Microsoft has recently released the long awaited Office for the iPad. There has been a version for the iPhone for a while now but now there is a version that supports the full resolution of the iPad.
You can download the apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) directly from the iTunes store for free, however beware that they are big downloads and doing so on WiFi is probably the best idea. Once downloaded the apps can read and view any Office document, however if you want to use the apps to edit Office documents then you’ll need to pay for a subscription.
There are a number of different subscriptions, including a stand alone option for students but if you already have an Office 365 subscription then simply logging into you account within the app will unlock the editing features of all the apps.
if you are familiar with Office on the desktop there is a little re-training you will need to invest in to get the most from the new interface. However, once you start using the Office Apps on the iPad you will find that they are quite intuitive, work very well and show signs of being a mature product.
It is difficult to see the iPad being used to created long and complex Office documents, however the ease and flexibility with which you can edit and sync your documents (especially with Office 365) it makes you wonder why Microsoft took so long to bring this product to the iPad.
At the end of the of the day if you are using Office 365 already and have an iPad there is no reason for you not to download and start using these Apps. However, don’t expect that you’ll be able to totally replace your desktop. These Apps and an iPad make like more convenient, however for long and complex document nothing beats a real keyboard!