(By Balaseshan) Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) is nearing completion of Office Mobile app for Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS and Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android for early next year release, according to The Verge.
According to a leaked screenshot reported by The Verge, Microsoft plans to release Office Mobile versions for Android and iOS in early 2013.
Office Mobile will debut in the form of free apps that allow Android and iOS users to view Microsoft Office documents on the move.
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Similar to the existing SkyDrive and OneNote apps, Office Mobile will require a Microsoft account. The apps will be free of charge for those with a Microsoft account on both platform, but with basic viewing functionality.
Users will be able to view Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on the go but editing functionality will be enabled for those with an Office 365 subscription.
Microsoft will allow iOS users to buy an Office 365 subscription within the app, or let organizations distribute product codes to enable Office Mobile editing for users, according to The Verge.
The apps will allow for basic editing, but it won't replace regular full use of a desktop Office version. If the users got some heavy-duty work to do, a computer will still be the best bet.
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The Verge expects that Office Mobile for iOS will arrive first in late February or early March, followed by the Android version in May.
In a separate release, Microsoft said it has signed patent licensing agreements for the use of the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) with five companies. The agreements cover Sharp Android tablets, Sigma and NextoDi high-end cameras and accessories, and Black Magic and Atomos Global broadcast-quality video-recording devices.
MSFT is trading down 2.19 percent at $29.20 on Wednesday.