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Microsoft's Office Apps for iPad Off to a Good Start

Not bad, Microsoft. Not bad at all.


It may have taken years to get to Apple’s App Store, but Microsoft’s new Office apps look to be having a fine debut.

The apps, which are part of Microsoft’s Office 365 productivity suite, currently hold the first through fourth spots in the most downloaded free apps charts as of Saturday afternoon. Microsoft Word is No. 1, while Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote round out slots two, three and four.

That’s a good sign for Microsoft, which has been working to bring the apps to Apple’s tablets for years now. Especially when competing apps like Quip, Evernote and Apple’s own office apps have been available on iPads for some time.

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the case that the new Office 365 is about working well across multiple devices — like the iPad as well as the desktop, or Microsoft’s own Surface tablet — while letting multiple people collaborate on items while saving the work to the cloud.

Another good sign for Microsoft: Its Word and Excel iPad apps also hold high positions in the “top grossing apps” category, which means that a significant number of people are already converting to paying customers after downloading the freemium version.

The in-app subscription upgrade gives users more Office features, like the important ability to create and edit documents in Word, for instance, while the free apps offer “read only” access to documents.

Users have a number of options for which premium version of Office they want, and can upgrade from within the app itself. The typical plan costs $99 per year for consumers.

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