Microsoft is opposing the big-screen trend by stripping owners of devices with large displays from some privileges.
Mobile or Not Mobile
Microsoft will offer Office for free, but not to everyone. The company announced that it will make the main editing and viewing features of Office free for gadgets that have 10.1” screens or smaller. But why did the company choose 10.1-inched displays as their limit?
Well, according to insiders, only devices that have screens measuring 10.1” or less deserve to be called mobile. The technology giant has discovered that consumers with tablets or PCs with bigger screens usually use them with a mouse, a keyboard or at home.
Therefore, it turns out that if you have a tablet with a screen that is larger than 10”, you do not own a mobile device. Yes, you have lived in a lie for a very long time, at least, according to Microsoft.
Lately, Microsoft has been more than willing to share its Office software for free, and even on platforms beyond its ecosystem. The reason why this is so surprising is that Office has always been one of its most profitable products.
Nevertheless, there is a quite logical explanation for Microsoft’s recent Office giveaways. The company is trying to expand its markets share in areas where it is still struggling to establish strong presence, like tablet PCs and smartphones.
The U.S. giant is also following a similar strategy with its Windows operating systems. Microsoft has allowed manufacturers to add Windows to their devices for free, as long as they have screens smaller than 9”. Until recently, the company even offered producers a free year of Office 365 on small-display gadgets.
Office Goes into Two Separate Directions
Microsoft also shared that it will develop two different versions of Office. One of them will be Office 2016. It will focus only on desktop computers. The second one will be created for touchscreen gadgets.
The company did hint that something like that will eventually happen when it announce Office 2016 a few weeks ago. Microsoft highlighted the fact that the new Office package will offer Office users a familiar experience. It also explained that the software will be touch-friendly, but that it will also rely more on the mouse-and-keyboard combination.
Microsoft will release Office 2016 in the second half of 2015.