. They do come in handy for normal tasks which a user can complete using the touch-friendly interface, but things get a little different when it comes to proper office tasks which require peripheral devices such as a mouse or a keyboard. 

Office 365 subscriptions, even for individuals and home users, has its own set of advantages such as the ability to install it on multiple devices, 1TB of extra OneDrive storage which can be used for storing documents, images, videos and lots more, 60 free Skype minutes per month per user, free Microsoft support, and more.

Koenigsbauer also offered some figures when it comes to Office for iOS. Last year, Apple introduced Office for iPad which required Office 365 subscription when it comes to core editing and other advanced features. He mentioned that Office for iOS was download more than 80 million times in less than a year, which is quite impressive and shows the demand for Microsoft’s productivity suite on rival operating systems.