Microsoft: Office will be free for devices under 10 inches

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft drew a line in the sand on Tuesday, as its Office 365 chief said that editing and viewing documents on small-screen devices would continue to be free—likely killing off the idea of a small-screen Surface Pro mini, incidentally.

Kirk Koenigsbauer, the corporate vice president for the Office 365 Client Apps and Services team, revealed in a blog post that Microsoft believes that 10.1 inches is the dividing line between a “personal” and “professional” experience. Pros need the reliability and security of paid apps, while “personal” users are more interested in free.

“Currently, we are also using screen size to delineate between professional and personal use,” Koenigsbauer wrote.

“Based on our research, we are classifying anything with a screen size of 10.1 inches or less as a true mobile device: You’re probably using it on the go, when it’s not practical to use a larger computing device such as a PC or a Mac.

You probably aren’t using a mouse or a keyboard, instead navigating via touch interface. It’s probably not a “pro” category tablet that is used for design or presentations.”

On these mobile devices, the core editing and viewing experience will be free, Koenigsbauer wrote, until you get to those “premium, subscription features,” like integration from one app to another, security, and reliability—all part of the Office 365 suite, and not the individual apps.

Via: PC World