Emerging Technology

Microsoft Office for Android finally released, Australians and tablet users miss out

Andrew Sadauskas /

After months of speculation, Microsoft has finally released a version of Office for Android devices – but tablet users and Australian small businesses will miss out.

Microsoft has announced that Android subscribers in the US with an eligible, paid Office 365 account can now download Office Mobile for Android from the Google Play Store.

Users in the US without an Office 365 account can also sign up for a free 30-day trial, although there is no way to set up an Office account from within the app.

The app also requires a smartphone using version of Android greater than 4.0, meaning Ice Cream Sandwich or Jellybean, for the app to work.

However, despite Microsoft charging Australian consumers more than their US counterparts, the initial release will only be available within the US, with the software giant promising the app will be released in selected international markets within the coming weeks.

Microsoft has also issued a statement defending its decision not to make its new app compatible with Android tablets.

“We built Office Mobile for Android phones to ensure a great Office experience when using a small screen device. Therefore, you will not be able to download and install Office Mobile for Android phones on an Android tablet from the Google Play store,” Microsoft says in a statement.

“If you have an Android tablet, we recommend using the Office Web Apps, which provide the best Office experience on a tablet.

In June, Microsoft released a version of Office for the iPhone, although like the Android version, it is a smartphone-only app that does is not compatible with Apple’s iPad.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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