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Microsoft’s Licensing Plans Mean Small iPad Pro has Office Document Editing for Free


The small screen size of Apple’s new productivity minded tablet means that iOS users with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be able to edit Office documents for free.

With the launch of the small Apple Pro earlier this week, Apple has basically positioned itself right in the way of Microsoft in the fight for mobile productivity dominance.

Indeed, Apple made no excuses as the company honestly said the small iPad Pro is targeting Windows PC users and hoping to entice them away from their laptops and onto tablets.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is probably a better product than the iPad Pro, it has a full PC OS for a start, but there is no doubt that Apple has the clout and existing sales to harm Microsoft’s business in their sector.

It may seem rather foolish that Microsoft has this week made Office apps for the small iPad Pro come with the feature that allows users to edit document and content for free, without.

The original 12.9-inch iPad Pro launched last year had a screen that was big enough to fall into an Office licensing that means users have to pay a subscription to get editing tools. It gave the Surface Pro 4 an advantage over the iPad Pro, but the smaller slate launched this week has a 9.7-inch screen, with is below Microsoft’s 10.1-inch cutoff.

Because of its smaller form factor, the new iPad Pro is in a different licensing bracket that allows it to get a more feature rich Office package for free.

Why would the company give the iPad Pro a boost with the market leading productivity suite? Microsoft simply cannot afford to cut off its nose to spite its face. Hardware is not a major sales area for the company, while software is a massive part of Microsoft’s revenue and future plans.

In other words, Office on as many platforms as possible and used by as many people as possible, even if that tactic is ultimately detrimental to sales of the Surface Pro 4. Apple already offers is admittedly excellent suite of productivity apps for free on iOS, so Microsoft needs its Office applications to be as robust as those rivals to win as many users as possible.

SOURCE: Wes Miller (Twitter)

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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