Microsoft brings Office to your iPad, improves mobile experience

Microsoft is seeking to bring its Office productivity suite to more mobile devices and improve the experience for business users with a series of announcements, including support for the Apple iPad.

A Microsoft Office for iPad app is now available, to complement the free Office Mobile apps for iPhone and Android users. Also new is the Enterprise Mobility Suite, which Microsoft describes as a set of cloud services to help businesses manage corporate data and services on employee devices. And coming soon is Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium and enhancements to Windows Intune.

“Microsoft is focused on delivering the cloud for everyone, on every device. It’s a unique approach that centers on people — enabling the devices you love, work with the services you love, and in a way that works for IT and developers,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, in a statement.

Office 365 subscribers can now add an iPad as one of the supported devices in their subscription, and can create and edit documents with the Word for iPad, PowerPoint for iPad and Excel for iPad apps from the app store. The apps will also connect to Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service.

Microsoft’s answer to mobile device management, the new Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite offers corporate IT managers device, identity and access management with data protection from the cloud, and includes Windows Intune, Azure Active Directory Premium and Azure Rights Management Services.

Coming soon is Azure Active Directory Premium, which will bring cloud-based identity and access management with single sign-on to a host of popular software as a service applications. Enhancements have also been made to Windows Intune, including support for the Samsung Knox platform and Remote to My PC capability for Android and iOS devices.

In a blog, Nadella wrote that Microsoft views mobility and the cloud as inextricably linked.

“Mobile without cloud is limiting. The cloud without mobile is mostly latent potential. But the place where they meet is magic,” said Nadella. “And in the full arc of time, we will get to a world of ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence that powers all our daily experiences.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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