Microsoft may soon bring Office apps to Android

It is becoming increasingly clear that tablet computers are going to compete strongly with—if not outright replace—laptops and desktop in the near future. Though Microsoft still leads in the PC realm and has a strong tablet offering in the form of its Surface line, it is still overshadowed by the ever-dominant Apple iPad. Recently, Microsoft chose to release its Office suite of programs on iOS, and some have speculated that an Android release will not be far behind.

It would appear to be a smart move. Globally, Android devices make up the vast majority of the smartphone market and a significant portion of the tablet market. As bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies become more popular in workplaces, it seems obvious that both employees and employers will want to make use of their Android devices.

Of course, to bring Office to iOS, Microsoft did things a little differently. Rather than release the programs as standalone, paid downloads, it was part of Microsoft’s Office 365 program. This requires users to subscribe to a cloud-base series of familiar Office programs—such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint. It was clearly a popular move. According to an article in TechCrunch, iOS Office apps were downloaded 27 million times in only 46 days following their release.

Releasing popular Office programs on tablets requires some changes, since inputs that were designed for a mouse-and-keyboard interface will not necessarily work in the same way. However, users have somewhere to turn. With the help of an Excel consulting firm, anyone can learn the basics and quickly move on to advanced skills that will prove invaluable in the business world, all while learning how to avoid costly mistakes.