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Microsoft Is Selling Office 365 Within iPad Apps, and Apple Is Getting Its 30 Percent Cut

Apple confirms that Microsoft didn't get any special deal in offering subscriptions through in-app purchase.

Screenshot by Re/code

While one of the big holdups for Office for iPad was getting the software just right, another was Apple’s policy that apps that sell things — including subscriptions — use Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism and hand over 30 percent of that revenue to Apple.

This had been a big sticking point historically, so it was one of the key question marks looming over this launch.

Indeed, Microsoft does offer Office 365 subscriptions within the just-released Word for iPad and the other Office apps and, yes, it is paying the 30 percent cut, Apple confirmed to Re/code. Microsoft declined to comment on the matter.

Apple has taken a hard line with all manner of publishers that want to sell things, even subscriptions that go well beyond the iPad content: If anything is sold in the app, the sellers have to use Apple’s method and hand over 30 percent.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, both CEOs were playing nice-nice.

“Welcome to the iPad and AppStore,” Cook said in a tweet.

Nadella replied in a tweet of his own: “Thanks @tim_cook, excited to bring the magic of @Office to iPad customers.”

That said, Apple used the launch as a chance to tout all the many other productivity apps also on iPad.

“We’re excited that Office is coming to iPad — now part of the more than 500,000 apps designed specifically for iPad. iPad has defined a new category of mobile computing and productivity and transformed the way the world works,” Apple said in a statement. “Office for iPad joins an incredible lineup of productivity apps like iWork, Evernote and Paper by FiftyThree, that users can choose from to inspire them to do more with this powerful device.”

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