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Office for iOS tied to Office 365

The latest rumor is more like a logical extension of current policy.

The latest rumor about Microsoft Office for iPhone/iPad (number 263 in the series) says that if such a program is released it will be as part of an Office 365 subscription.

That’s hardly a surprise for several reasons.

Microsoft is clearly pushing Office 365 as a subscription service with software. It will be Microsoft’s preferred way of selling Office 2013. Instead of buying Office 2013 ‘straight’ as in the past you’ll be encouraged to buy it online as part of an Office 365 subscription. The installation use ‘Click to Run’ streamed installation with no disk or install files to download.

Selling Office for iOS as part of Office 365 subscription could also allow Microsoft to effectively charge directly and not have to share revenue with Apple. In this scenario ‘Office for iOS’ is available ‘free’ from the Apple store but most or all of the features are only available when you sign-in to your Office 365 account.

Other services like the wonderful Evernote do this already. Their Apple and Andoid apps are free with users choosing either the free or modestly priced Evernote service. Evernote gets its revenue from direct subscriptions to their service without the large commission sharing with Apple.

Linking Office for iOS to Microsoft’s Office 365 also means that Microsoft maintains its marketing link and revenue stream from the customer. In the longer term Microsoft hopes people will return to the corporate fold and use a Windows based phone and tablet.

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