If you’re an iPad user who wants to use the new Microsoft Office on your tablet, here are a few things you should know.
First, if you want to create and edit documents as opposed to just viewing them, you need to pay up for some sort of Office 365 subscription – at about $100 per year. Fair enough.
Second, if you depend on custom macros — many of which may have been written before you started your job — you’re out of luck. Those macros will not run on Excel for iPad.
Third, if you’re a fan of pivot tables, which let you slice-and-dice your spreadsheet to get a different view of the data, well, you can view them but not create them on Excel for iPad.
Finally, if you want choice about where to put your Office-for-iPad document, you have exactly one cloud option: Microsoft OneDrive. That may be an issue for the millions of Box and Dropbox users out there.
For consumers as with developers, cloud storage has become the hook vendors use to draw customers into their respective lairs -er clouds. Microsoft has positioned OneDrive as the anointed repository for those Office for iPad documents.
Someone has come up with a workaround to let savvy users save their documents to Alfresco, but it’s not exactly intuitive.
A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company designed Office for iPad “to work seamlessly with OneDrive and OneDrive for Business” and had “no additional information to share regarding future storage plans.”
What this shows that even as Microsoft fights to show that its Azure cloud is open to all sorts of third-party products and tools — the new Portal Preview incorporates third party options on screen for developers — that openness only goes so far.
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