Microsoft’s “Office for Everyone” Announcement – What Does It Mean?

November 25, 2014
Quincy Johnson


Quincy Johnson

Digital Marketing Specialist at SoftwareONE | Linkedin

Following the well-documented “mobile first, cloud first” theme from Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, Office Mobile is now being offeredfor free on iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. However, the PUR stipulations have been quite muddy, so we’re here to demystify the announcement and explain the PURs, the impact to corporate IT management, and what you can do if you already purchased an Office 365 subscription.

Most importantly, the free license for Office Mobile is strictly for personal use, and not corporate/commercial use. Users will have to login to their Microsoft accounts in order to access Office Mobile, which presents potential compliance and security issues should that user attempt to access a corporate network. Furthermore, this free Office Mobile license only provides basic Office functionality, nothing advanced or premium. These differences are demonstrated in the below, chart:


Office 365

Office 365

Office 365 for organizations (E3, E4, ProPlus…)

View documents

Create documents


Edit documents (for example: change text, format, insert picture, formulas, insert chart, add transition, add animation)


Work with documents in OneDrive, Dropbox, and on device


Advanced editing (for example: track changes, accept or reject changes, WordArt, picture effects, chart elements, PivotTable Styles, Presenter View with speaker notes)

Additional OneDrive online storage

Commercial use rights

Work with documents in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint

Enterprise grade functionality (for example: mobile application management – coming early 2015)

Plus: full, installed Office applications on a number of PCs or Macs, tablets, and phones

1 PC/MAC, 1 phone, 1 tablet

 5 PCs/MACs 5 tablets, 5 phones

Office 365 subscriptions will be required for additional benefits, as described by John Case, Corporate VP, Microsoft Office, “Of course Office 365 subscribers will continue to benefit from the full Office experience across devices with advanced editing and collaboration capabilities, unlimited OneDrive storage, Dropbox integration and a number of other benefits.”

Bottom line:

  • Office Mobile is free for personal useRequires personal OneDrive or Dropbox to open/save documentsCommercial use requires an Office 365 subscription
  • Commercial use requires an Office 365 subscription

Customers who bought Office 365 subscriptions can receive a refund, depending on which vendor he or she purchased through. For instance, if the user purchased through Microsoft, they will received a pro-rated refund for any unused remaining days between the date of cancellation and the date their Office 365 subscription ends. Refund requirements include:

  • You purchased an Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal subscription on or after March 27, 2014 (when Office for iPad was made available) and activated before November 6, 2014 (when these changes were announced).
  • You cancel your Office 365 subscription and request your pro-rated refund by January 31, 2015.

With so many mobile Office-esque applications coming out for iPhone, iPad, and Android for free, Microsoft knew it needed to elevate the status quo in order to keep the Office suite the world’s ubiquitous business productivity solution.

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