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Microsoft Office Apps now available for iPad

You are not seeing things. The iTunes App Store has Microsoft Office apps in it.

Just about two months after becoming Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella answered the question that Microsoft Office devotees have been asking for years now: when, when, when will I be able to use programs like Word, PowerPoint and Excel on my iPad? Well, during a recent webcast news conference, he revealed that they’ll be available as of now.

“The real goal for us is to step up to provide the applications and services that empower every user across all of these devices and all of these experiences,” Nadella says. “We don’t like to leave things unfinished in terms of scenarios when you want to be able to do things in your life and you want to use the same applications for your work, and to be able to transcend those two is very core to how we approach everything we do.”

The changing of the guard clearly represents a changing of philosophy. For years, it had been clear that Microsoft was holding back on Office for iPads, fearing that it would cause too much defection from Windows PCs. Now, though, the tech giant seems to be trying to win customers back on whichever battlegrounds it can.

Right now Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote are the four Office apps available. They are free to download and use to read documents, but if you want to edit and create them, you will have to be an Office365 subscriber, which runs about $100 a year.

Microsoft has indicated that Android tablet versions are also in the works.

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