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Microsoft Office apps soar to top of iOS charts

Microsoft's move to make Office productivity apps free resonates well with iOS community

Microsoft Office apps soar to top of iOS charts
Microsoft Word currently sits at the top of the iOS download charts

Microsoft Office apps have soared to the top of the iOS App Store download charts, following the vendor’s decision to make the apps available for free last Thursday.

Previously, Microsoft had offered unpaid users of its Office productivity apps only limited features – it was impossible to even create and save a new file without an Office 365 subscription. But on Thursday, the vendor backtracked by making most functions available on its Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications free to iOS users.

The move was seen to be in response to competition from competing productivity apps from Google, which offers word processing, spreadsheet and presentation apps for free through its Google Drive suite.

That said, Microsoft still offers more features to Office 365 subscribers – added benefits include extra editing capabilities, unlimited OneDrive storage space and Dropbox integration. However, for most users, the basic productivity apps will be more than enough.

Users have responded well to the Microsoft apps being made free. Some have rated Microsoft Word for iPad 5 stars, and PowerPoint for iPad has garnered strong reviews, too.

Either way, the apps look set to stay near the top of the download charts for the time being. On the iPhone charts, Word is currently sits at number one, while Excel is at number eight and PowerPoint is at number ten. For iPad, Microsoft Word is also at the top, while Excel is number two and PowerPoint is number seven.

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