Microsoft rolls out Office Mobile for iPhone

Microsoft rolls out Office Mobile for iPhone

Summary: Microsoft is rolling out a small-screen optimized version of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPhone users who subscribe to Office 365.


Microsoft is making a mobile version of its Word, Excel and PowerPoint products available for iPhone users via its Office 365 subscription plan.

The roll-out begins starting June 14 in the U.S., with additional availability in 135 additional markets and 29 languages to follow next week. The Office Mobile for iPhone suite is available in the Apple app store.

The Office Mobile for iPhone suite is very much like the Office Mobile suite that Microsoft preloads on Windows Phone, meaning it is optimized for the editing, viewing and creation of Word and Excel documents. (Microsoft has offered OneNote for the iPhone since 2011.) While the new Office Mobile for iPhone suite can be used at 2X resolution on iPads, it is not optimized for that platform, Microsoft officials said.

"This is very much optimized for small screens," said Chris Schneider, Marketing Manager with Microsoft's Office Division. He said Microsoft's guidance for users who want Microsoft Office on the iPad remains that they should use Office Web Apps — the versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint that Microsoft has optimized for use in a variety of Web browsers.

Check out Ed Bott's hands-on gallery of the new Office for iPhone suite

Current and future Office 365 subscribers will be able to get Office Mobile for iPhone for use on up to five iPhones for free. These five devices won't count against the five-device usage rights that Office 365 subscribers currently have with Office 365 plans that include Office client access. In other words, if you are an Office 365 subscriber, you can use Office 2013 or Office for Mac 2011 on a combination of five PCs and Macs plus Office for iPhone on five iPhones. (Office Mobile on Windows Phone doesn't count against Office 365 subscription limits.)

There was a Microsoft roadmap floating around earlier this year that indicated Microsoft did not plan to offer Office on iOS until the second half of 2014. The roadmap didn't specify whether that meant Office on iPad or iPhone.

I am not sure if today's announcement indicates acceleration of Microsoft's plans on that front (or if the roadmap I saw was outdated). I still believe Microsoft's Office team is also going to deliver some kind of Office for iPad product that most likely will also be tied to an Office 365 subscription. But no one from Microsoft is saying publicly that this is the plan. 

Office Mobile for iPhone works on iPhone 4, 4s or 5 and iPod Touch Fifth Generation. Devices must be running iOS 6.1 or higher.

The Office 365 subscription plans which include Office Mobile support include Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 Small Business Premium, Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E4, Office 365 Education A3 and A4, Office 365 ProPlus, and Office 365 University. There are also some government plans that offer Office Mobile for iPhone, according to Microsoft. Note that the University plans are limited to two iPhones per user, not five like the others.

Office 365 trial subscriptions also will activate Office Mobile.

Topics: Collaboration, Apple, iPhone, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Excepting that Office Mobile is a pile of P**h

    Oh Come on. " is optimized for editing, viewing and creation of Word and Excel documents" Really?

    I am really dissapointed with the so called Office on my Windows Phone. Its really embarassing to see Microsoft Promote Office Hub Windows Phones, without any clear demonstration or videos of what it can actually achieve. In Word all the formatting and styling is lost. Windeos Phones really cannot cope with scrolling through any normal sized and typically formatted MS word documents in scrolling through. So the best I can do is convert all my Word and Powerpoint Presentations to pdf, and use pdf viewer.
    to view any Offcie documents just for viewing only.

    Excel on a Mobile, are people still believing this is any way viable to manipulate Excel cells on a 3 inch screen. My 2003 iPAQ with a stylus was more effective. Tne Skydrive App, for downloading MS Office documents has never world for me either. Always gives up with 'please use Broswer version instead'

    MS Office on Mobile is Joke. I am keen to see how they intend to make it 'Touch Friendly" Because Word and Excle are a long way off at the moment.

    So yeah. lets expose this Mobile MS Office Joke to all those Apple Users.
    • Office 365

      Go get iWorks or Kingsoft, maybe then you'll be happy, but I love my Nokia Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8 and MS Office 365 access across all of my devices, phone, Surface Pro 128 GB, at home or work.
    • I find your post hard to believe

      We have 4 WP8 devices in the family and before that we had 4 WP7x devices. And our experience is nothing like you describe. My wife and I use the Word and Excel phone versions for light editting/reading documents and spreadsheets. It works as it should on a small device. And Skydrive has worked fantastic for the sports booster club we participate in.

      So either we've been very lucky or you might be trolling.
      • Skippy99's phone will even call God for you

        • I know right...

          I mean a phone that is not exactly the same model as yours doing things that yours does not? IMPOSSIBLE!
        • calling god?

          Thanks, I never tried before but yes it does. Thanks CaviaREd it will certainly save my knees!
          Kevin Morley
    • It's meant for light editing....

      ...last week, my wife had to edit a Word doc on our commute home. She has an iPhone 4S and I have a Windows Phone. She had to e-mail me the file, I opened it on my phone, she made the edit, sent the file back to her, and she e-mailed it from her iPhone back to the person that needed. She was thrilled to be able to make the change on the go like that. If you need more than that, get a Windows 8 tablet!
      • Next time, tell your wife to spend $9 and buy

        Pages for iOS. It will save her a lot of grief.
    • Ummm

      I don't think it was necessary to censure the word "pooh".
    • I don't know what windows phone you have, but that is not my experience.

      Word documents are as easy to read as any other document on my phone and scroll far smoother than PDFs. editing excel on a phone is terrible, but possible. I haven't tried doing the equivalent on android or iPhone, but I can't imagine it being any better. Tiny boxes are tiny boxes regardless of OS.
    • Office on your Windows Phone JulesVerny?

      JulesVerny tell us more about your Reboot-O-Rama WindoZe phone? Like when you are in the middle of a phone call do you tell the person you are talking to "Hey MicroKlunk needs me to reboot my ancient MS DOS WindoZe "Modern UI" phone, so I'll call you back when I finish rebooting"?

      Yup that's why everyone else in the world buys Androids and iPhones. Same for Tablets too.
      No one buys "Scratch the Surface" MicroKlunk Shablets either, they buy Android & iPad tablets that have a real operating system in them called Linux & BSD.
      • What??

        LOL. People still speak like that outside of Hacker News. 1337 dude.
    • P**h?


      Skydrive works perfect on iPhone 4s, that and Office works brill on WP7. OneNote is the best thing that ever happened to iPhone
      Kevin Morley
  • Huge mistake!

    It would have been so much wiser to keep Office a Windows / Windows Phone exclusive until that platform was able to make inroads into the business sector.
    • In the long run, no.

      Eh... Office for mobile devices (even Windows Phone) isn't really for being productive. It's more about looking at what those productive Office workers--excuse the pun--have created while you're on vacation (okay, or in the field) with your phone or non-WindowsRT tablet.
      R. Chase Razabdouski
    • Not Office Mobile

      It's Office 365 for mobile on iOS. You have to have subscription for it. It's just an advertisement of 366.
    • Good point

      I understand what you mean but it's not a bad move. The app is free but users still need subscription to use it, so I don't think it hurts Windows Phone where there is no additional cost or subscription requirement to use it.
      • No Internet connection

        Any program that only works with an Internet connection is more useless than teats on a boar hog. It will be a cold day in hell before I will use *any* kind of program that used to work just fine, standalone on my computer or any other computing device, before the Internet was invented.
        • So what are you doing posting on a website?

          These things didn't work AT ALL before the internet. Get out.
          • I guess you missed the part about programs that worked

            fine with an internet connection in the previous version.