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Office for iPad, September updates

The latest updates to Office for iPad are good for Microsoft marketing but not existing customers.

Microsoft has just released updates to their Office for iPad apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad). What’s new and fixed for Office 365 customers?

Nothing …. If you’re already an Office 365 renter/subscriber there’s nothing new at all.

The entire 600MB of updates is to help Microsoft sell more Office 365 packages. If you have the choice, you can skip these updates and wait for some that improve the software for customers – not Microsoft alone.

Updating the apps, just for more Microsoft’s revenue, is quite inconsiderate to their millions of existing customers. Not everyone has a free, fast connection like they do. Promotional changes should be part of some new or changed features in an update for all paying customers.

Office for iPad: The Complete Guide covers every menu, ribbon and feature in Word for iPad, Excel for iPad and PowerPoint for iPad.

Office for iPad now includes ‘in-app purchases’ for the monthly Office 365 payment option. image from Office for iPad, September updates at

If you choose either of the ‘Buy’ options you only get a month-to-month purchase option.

The Monthly Option

It’s possible to rent Office 365 on a month-to-month basis though Microsoft prefers you to pay for a year and it’s cheaper to do it that way.

The monthly choices are:

  • Office 365 Personal: $6.99 a month
  • Office 365 Home Premium: $9.99 a month

The Office Mobile app updates let Microsoft offer and sell those options within the apps. Microsoft hopes to sell more Office 365 packages, despite having to share the in-app money (and usually any follow on sales) with Apple.

Pay Monthly, Pay More

Advertising Office 365 with a monthly price lets Microsoft promote a low headline price, but it’s a more expensive way to get Microsoft Office.

Office 365 Personal annually costs $69.99, paying monthly adds up to $83.88

Office 365 Home Premium is sold at $99.99 a year, paying monthly adds up to $119.88

Office 2013: the real startup guide has a chapter devoted to saving money when buying Office 365/Office 2013.

Why only monthly online?

Why is Microsoft only offering the monthly option within the Office for iPad apps? They’d prefer to sell the yearly option, just as they do on their own web site.

Most likely it has to do with whatever contract Apple and Microsoft have hammered out between them.

The usual Apple arrangement with app developers gives Apple 30% of each app and in-app sale. That high payment to Apple is the main reason why Office for iPad hasn’t had in-app purchases until now. Presumably Microsoft has better deal with Apple. That would explain selling at monthly rates only; to limit the commission paid to Apple.

Microsoft hopes people will choose the annual option, which they can directly sell, without the income sharing with Apple.

Other fixes

Maybe the September 2014 updates include some bug fixes too. The Office Mobile team has such a poor attitude to informing customers, so it’s quite possible that they didn’t bother to mention other changes.

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