1. cuttheredwire's Avatar
    I'm thinking no, but this is something no one has really talked about. As mentioned in iMore's article "If you buy the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, you'll get to use Microsoft Office for free | iMore", only tablets less than 10.1" can use the basic free version of Office on iOS. If the new iPad is indeed larger than that, then, under the current rules, the free ride is over. This is nothing new, as the 12.9" can only use the viewer too.

    Do you think MS might bend the rules for it?

    I'm betting this will come as a surprise to many new iPad owners, much as it did for the original Pro owners.

    I have a feeling that the new screen size will replace the 9.7" eventually. That would leave only the iPad Mini, which is always rumored to be dropped. That would leave no iPads under the free ride range… forcing users to pay for MS Office or (more likely) switch to Pages.

    That, more than user surprise, makes me think they might tweak the 10.1" rule, but not until further down the line.

    Do you think this is a deliberate move by Apple to keep users in the Walled Garden, or do you think they just are purely design forced, ignoring other influences? Apple is known to do both.
    03-04-2017 11:55 PM
  2. Rob Phillips's Avatar
    Microsoft's current rule with Office is that it's free on anything with a 10.1" screen or smaller. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether or not MS will adjust this rule for the rumored 10.5" iPad.

    As far as Apple deliberately making the iPad screen larger than 10.1" just to keep users from being able to use Office for free, I highly doubt there is any truth to that. The fact is, most users don't even know about the 10.1" rule for Office. I'd say Apple is acting more out of demand and marketing than anything else. I think it's safe to say that Office has a minuscule impact on iPad sales, especially when most consumers are perfectly content with Apple's own office suite.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Very interesting!
    Just_Me_D likes this.
    03-05-2017 06:25 AM
  3. Rene Ritchie's Avatar
    That's a great question!

    Apple probably chose that size because it seredipidously fills the full casing of the current smaller sized iPad Pro and it matches the side-by-side dimensions of the mini in portrait, the way the big Pro did air.

    In other words, if you stretch a 9.7-inch screen to go edge to edge, you get 10.5, which also happens to fit almost two minis.

    I'm sure someone at Apple was smart enough to consider the Microsoft licensing, especially since Word (Word!) is in their new ad for iPad Pro.

    Fingers crossed they work that out!
    03-16-2017 08:25 AM
  4. cuttheredwire's Avatar
    I'm hoping so too. Free basic Word/Office is a big selling point of the small iPads. It would make the Gooldielocks 10.5" iPad truly the best of both worlds: full sized dual iPad apps *and* free Word. That would be a feature worth upgrading for; something "the iPad you have" can't do.

    (They need to fix launching second apps, though.)

    If not, we still have Pages. I'm not paying almost $100 a year for Word when there is a solid free alternative that makes better use of shared storage. Especially when I write in another app (iA Writer, which outputs .docx) and Word is a typesetter app for me. Granted, it is an exacting typesetter since it's the defacto standard, but that only matters when a paper is right at the page limit for school… or a resumé is overly formatted.
    03-17-2017 02:02 AM

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