Microsoft Office for ANDROID phones: Yes! Download for free (kinda)

It's free, but more features unlock with an Office 365 subscription

Want Microsoft Office on your Android smartphone? Well here you go: It's finally out of beta.

And it's absolutely free -- but there are some premium features, which require an active subscription to the Office 365 cloud service.

The available apps are Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Amazingly, it doesn't even force you to use OneDrive. Wait, who are you, and what have you done with Microsoft?

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers kinda miss the "evil embrace" of the old Microsoft.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Nick Statt chows down on a disappointing bagel, and reports:

Microsoft's venerable finally making its way onto smartphones powered by Google's Android. [And it's] free to download.

You can edit Word documents and wirelessly run PowerPoint presentations. ... Unlocking more mobile features...requires an annual subscription to Office 365. ... CEO Satya Nadella...and his team want corporate customers to stop thinking of Office and Windows software as products they buy with onetime licenses.  MORE

Tom Maxwell chugs a steaming Aeropress brew, while noting the apps' design center:

Spreadsheet warriors, your time has come.

These apps aren’t for creating documents, however, but rather for accessing and making quick edits to ones you’ve made [on] your tablet or desktop.  MORE

Mary Jo Foley sups an amusing craft-brewed IPA, setting some historical context:

Microsoft made the public preview of Office for Android phones available in May. ... Microsoft made its Office apps generally available for Android tablets starting in January 2015.  MORE

A pleased-looking Microsoft VP, Kirk Koenigsbauer, telemarks over to announce an announcement:

I’m pleased to announce the general availability of the new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for Android phone.

We are so grateful to our preview users...we were able to incorporate a lot of their feedback. ... For example, we made it easier to connect to...Dropbox, Google Drive or well as many usability adjustments.

I can review documents in full fidelity, read comments and then easily add my own. ... I love just bringing my phone to a meeting to present wirelessly. ... I can quickly find the document I was working on in the office from my phone.  MORE

Brad Linder crops his Garlic scapes, tomatoes and strawberries, to note where you can get it:

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are all available from the Google Play Store as well as the Samsung Galaxy Store and several Chinese app stores including Xiaomi, Baidu, and Tencent.  MORE

Meanwhile, "Finbarr Saunders" utters these double entendres:

The old Microsoft wanted to dominate in the platform and application/productivity market and tried to use the influence of MS Office suite to promote [Windows].

Now MS are more service orientated and realise the device/platform doesn't matter as much as the service. [Or] it might just be MS thinking of a new way to be evil.  MORE

And Ryan Whitwam wakes up from a deep sleep to agree:

Microsoft decided a while back to stop jealously guarding its popular productivity software and create proper apps for Android and iOS.

You get most of the basic tools from the desktop in a touch-optimized package...but without an Office subscription you won't have things like track changes.

Microsoft will also be pushing OEMs to pre-load Office apps.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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