app store app

The three apps no longer require a Office 365 subscription to edit files. Previously you could only view files without such a subscription. Basic editing functionality and other features are now free. More advanced options, such as formatting changes, are still available only for Office 365 subscribers.

China’s app stores are notorious for two things: pirated apps, and huge amounts of malware. It’s a particular problem for smartphones running Google’s Android OS, especially because the official Google Play app store is not available in China. In its place hundreds of third-party app stores have sprung up, some from major tech companies like Baidu and Tencent, along with many others from smaller companies. A study last year of the twenty biggest global Android app stores found over 7,000 dangerous malware-carrying apps (pdf) on offer, most of them in China.

Microsoft Word for the iPhone.
Microsoft

But with Windows Phone on just 2.5 percent of the mobile devices worldwide and with iOS and Android collectively on nearly 93 percent of devices, it seems like a savvy move to get Office into those realms — especially with freemium software that could eventually lead users to pay for Office 365 subscriptions.

And what of Office for Android? Microsoft said that beta testing has already started for Android tablets and that the apps will become available in 2015. It also said that a version for Android phones (with similar features to what exists for iOS) will be available shortly afterward.

On Friday, the mobile version of Word surged to No. 2 among free apps in Apple’s App Store. This comes just one day after Microsoft dropped the requirement of buying an Office 365 subscription to edit documents in the Word app for the Apple iPhone.

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