According to the reviewers, Microsoft’s pricing scheme for the new Office for iPad is way too high.
But it’s really a brilliant strategy to give iPad users access to Office, while giving Microsoft a permanent hold to avoid forking over 30% of the price to Apple.
The deal is, you can download the app for free and this lets you view Office apps. If you want to edit them, you have to sign in with an Office 365 account.
To get an Office 365 account, you have to have one of the subscription options: $99/year for a family account $80 for a student account that last four years and covers two devices.
But the only subscription that is available from within the iPad app is the $99/year option.
According to Computerworld’s Gregg Keieze: By giving the app away for free, Microsoft gets a shot at completely side-stepping revenue sharing with Apple.
If users download the freebie iPad app first and then they upgrade to the full app from the iPad app, Microsoft will have to pay Apple the 30%.
But if Microsoft sells them the Office 365 account first and then they get the iPad app, Microsoft doesn’t have to pay Apple.
Microsoft announced that it has already signed on 3.5 million consumers for Office 365, before the iPad app became available.
Microsoft has promised to release a cheaper $70/year personal account that covers two devices. This lower-cost version will likely be the most popular with iPad users who buy Office through the iPad app. And the lower price also means less revenue shared with Apple.