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Google wages war on Microsoft's Office with free iOS, Android apps

Gregg Keizer | Sept. 23, 2013
Quickoffice is now free to anyone with a Google account; but Microsoft execs promise Office will come to non-Windows platforms

During the company's Financial Analysts Meeting, a half-day confab Thursday on its campus, several executives, including CEO Steve Ballmer, made that clear.

"We are working on touch-first versions for our core apps in the Office suite, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and we will bring these apps to Windows devices, and also to other devices in ways that meets our customers' needs, and the customer value of those experiences, and in ways that economically make sense for Microsoft, and at a proper timetable," said Qi Lu, who heads Microsoft's Applications and Services Group, which includes Office.

Ballmer wasn't as specific in referring to Office directly, but he was even more adamant about Microsoft taking its services -- which include Office 365 -- to other platforms. "Services have to find their way onto non-Microsoft devices, and we certainly have to support that without religious bias," Ballmer said during the Q&A session with Wall Street analysts yesterday.

None of the Microsoft executives spelled out a timetable for bringing Office on iPads and Android tablets, however.

"They shouldn't be sitting on their laurels," Hilwa warned.

Quickoffice can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play, the official Android app marketplace, and Apple's App Store.


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