Microsoft on Tuesday announced that their Office 2010 productivity suite will be available for public release by June 2010.
While the public beta of the software is already available for download, the announcement from Microsoft was also significant in that it laid out the company's strategy for enabling easier access of MS Office from mobile phones.
According to the company's statement, Office 2010 on mobile phones shall be accessible in two ways – The Office 2010 Web Apps version and Office Mobile 2010 version. The free to download Web Apps version of Office 2010 supports the Safari 4 browser on iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. However, this version does not permit editing files and users may only view Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote documents.
Editing of Office documents is available with Office Mobile 2010. Unfortunately, this version of MS Office runs solely on Windows 6.5 Mobile Operating System which means that it is not an ideal tool to edit MS Office documents for iPhone users.
This announcement comes as a disappointment solely because in light of increasing competition from rivals including Google, one would have expected Microsoft to offer MS Office 2010 on a much more inclusive list of platforms. Not only does Microsoft mandate users to have mobile phones running Windows 6.5 Mobile OS, but also insists that they run the Sharepoint Workspace in order to be able to edit Word documents. This definitely sounds like needless complication from the perspective of users.
Nevertheless, if you are still looking to work on Office documents on your iPhone, there are already a lot of third party iPhone apps like Documents To Go that let you to view as well as edit MS Office documents. Also, with Google Docs serving as an effective alternative, Microsoft could find the going tough, at least in the smartphone segment.
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