back to article Microsoft releases free Office apps for half of all Android phones

Redmond's plan to get its code running everywhere took another step forward on Wednesday when it released free versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Android phones. Ever since Satya Nadella took the top job at Microsoft he's been banging on about getting its software on every platform. iOS got it first, then …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't care, don't want.

    1. Planty Bronze badge

      Me neither. There will be a sting in the tail, nothing is ever free from Microsoft.

      I will stick to Google docs, I know what the deal is, what I am giving up in exchange for what I get

      1. mythicalduck

        Me neither. There will be a sting in the tail, nothing is ever free from Microsoft.

        That's funny, Visual Studio Express is still free, and you can even write commercial software with it; it's been that way for years... Sure it has slightly less functionality, but that's the same as with Office here as far as I can tell.

        I will stick to Google docs, I know what the deal is, what I am giving up in exchange for what I get

        Really? You know exactly what Google does with the data it scrapes from all your documents and emails? Do you work there or something?

      2. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Devil

        I will stick to Google docs, I know what the deal is, what I am giving up in exchange for what I get

        ... until they change the T&Cs... again

        1. John Bailey

          "... until they change the T&Cs... again"

          Which one.. Google or Microsoft?

          1. RyokuMas Silver badge
            Happy

            "Which one.. Google or Microsoft?"

            Yes.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          T&c

          It's not changed for ages, not since the huge consolidate of t&c two and half years ago.

          Ironically you might want to read the scary Microsoft one that appeared in your inbox last week, and went unreported by most of the press. That one is truly scary.

      3. dajames Silver badge

        Tail?

        There will be a sting in the tail, nothing is ever free from Microsoft.

        If it is indeed true that MS make more money in licensing from every Android sale than from every WinPhone sale, then I can see why they might be very keen to encourage Android sales by offering free software.

        Of course, the thought of (still) being able to lock users into (some version(s) of) their own office applications must have some appeal as well.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "There will be a sting in the tail, nothing is ever free from Microsoft."

        Yes, if it's the same as the tablet version I tried out, it won't let you save a document unless you sign into an MS account first. I have no idea if, once signed in, it will then work even when out of range of a network connection. I really couldn't be arsed to set up an account to try it out when WPS Office does all I need without an account and definitely works while "offline", which in my case is not unusual on my travels.

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      IE Next

      Because showing correctly formed webpages just doesn't give that authentic microsoft experience.

  2. JP19

    "30 OEMs to get them preloaded"

    Oh FFS.

    If it is a free download why the hell does anyone think it is a good idea to package it with the OS so you need root to get rid of it and free up memory for what you do want?

    1. Tom from the States

      Re: "30 OEMs to get them preloaded"

      Microsoft will $weeten the pot for the OEMs. Also, saves download time. Agreed with your line of thinking if you are preventing from uninstalling it.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: "30 OEMs to get them preloaded"

      Even worse, if they put it in system space, that's 500meg of flash that could have been allocated to the user partition and after an update it will gobble another 500meg of userspace for the new apks.

      Let's hope they have the sense to not install in system space. And why would anyone want software of typical Microsoft quality running with system privileges anyway?

    3. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: "30 OEMs to get them preloaded"

      ...

      30 OEMs to get them preloaded

      One MS to rule them all,

      and in the darkness bind them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "30 OEMs to get them preloaded"

        @ gerdesj

        Expect Google to change the OS so you can unload it :)

    4. Charles Manning

      Oh, how the mighty have fallen

      Anyone remember the times of old, when Microsoft made reasonable software and OEMs loaded piles of shite into the PCs which gave the purchasers a bad experience.

      It seems that MS are having their revenge and have fallen to makers of bloatware for other people's OSs.

  3. Mephistro
    Black Helicopters

    Hmmm... 'Microsoft' and 'free' in the same sentence...

    It's a trap!!!

    1. Planty Bronze badge

      Re: Hmmm... 'Microsoft' and 'free' in the same sentence...

      Of course it's a trap. They lost their grip on the market and need you back using proprietary office formats again. This is the dangly carrot that brings you money back to them. Like a drug dealer, only the first hit is free when it comes to Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmm... 'Microsoft' and 'free' in the same sentence...

        You have just been visited by the Magnificent Seven! :D

  4. ratfox

    Well, well…

    Microsoft is slowly changing. Who'd have thought to see this ten years ago?

    1. phil dude
      WTF?

      Re: Well, well…

      But into what?

      Another bastard corporation?

      P.

  5. Bloodbeastterror

    Storage...?

    I don't think MS have a good handle on Android. When even large satnav apps take up maybe 30MB of space, why would a word processing or spreadsheet app occupy way over 100MB? Word has a stupidly unusably large number of functions which 90%+ of users don't know about and don't need. Why not provide a skeleton version more in touch with Android/normal user needs instead of propagating bloatware into the platform?

    1. Kevin Fairhurst

      Re: Storage...?

      The actual Office application side of it is tiny; it's the virtualised version of Windows Mobile that it runs on that takes up the space ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Storage...?

      @ Bloodbeastterror

      How true.

      In true MS bloat style filling your storage space, Quickoffice uses just 9.22MB

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quickoffice uses just 9.22MB

        To be fair that seems large given it's weedy functionality.

        Still, these office apps are hideously big. Why don't they just do them as web apps?

        1. Yag

          Re: Quickoffice uses just 9.22MB

          Not everyone have and want an unlimited data plan.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Quickoffice uses just 9.22MB

            Yag: "...an unlimited data plan."

            Not to mention that "unlimited" typically means 5 to 6 GB per month, but YMMV.

  6. Evil Auditor

    Alternative?

    Just wondering, is there a usable Linux mobile out there?

    1. kryptylomese

      Re: Alternative?

      Troll

      1. Evil Auditor

        Re: Alternative?

        Trolling? Yes, a bit.

        Seriously though, I've been using both iOS and Android phones for years. In my opinion, iOS sucks(*). I don't like it. But Android, which I prefer for its functionality, sucks even more.

        (*)Although I believe for the usual user it is quite good and probably better (less troubles) than Androids.

    2. Conor Turton

      Re: Alternative?

      Ubuntu phones are as close as it gets.

  7. largefile

    How's the hate fest going gentlemen? Not a one of you I presume has tried the Office for Android applications. You all just like thrashing Microsoft for the sport of it. No problem....have at it....Microsoft has turned the corner on just about everything you seem to relentlessly dwell upon and no matter what you want to believe, the company has survived and is prospering once again. New leadership, new direction, daily evidence that they are on track.

    It must gall all of you to realize they aren't going to die the death you have prayed would befall them for so long.

    1. kryptylomese

      Why do you care if Microsoft survive or not? The world does not need the company, or its poorly written software.

      1. NumptyScrub

        Why do you care if Microsoft survive or not? The world does not need the company, or its poorly written software.

        You can replace "Microsoft" in that quote with any tech company (Google, Apple, Oracle, Canonical... the list is endless) and it will still parse. We don't need any single tech company, regardless of how you view their products, but more companies means more choice.

        You couldn't get on with Linux?

        Yes, they apparently couldn't. I have the same incredulous look when people tell me how they "couldn't get on with Windows 8". Personal preference is fine; I prefer how 7 did it, and I prefer how Cinnamon does it, but that does not stop me from being able to use Win8 or Unity.

        (Bloodbeastterror didn't mention which distro they tried, but it could well have been Ubuntu running Unity, which seems to generate as much unreasoning hate for the GUI as Win8 does)

    2. Bloodbeastterror

      "Hate fest"...?

      A bit strong, no? I've re-read the comments and yes, there are a few negative ones, but more go along the same lines as mine about bloatware, and there are even a couple praising MS.

      Me, Bill Gates caused the explosion in personal computing, which would never have happened if we had had only OS/2 or Linux. Windows isn't perfect by any means, but at least it's usable.

      (No flame wars, please. I've tried Linux, couldn't get on with it - just personal preference).

      1. kryptylomese

        Re: "Hate fest"...?

        You couldn't get on with Linux? It runs on more computers in the world than any other operating system so you are using it just about everywhere and you just don't realise it.....

        1. TonyJ Silver badge

          Re: "Hate fest"...?

          Re: "Hate fest"...?

          You couldn't get on with Linux? It runs on more devices in the world than any other operating system so you are using it just about everywhere and you just don't realise it.....

          There you go. Fixed that for you.

          1. kryptylomese

            Re: "Hate fest"...?

            If the device is running Linux then it is a computer which is being used as a device.

            There YOU go - Fixed that for you....

            1. dogged

              Re: "Hate fest"...?

              or it's a dishwasher.

              Go away.

            2. TonyJ Silver badge

              Re: "Hate fest"...?

              "...If the device is running Linux then it is a computer which is being used as a device.

              There YOU go - Fixed that for you...."

              I am sure, the average person using a set top box, or router fully understands that. Anything to get the year of Linux, eh?

              1. kryptylomese

                Re: "Hate fest"...?

                Year of Linux - Look at the TOP 500 super computer list because that is comprised of very little else!

                Hey and your beloved Microsoft is now releasing apps for Linux so they must be feeling it too.

                1. dogged
                  Mushroom

                  Re: "Hate fest"...?

                  Nobody loves Microsoft, the same way nobody loves British Gas. It's just a company.

                  What can raise strong feelings are fucking infuriating retard linux fanboys who a) have no clue and b) think that by constantly telling everyone to use linux instead of their current choice* of OS they are increasing the use of linux rather than just pissing everyone off and actively harming their "great cause".

                  *or not choice. You tell me to use linux, I tell you to tell that to my CEO and watch him laugh at you for the ignorant shitwit you are, unless you're also planning to write drivers for the pharmaceutical measuring instruments (Kaiser, Brimrose, SimcaQ, Bruker, JDSU etc etc) that we write software to control and manage. You dick.

                  Icon selected because we don't have one that means "fuck off and die".

                  1. TonyJ Silver badge

                    Re: "Hate fest"...?

                    I don't always agree with you, Dogged. But. Spot on. Upvote from me.

                  2. billium

                    Re: "Hate fest"...?

                    I think Dogged wins the hate fest with his childish drivel.

                  3. kryptylomese

                    Re: "Hate fest"...?

                    Good - Good... Anger leads to hate, hate leads to....

                    You are too late Linux has already won. Having said that Windows is more common (only) on the desktop currently. However, Microsoft has started releasing software for Linux.

                    Is the scientific equipment that you are using installed in a PC or does the PC interface with it. If it is the latter than you can most likely run the software on Linux.

                    Most companies that I have worked for have switched from Windows to Linux to run their software for reliability, scalability, performance and cost effectiveness reasons.

                    I have not selected an icon because it seems to serve little purpose (must be a Windows thing).

                    1. NumptyScrub

                      Re: "Hate fest"...?

                      Most companies that I have worked for have switched from Windows to Linux to run their software for reliability, scalability, performance and cost effectiveness reasons.

                      They must be pretty small companies then; the multinational I work for is still on Windows for the desktop and the majority of servers, because it would cost too much to change. I have yet to find a company that offers (multilingual) Linux training for free, and we have a few thousand people that would need it (including the support staff, many of whom are currently only Windows skilled) :'(

                      I'd be interested in moving over, but it's the situation where you get fucked by the original design choices (aka Windows) and you have to choose between starting over (for several thousand people) or just living with building on your past mistakes and doing what you can. Budgetary restrictions mean that moving to Linux is but a pipe dream at the moment, and looks to remain that way for a while...

                      1. kryptylomese

                        Re: "Hate fest"...?

                        The companies I have worked for are multinationals and here is a list of like minded companies that have switched and for desktops and not just for servers:-

                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_adopters

                    2. fruitoftheloon
                      Stop

                      @ kryptylomese Re: "Hate fest"...?

                      kryptylomese,

                      what exactly has Linux 'won'?

                      Just wondered...

                      jay

                      1. kryptylomese

                        Re: @ kryptylomese "Hate fest"...?

                        Simple - It has won global domination (only the desktop to go now which is actually quite a small part)

                    3. dogged

                      Re: "Hate fest"...?

                      I am past caring about zealots like you, with one minor exception.

                      I use debian at home, have done since 1998. I don't believe you've been using linux for a quarter as long because if you had, you would have learned long ago that linux isn't capitalized

                      It is lower-case and has always been lower-case. Being ranted at by you is like being lectured by the technically-illiterate HR person who always asks if I know any "C hash" programmers.

                      1. kryptylomese

                        Re: "Hate fest"...?

                        Linux with a capital L (check the release notes):-

                        https://github.com/torvalds/linux

                  4. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Windows in the cloud? IoT (no, seriously)?

                    "drivers for the pharmaceutical measuring instruments (Kaiser, Brimrose, SimcaQ, Bruker, JDSU etc etc) that we write software to control and manage."

                    At some point, companies like yours, and many others (including the likes of National Instruments) are going to come to realise that MS currently seem to want Windows to be a cloud-dependent OS, paid for on a subscription basis. Or a server OS, with no GUIs. Or maybe an IoT OS. They'll all be different from (incompatible with?) what you're used to today.

                    If/when that happens, it seems to leave a bit of an inconvenient gap for a lot of stuff of the kind you reference (and a lot of people use), not just in pharma but in loads of places where a little computer is needed for data gathering and display (and whatever).

                    Where are those drivers and stuff going to come from, where are the applications going to run, if/when Windows desktop is clouded?

                    If/when that happens, your CEO might be the one asking why you didn't see it coming, that she and her kids knew that Windows Phone was a pile of poo, that they've all given up on Windows at home, so why there wasn't a fallback strategy for the critical uncloudable corporate applications?

                    What magick is in those instrument drivers (and the applications that use them) that a non-Windows OS (Linux may not be the only possible answer) couldn't do, given a little motivation?

                    The market you speak of won't matter to MS, it is a tiny distraction in comparison with the markets they want to dominate.

                    Just keep your eyes open. Predictions are hard, but ongoing market domination is even harder. Just ask DEC, IBM, Compaq, Symantec...

                    If none of this makes sense, try this: Raspberry Pi recently got a Windows 10 IoT variant, not that anybody actually cares. Bear that in mind and read the above again. Where are today's instrumentation drivers, apps, whatever going to run in five years time? MS don't think it'll be the same kind of Wintel desktops as we see today. See a problem with that?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Windows in the cloud? IoT (no, seriously)?

                      If any of the (currently 3) downvoters on my earlier post would care to explain their reasoning (if any), that'd be much appreciated.

                      No rush, I'm offline for the next few hours. It's me that wrote the post about an Outlook replacement with offline capability. I'm afraid I'm one of those sad people that likes to choose tools based on fitness for purpose, rather than just blindly following religious faith. Outlook suits lots of people fine. No one else comes close, afaik.

                      Microsoft may well be the answer sometimes, but (a) they're not the answer to everything (just as x86 isn't the answer to everything) (b) stuff where MS are a good fit today isn't necessarily going to be a good fit tomorrow (and vice versa), especially at a time when the company's strategy is subject to rapid change.

                      That all ought to be obvious, really. It's sad that it isn't.

                    2. NumptyScrub

                      Re: Windows in the cloud? IoT (no, seriously)?

                      At some point, companies like yours, and many others (including the likes of National Instruments) are going to come to realise that MS currently seem to want Windows to be a cloud-dependent OS, paid for on a subscription basis. Or a server OS, with no GUIs. Or maybe an IoT OS. They'll all be different from (incompatible with?) what you're used to today.

                      If/when that happens, it seems to leave a bit of an inconvenient gap for a lot of stuff of the kind you reference (and a lot of people use), not just in pharma but in loads of places where a little computer is needed for data gathering and display (and whatever).

                      Win16 apps are incompatible with current x64 builds of Windows, Windows 95 and 98 drivers are incompatible with current NT kernel builds of Windows. The stuff from 20 years ago doesn't work, but that's fine because we're not using 20 year old drivers for contemporary equipment, manufacturers have realised that they should write stuff that is compatible with the newer builds.

                      Since input and display are always going to have to be local, peripheral connectivity is also going to remain local, regardless of any OSaaS cloud-based remote computing going on. Funnily enough, I suspect that manufacturers will end up providing compatible drivers for Windows as a Service so that you can still plug expensive pharma kit into your renamed VT100 terminal and get it to work.

                      If/when that happens, your CEO might be the one asking why you didn't see it coming, that she and her kids knew that Windows Phone was a pile of poo, that they've all given up on Windows at home, so why there wasn't a fallback strategy for the critical uncloudable corporate applications?

                      Blackberry, anyone? We used to use those, then we switched to iPhones, although it was upper management that made that decision based upon aesthetics (aka brand recognition), rather than any technical appraisal. My personal preference would have been Android, however at the time we moved, only Windows Phone provided the full suite of Blackberry-style corporate lockdown options and remote management out of the box.

                      So yeah, the "best" option from a corporate perspective was one that neither management nor the techies actually wanted, and the one that you dismiss as "a pile of poo".

                      If none of this makes sense, try this: Raspberry Pi recently got a Windows 10 IoT variant, not that anybody actually cares. Bear that in mind and read the above again. Where are today's instrumentation drivers, apps, whatever going to run in five years time? MS don't think it'll be the same kind of Wintel desktops as we see today. See a problem with that?

                      To be fair, I recently bought a tablet with a 2.0GHz quad core CPU and 2GB RAM, that's more than enough grunt for local processing of normal desktop tasks, and approaching equivalency with cheap, low-end business desktops (it was £250 all in, which is also near-equivalency with low-end business desktops). It's not that far fetched at all to consider these devices taking the place of a desktop/laptop for a majority of use cases, and not that surprising that device (or OS) companies are adjusting their infrastructure to be able to work with these devices used in that way.

                      And that is without even considering that all of them want your data sitting on their servers for sifting and classification so they can profile ads at you (and comply with local security service requests on that data).

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Windows in the cloud? IoT (no, seriously)?

                        @NumptyScrub starting "Win16 apps are incompatible with current x64 builds of Windows"

                        Mostly agreed, one minor clarification needed

                        "Windows Phone: the one that you dismiss as "a pile of poo"."

                        I have no experience of it, therefore I don't dismiss it as a pile of poo. The [hypothetical but plausible] CEO and her family did (probably also with no experience of it and more importantly with **no experience of how well it fits the organisation's needs** - the "brand recognition" factor you rightly mention can work against as well as pro, and is clearly doing so in the Windows mobile market in general, regardless of its general fitness for corporate purpose).

                        Blackberry is of course another example of companies whose market dominance was once thought by the faithful to be unassailable.

                        Cheers.

                        1. NumptyScrub

                          Re: Windows in the cloud? IoT (no, seriously)?

                          I have no experience of it, therefore I don't dismiss it as a pile of poo. The [hypothetical but plausible] CEO and her family did (probably also with no experience of it... <snip>

                          Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you not create that fictional CEO (and the attitude of the fictional CEO) with the intent to put across the point that Windows Phone was "bad"? I know 2 people who currently use it in a corporate context and they both actually like it. I've personally only used 6.1 on a terminally underpowered HTC, which was a less than stellar experience and has certainly coloured my perceptions of it, but it did the basics without issue.

                          Blackberry is of course another example of companies whose market dominance was once thought by the faithful to be unassailable.

                          Blackberry's real problem was in not being Apple when everyone jumped on the Apple bandwagon. They had the period where iOS still didn't have decent remote configuration and management features to try and catch up aesthetically, but dropped the ball and now here we are. It's a shame as I actually liked BES, but since both iOS and Android decided to allow the ActiveSync "remote wipe" calls to actually factory reset devices (rather than the minimum of just deleting all ActiveSync related data) us engineers still get to power-trip when hovering over the button :D

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Windows in the cloud? IoT (no, seriously)?

                            "Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you not create that fictional CEOwith the intent to put across the point that Windows Phone was "bad"?"

                            Not my intention at all. There is a difference between "bad" and "a bad fit for xyz's specific requirements". What a business market wants and what a consumer market wants are not necessarily the same, though they may have some aspects in common. Back to the example...

                            Earlier in the thread someone pointed out that they had to listen to their CEO's opinions on technology. Many of us know from personal experience that CEOs can for whatever reason sometimes be slightly misinformed, and, inconceivable though it may seem, occasionally worse than slightly misinformed. Many of us also know that pointing this out can have a negative impact on the monthly income.

                            One reason CEOs can be wrong is when they're following where they think the market is going e.g. "we need to go cloud, everyone else is", "we don't want Windows Phone, everyone else is going iPhone", etc. Regardless of their specific organisation's needs.

                            Back to the example. "Everybody" (including the hypothetical CEO and their family) *knows* that Windows Phone is carp, because. Just because. The market has spoken, the perception is that Windows Phone is struggling. End of. Regardless of its fitness for any particular organisation's requirements.

                            Me? I don't know whether Windows Phone is any more or less appropriate for any particular set of business requirements than its alleged competitors.I do know Windows Phone is struggling for market share in the bigger picture, Spot the difference? You're not the first person I've seen say WinPhone suits business class phone usage, you'll not be the last, but I can't comment on the detail from personal experience.

                            Any clearer?

                            TL;DR: CEOs should stick to whatever it is they're good at. Not, usually, IT policy. One reason for keeping them out of IT policy is that market perception and business reality can be different, one size does not always fit all.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Hate fest"...?

              Hi Eadon, and welcome back.

        2. fruitoftheloon
          Happy

          @ kryptylomese: Re: "Hate fest"...?

          K,

          I think the reference is to CHOOSING to use Linux.

          Toyota sell a lot more cars than Bentley, if someone else were paying for it, I know what I would prefer...

          Says he typing on Lenovo thingy with win 8.1, at home there are: 1 x Mint HTPC, ubuntu media & myth tv server, 1 x MacPro AV editing box.

          Ymmv, vive la difference matey!

          Jay

      2. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: "Hate fest"...?

        ""Hate fest"...?

        A bit strong, no? I've re-read the comments and yes, there are a few negative ones, but more go along the same lines as mine about bloatware, and there are even a couple praising MS."

        Actually no, it isn't a bit strong. When I read down the comments right up to that one there really wasn't anything you could read as "positive" or "praising".

        There is a definite lack of balance on here towards Linux. I'm not sure why so many Linux users, admins and devotees land here at El Reg. Sure, MS have a lot to answer for. They have, in the past, created some really awful software. Indeed, with the release of Windows 8 and the attempt to bring a phone/tablet look and feel to a traditional desktop, I think anyone would struggle to deny that they made one massive abortion but at least they tried something. And I'd even say that take away the GUI and you actually have a decent OS underneath.

        I won't deny that a lot of MS's software is huge and bloated. I wouldn't begin to try and claim I know or understand the technical details of why, but to the people who switched to Linux xx years ago and haven't touched a piece of MS software since...what makes you think you're qualified to discuss the merits or problems of said software? I won't even suggest you try it, since you are obviously so biased in your thinking. Chronological error..."Why do/think that?" "Because I/we always have".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      At least there's a Declaration of Interest here

      "New leadership, new direction, daily evidence that they are on track."

      Same old security, privacy, quality, and business-practices issues.

      "I work for Microsoft vendors all the time on campus "

      http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/2421734

      Do you not think you might be doing your employers (and your MS shares, as also described in a previous post of yours) a bigger favour if you stayed quiet on this subject?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have absolutely no use for an over bloated desktop app that's a nightmare to use on anything less than a 20inch screen now stuffed into a 5-6inch screen. Hands up who wants to create a pivot table of a 1000 line spreadsheet on a mobile phone ?

  9. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Free keyboard?

    Does it come with a free keyboard and mouse that will attach to a phone?

    Not specifically a criticism of M$, personally I find that phones are really, really rubbish for any sort of serious data entry or manipulation, even with 6-7 inch screens (or bigger) - those on-screen keyboards really suck. Okayish for typing a text or an e-mail, but a report in Word/Docs/OpenOffice? No thanks

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first
      FAIL

      Re: Free keyboard?

      This.

      A short note, maybe, but the concept of developing a spreadsheet (or even using one) on a phone is bizarre.

      1. Killing Time

        Re: Free keyboard?

        @ Zog

        Thought the same until I actually found a use for it. Using Google Sheets for a leader and stats table tracking a regular card game I play in. been using and refining for a couple of years.

        Report Editor to generate the leaderboard, Forms to do the data entry. Works quite well if you take a little time to format the displayed data area of the Spreadsheet and Form to the size of phone screen you are using. Would work for a number of similar interests.

        Cheap mashup with the facility to share with others, commercial apps have a lot of extraneous functionality and from what I have seen no means to share.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: compact spreadsheets

        "the concept of developing a spreadsheet (or even using one) on a phone is bizarre."

        I wasn't a believer in spreadsheets till I got an HP95LX. About the size of a phone, rather heavier, and with about the same battery life as a phone. 1991, apparently.

        Running DOS3.3 and a few other bits in ROM. Including Lotus 1-2-3 (the programme that pioneered spreadsheets, and wiped Microsoft's own Multiplan spreadsheet off the face of the earth).

        Nowadays there are rather a lot of over-complicated spreadsheets around, which clearly don't fit in a phone environment (though my former employer's new improved desktop/laptop standard in their £50M new building has around the same resolution as a decent budget phone (eg Moto G II), so neither will be much cop for their favourite modern overcomplex spreadsheets, but that's another story isn't it Nigel).

        You could do quite a lot with a simple spreadsheet on an HP95LX. You could do a bit more than that on a modern phone. Some discipline might be required, so it'll probably never catch on.

  10. Comedy of Errors

    Premium features?

    According to the page El Reg links to you have to pay to get such basic features in Word as changing the page orientation and inserting section breaks. There are other free office apps out there that include such fundamentals.

  11. Yugguy

    Hmmm

    I use OfficeSuite. It takes up 95Mb for docs, powerpoints, spreadsheets, epubs,

    That said now lollipop lets you move apps to sd, the size of them is less of a worry.

  12. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Almost a fan

    In general I like Microsoft's stuff. They brought usability to the majority.

    And making their s/w available to Android sounds good.

    But making it compulsory sounds like yet another stupid decision. Having unremovable software on a phone/tablet was always unacceptable. It's my phone and I have a right to decide which programmes I run.

    I do not want MS Office thrust on my machines. I will not use a fraction of the functionality on a handheld device. If others want it, good. Let them install it, or an alternative if they so choose.

    But this is a bit like saying some people want to grow an oak tree in their front garden, so everyone has to have one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Almost a fan

      Apps -such as Office - uninstall very readily on a Windows Phone.

      Just sayin...

      1. nijam Silver badge

        Re: Almost a fan

        > Apps -such as Office - uninstall very readily on a Windows Phone.

        Not so. 'Apps' may do be uninstallable, but MS stuff such as Office and OneNote is locked down, and (maybe) doesn't even count as an app. Maybe you can remove them from jailbroken WPhone.

  13. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Half a gig of preloaded office suite

    No wonder they're paying to get it preloaded, they might have to compete with office suites a 10th of the size.

    And as soon as you update it that's 1Gb of memory gone between system and device memory.

  14. Greenalien

    None of these work on Hudl-2 - they load OK, but freeze after displaying the intero screen.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Hudl 2

      We're the poor relations;

      But there are plenty of free office suites that do.

      And as noted above, I personally can't see much use for that level of functionality on a handheld device anyway.

  15. SniperPenguin

    Using MS Office != Locked in

    It means I prefer to use their office suite, thanks....

    Just because StarOffice / OpenOffice / Libre / Polaris or whatever else is the flavour of the month at the time is out there, it does not mean I have to switch from a platform I am happy using to a new one.

    I use Android (Pebble Time / Nexus 9 / Nexus 5) rather than iOS, and was not comfortable with Google Docs beyond simple notes, so I use Evernote - The release of this combined with the folio keyboard for my tablet means that I may finally be able to bin the personal laptop. Outlook would have been perfect.

    Not everyone thinks the same as you do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Outlook would have been perfect."

      Count me in for that too.

      My name's Joe and I've been an Outlook user for far too long.

      I'd be willing to pay a little for something like Outlook, as would many others. In my case it might need to be the Outlook of a decade or so ago as I've no idea what today's Outlook looks like, but as long as it's not radically different I'll probably cope.

      I want/need cloudless sync between phone and laptop.

      I want/need to be able to work offline for much of the time so a "pure cloud" proposal doesn't suit.

      I don't want/need a full blown over bloated office suite, the usual readers will mostly suit, for the usual reasons related to keyboard vs fatfingers, screen size, etc.

      But Outlook? Why hasn't someone come up with a suitable alternative ? Or have they? How hard can it be?

      [I'm having a go with Evernote. It doesn't suit me yet. Trello looked interesting in a different way at one point, not tried it seriously yet. Neither of them is Outlook]

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: "Outlook would have been perfect."

        "But Outlook? Why hasn't someone come up with a suitable alternative ? Or have they? How hard can it be?"

        Because until fairly recently, MS wouldn't give any information away on their MAPI protocols.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Outlook would have been perfect."

          "Because until fairly recently, MS wouldn't give any information away on their MAPI protocols."

          Indeed. I fully understand that, especially given Outlook's corporate origins. I'm no longer a corporate player and nor do I have to interoperate directly with corporate technology :)

          In this set of circumstances, people (not just me) are looking for something with the *look and feel* of Outlook, for use by themselves as individuals (sharing not essential), so what goes on behind the scenes (MAPI or whatever) doesn't really matter as long as the "user experience" can be preserved. Sharing would be a bonus.

          Keep 'em coming, thanks.

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