Microsoft’s Office is put to shame by Google with free iOS, Android apps

Anyone who has a Google account will now be able to download Quickoffice for absolutely free although Microsoft officials guarantee that Office will come to non-Windows platforms.

On Thursday, Google released iOS and Android versions of its Quickoffice app, the only mobile substitute to Microsoft’s Office Suite, and declared they are now free for all users.

An analyst said, this decision has increased the pressure at Microsoft to offer Office on Android tablets and iPads.

Al Hilwa of IDC suggested that “Google’s taking the opportunity to get people to use their technology and adopt it, so that when Office comes [to tablets] those people already have what they need with Google’s apps.”

Last week via a Google Blog, Alan Warren – head of engineering for Google Drive said “We’re making Quickoffice available for free to everyone: students, businesses, non-profits, governments, consumers and anyone with a Google Account. Simply sign in with your Google Account to start editing Microsoft Office Excel, Word and PowerPoint files on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet.”

Quickoffice has the capability to edit both existing documents and to create new ones. Alongside this, it is reliant on Google Drive for entry to Microsoft Office spread sheets, documents as well as presentations that users have uploaded to the corporate giant’s online storage service. You are also able to store newly created files using a tablet or smartphone.

Until Thursday, people were required to pay £9.35 for Quickoffice on an Android or iPhone smartphone and £12.46 for the tablet version on iOS or Android.

Quickoffice was bought by Google in June 2012, and then the firm’s development team was rolled into its Google Apps group.

This is not the first time that Google have generously offered their software for free. Last December, the company offered a version specific to iPad to Google Apps in regards to business users. This deal only improved as the company decided to announce a free deal for the iPhone version alongside others for Android tablets and smartphones.

Google Apps for Business is a cloud-based suite that is priced at £31.16 per user per year, and is the company’s essential ingredient in its battle with Microsoft for enterprise productivity customers.

On top of this, Google has incorporated Quickoffice into Chrome OS which is the browser-based operating system which enables Chromebooks to run and has added Quickoffice document viewing to its OS X and Windows chrome browsers.

Most analysts consider Microsoft’s hesitancy to port Office to devices powered by opposing operating systems has expanded the opportunity for other people’s mobile productivity apps. Hence, Microsoft has been cautioned about losing customers in relation to delaying Office on the iPad and Android tablets.

Quick Office can be downloaded now, free of charge from Google Play, the official Android app marketplace, as well as Apple’s App Store.

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