Microsoft expands Office on Android preview

Microsoft is broadening its preview of Office on Android tablets, adding support for Kitkat and Lollipop and removing the waiting period for access.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is expanding availability of its Office on Android preview, officials announced on January 6.

Microsoft made available its initial Office for Android preview in November 2014, making test builds of Word, Excel and PowerPoint available in the Google Preview store to those who requested access on a staggered basis.

Microsoft is now allowing users with Android tablets with screen sizes between seven and 10.1 inches running KitKat (Android 4.4) or Lollipop (Android 5.0) to immediately download the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps without having to request access or wait.

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Microsoft is expected to make Office for Android tablets generally available in early 2015, officials said last year.

A basic, consumer-focused version Office for Android tablets will be available for free; a version with more business-focused features will require an Office 365 subscription -- just like Office for iPad does. Users will be able to view, create and edit content in the Office for Android tablet apps without a subscription, but not access more advanced editing/creation features or take advantage of unlimited OneDrive storage without one.

The Office for Android tablet suite will include Word, Excel and PowerPoint. OneNote for Android tablets is already available for download for free from the Google Play store.

Microsoft also is redoing the Office Mobile on Android phones release so that it looks and feels more like the Office on Android tablet one. Specifically, Microsoft will be breaking up the Office Mobile hub into separate Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps, Microsoft officials said, just as they have done on the iPhone as of last year.

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