Few people actually open and edit documents on their smartphones, let alone actually create them there. From a short-term perspective, then, placing a version of Microsoft Office on Apple's iPhone shouldn’t dramatically change the world.
Microsoft announced Office Mobile for iPhone on Friday morning, ending months of speculation.
The “free” Office Mobile for iPhone app only works with an Office 365 subscription, however, so users will have to pay to edit Office documents, whether it be an Office 365 subscription or Apple’s own $9.99 productivity apps, iWork. And, for now, Office Mobile is specifically formatted for the iPhone, so iPad users won’t be able to use it.
Office Mobile for iPhone users will only be able to open and edit, not create, documents in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, although a Microsoft-supplied graphic shows the other standalone apps available for the iPhone: Lync, SharePoint, Yammer, and Skype. Outlook appears to be missing, although the Outlook.com app somewhat fills that hole. A dedicated SkyDrive app is also included, which appears to be the only option for cloud storage. That could be a real sticking point if Microsoft doesn't allow documents to be saved to iCloud or imported from there.