Microsoft avails a trimmed down version of its Office suite to users on iOS and Android mobile devices. Giving users a fraction of the powerful number crunching, word processing, and superior presentations of the desktop version of MS Excel, Word, and PowerPoint respectively. Microsoft has all along availed its MS Office package on mobile iOS and Android devices for free.
However, as both iOS and Android devices keep growing bigger and bigger. They have blurred the line between the traditional mobile device and the new 2-in-1 devices that could replace your desktop computer.
Apple last year released a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which could possibly replace your desktop computer. Google, on the other hand, has been busy trying to run Android apps on is Chrome OS. A move that would essentially make it possible for users to go to Play Store and download free MS Office suite to their full-sized computers.
If Microsoft were to continue availing its Office suite for free on these big-screened (and growing) 2-in-1 devices from Apple and Google. The company could see a drop in revenues from users traditionally have subscribed to or bought the full MS Office suite. As iOS and Android devices gets bigger; in the case of Android, Google enabling Chromebook devices run Android apps.
Then Microsoft stands to lose considerable revenues from its Office suite as a SaaS product. Especially, when(if) Google fully achieves its goal of making Android apps run on Chromebooks. Microsoft has preempted this future loss in revenue and has hatched a partnership with Google to avail its Office suite to all Chromebooks officially.
However, the MS Office suite on Chromebooks will be available on a subscription basis. And not as a free mobile Office suite apps like it is on mobile devices less than 10.1 inches. That is, however, subject to the speed at which Google will develop the Play Store app for its Chromebook devices.
Google Play Store is currently available in beta on Chromebook devices. Once it gets to the stable stage, Microsoft has positioned itself to become a SaaS vendor for its Office suite for the bigger screened Chrome OS devices.
In a statement, Microsoft said: “While Google Play on Chrome OS is in beta, we are partnering with Google to deliver the best experience for Chromebook users and plan to make the apps available on all compatible devices by general availability.”