Microsoft Office goes completely free for Android phones [Update: it's live]

Office document viewing and editing on your phone now completely free — no subscription required

Update: The latest version of Office for Android is now in the Play Store, removing the requirement of an Office 365 subscription.

Original story: Alongside the much-awaited announcement of Office for the iPad, Microsoft dropped a bit of a bombshell today by making Office for Android completely free to use on phones. The app itself has always been free, but you needed to have a paid Office 365 subscription in order to make any use of it.

Now it's open to everyone so long as they're using an Android phone (or iPhone), giving you the ability to fully view and edit Microsoft Office documents without any restriction, just as you would expect on a Windows Phone. This is a pretty big step towards getting more folks interested in eventually paying for Office on the desktop, considering the ubiquity of Google Docs and the myriad of other office solutions on mobile devices.

We're still waiting for the update to go live in the Play Store (it just hit the Apple App Store moments ago), but once the latest build is up you will no longer need to log in with an Office 365-linked Microsoft account to edit. Keep your eyes on the Play Store at the link above.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • And thus ends the story of Windows Phone Posted via Android Central App on Google Nexus 7 2013
  • Pretty much.... Posted via Android Central App
  • I hope not. Diversity and options are the keys to innovation for all of us here. Posted via Android Central App
  • Eh. The problem is, WP doesn't innovate.
  • Says the Google shill who has never even used WP8. WP8 is going nowhere you idiot, and it innovated plenty. It's far better optimized than Android, more elegant, more intuitive, far less fragmented, more secure, and isn't riddled with malware ala Android. Incredible ironic for a Google shill to claim someone else doesn't innovate. What does Google innovate, unless you consider release buggy products that are in a perpetual beta state.
  • Wow... Forget your meds bro? EVO 4G LTE still doing work!
  • *forgot Posted via Android Central App
  • *Forget* was correct... but nice try. Posted via Android Central App
  • Thanks for the info Bill Gates. I am going to run out and buy a Windows Phone because there is Malware in Western Russia on some Android phones there. I can't wait to try the 12 apps available for WP, its going to be great!
  • wake up on the wrong side of the bed did ya? Your comment also leaves me very confused. WP8 is going nowhere? I couldn't agree more. Elegant? heh, you'd like to think so, intuitive, not so much, fragmented, you got me there, Android has countless phones, with specs ranging from the s5 to the g1 so its understandable that my htc eris isnt running kitkat. secure? that's really all up to the user and what they choose to access. Google doesnt need to "innovate" in the way you think innovation works, google believes that having the right people, buying the right companies will product great work and products.
  • That must be why it's doing so well... Posted via my Xperia Z
  • What crappy android device did you buy? Posted via Android Central App
  • As a guy who tried WP 8.1 twice this year. Ya im going to say MS is pretty lazy with updates and innovation.
    While Nokia makes one hell of a great phone (best camera) and WP 8 is nicely optimized....thats it. Apps are lacking, even Facebook is bugged to hell for the past how many years and all my MS apps run better on Android. And while WP8.1 updates are substantial it pretty much is playing catchup with the other devices.
  • I have phones with the latest versions of WP and Android, and, by far, I love using WP the most. It is a beautiful and fluid OS, and all of the features that were added with the 8.1 update are stellar! Admittedly, WP is still playing a bit of catch up in the app arena, but there is not a single app that I want that I do not currently have access to on WP. Can't wait for Windows 10 to come out!
  • Umm, as a person who has used WP8, IOS7, And android 2.2-2.7-4.4.4, Its going to end up looking like the zune. WAKE UP! They already using forked editions of android for their products! And WP SUCKS! NO APPS, NO YOUTUBE UPLOADING, No NOTHIN!!!. Another unsuccessful failure (AGAIN)
  • Of course MicroSoft wont run into bugs with WP course they hardly innovate, And considering the 100 or 200 apps in the WP store there hardly is a possibility for a bug,and don't forget the only elements of customization WP users have is the arrangement of home screen tiles and the wallpaper obscured by the fore mentioned tiles
  • The diversity and the options will come from Google's Android's partners and what they do with the OS.
  • I'd like more than one operating system on the market, though. Skinned Android is still Android. Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"
  • +9000 Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"
  • Thus is the end to QuickOffice and eventually Google Docs. Nice try Google. Posted via Android Central App
  • They will all be compatible with each other so probably not. Now Microsoft has competition in the office so that's a good thing.
  • Google Docs is no competition to Office. Office dominates it in ever way.
  • It's not really meant to be though. For basic tasks it works just fine. Posted via Android Central App
  • n the power end, absolutely. Office dominates for power users. Especially with excel.
    But most users aren't power users. Most users are the average joes who don't want to pay to make word documents and spreadsheets, in which case, Google Docs is the way to go. And when they have all the casual users knowing their interface, and the pretty impressive document sharing and editing tools, that makes it easier to switch from MS to Google at a corporate level. Especially as Google keeps adding functionality.
  • As a student, who lives almost completely in the cloud at this point. Yeah, Google Drive is amazing. It's no power product, but it get's everything I need and puts it into a simple product with no messing around with more than I need.
  • Isn't that what Blackberry and Windows Mobile said about iPhone and then Android? Famous last words. Posted via Android Central App
  • Office dominates Google Docs in everyway? If you mean an over priced office suite that some people simply cannot afford then no, you are wrong. Organisations are seeing that the open sourced & free software suites are actually a boon; Then there are government departments who have moved away from using Microsoft Office in favour of LibreOffice; Google Docs is a major threat to Microsoft Office in every conceivable way you can wrap your head around, hence Microsoft putting it into the hands of iPad & Android users alike.
  • Exactly. This guy is a troll or something. And the collaboration Google offers... Don't even have to get into it. It's a ridiculous comparison with anything else on the market considering how far Google has come with it.
  • You do realize that Office is now cheaper than Google for Work dont you since they just announced new pricing schemes. Here in Hawaii, the State Government is going All MS, not Google, not LIbre Office, etc. There are government departments who are reversing that move, dumping LIbreOffice and going back to Office.
  • Sorry.. Google did have a story for a while in public sector but the majority of those that went google went back to office 365 due the users crying about the lack of functionality. I believe LA county tried it along with other city governments. To run a true business you need something like Office and their is no comparison to Office. Sorry google lovers! Good phone OS but robust applications is not googles thing and Microsoft has a long way to be in googles class with mobile. I don't thin Microsoft cares because they dominate enterprise and cloud. Kwc
  • Haha yeah. That's why I am selling more Google Apps for Business than I do O365. You pretty much are a clueless F
  • Mind you Office Mobile still don't work on Tablets.
  • EXACTLY I was wondering how many comments would pass before someone would mention that.
  • And it sucks bad on a phone. Posted via Android Central App
  • Just the 99-bucks-a-year version on the iPad.
  • "Nice try Google?" I don't get it... Maybe I'm missing something here, but Google Drive (or at least Docs) is absolutely incredible and is utterly unmatched when it comes to collaboration. It definitely has its place.
  • Not to mention that it works on tablets.
  • Except the mobile version of Microsoft office is so watered down that it's useless even if it is free.
  • LOL! Keep dreaming fanboy.
  • LOL! I can't believe how hippocritical that statement is! Posted via Android Central App
  • You call out others as fanboys, meanwhile all you do is defend everything microsoft while using ad hominem attacks to bash everything Google. Posted via Android Central App
  • Way to go!!! :) :) :) :) :) Posted via Android Central App
  • Dear,
    I don't think WP is dead. I used Galaxy S5, LG G2, iPhone 5c , and couple of Lumias (now I am using 1520). It is clear that Android has much better customization than WP, but what I noticed Android still needs to work on power management, while 2800 mAh battery of Android device is equivalent to 1800 mAh of iOS and WP. I had to charge g2 everyday, but Lumia 1520 I don't need to charge everyday. Besides, WP is not less intuitive anyway. Did you notice how frequently you have to do factory reset of your android device to run it smoothly, let alone the hang/nonresponsiveness of galaxies. Look at HTC m8 for WP, and HTC m8 for android, you will see people writing a great review for wp (esp battery performance), why m8 wp battery perform better? because it is bettery OS which much capable to power management.
    Another problem is people tend to say good about the device they use without trying other. I know a lot of WP fans criticize iPhones and android without experiencing it much, each OS has strength and limitations, WP is not beyond that, and Android either, Its just matter of choice. Office is not the best office suite but it is the most popular, same is true for Android. WP users never need to cry to root their device to get rid of the bloatwares, androids fans do. There is no phone camera in Android can compete with Lumia, there is no perfect phone suitable for Android (moto x is good but poor camera, samsung is good but regular hang thing is still there let alone tones of bloatwares, lg g2 is good but still its camera is bad, and LCD becomes bad very quick, sony is good but still public wifi issue,........). But lumia, just wow ! camera? performance? battery? I cannot find any better one ! sorry ! Yes, it has lack of apps, and some apps have less feature compared to Android, but does it mean its Lumia's/WP fault, its the developers. Then I would say iOS apps are much better compared to android, so is it androids fault? no, right. Please try phone of different OS, then you would be able to compare, please don't compare Lumia 520 with S5.
    Final words, diversification is good for innovation. I don't think Microsoft feel threatened and so they don't dare to create android apps. Look at cheap google, they have no WP official app, what it means? they are stupid, and so cannot make app? or they are just scared of WP? it tells about how google feel threatened about WP.
    Take care my friend.
  • Quickoffice still wins for me. Posted via my CM11 Nexus 4
  • drive gives me everything i need in an office product. no need for anything else. what i find hillarious is that while editing is free on android, iphone (or maybe ipad or both) users have to pay to edit i think!! lmao!!!
  • +1 I wont install!!! I also have office suite so i am covered for advanced editing
  • Unfortunately it too is limited. Try something with a text box in it on either ms office or Quickoffice on Android. Only officesuite pro gets it right. Posted via Android Central App
  • It's there. Not available for tablets yet, which I suspect, like the iPad, will require a 365 subscription, when available.
  • I don't see it, link?
  • That app has been there before. But I see it just got updated. I don't think it has the same power as Word/Excel/Powerpoint.
  • Of course it doesn't have the same power as W/E/P on Desktop. Nothing in the market does, especially not on mobile.
  • Well, the iPad versions of the W/E/P are much more powerful than the Mobile Office IOS app. Was hoping they would release those versions for android
  • The iPad version is still a Mobile version, it doesn't have the robustness of Desktop.
  • Not disagreeing with that ;)
  • And you have to pay a subscription for the IPAD version. Hence why I said a more robust tablet version for Android tablets isn't available yet, but will likely require a subscription.
  • Sideload it and see how it works. Some have said it runs great on their Android tablets. EVO 4G LTE still doing work!
  • I think I'll try to sideload it to my Nexus 7 after downloading to my phone.
  • Sweet. Kindly report back....
  • Maybe it will detect dpi settings.
    Posted via Android Central App Edit: have read some success stories. Cool
  • I sideloaded it on my LG G Pad 8.3. It's very limited. Looks like Google Drive has more features at this point.
  • How sideload? From where?
  • Install myappsharer on your phone, install office, open myappsharer and share the apk on to dropbox (or similar) Then install on tablet. Posted via Android Central App
  • Free for personal use, that is. Sent via my Verizon Moto X
  • Aren't most cell phones personal?
  • It means the license disallow usage for business proposes. android central app
  • Free app but need subscription... not really free so ?
  • You are absolutely correct. Except for what it says in the headline, byline and story, you nailed it.
  • Me no read, me only comment Posted from my newly Kit Katted Droid Ultra
  • Lol Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"
  • Lmao Posted via Android Central App
  • You need to wait for the update. LG G2 on 4.4. Kit-Kat
  • What we have here is a failure to actually read the article.
  • Who has time for reading? Posted from one of an unnecessarily large collection of Nexus devices because I'm That Guy
  • HOW DARE THEY QUESTION MY RIGHT TO COMMENT WITHOUT READING!? Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"
  • I installed it on my N5, but when I opened it, it asked me for my 365 subscription.
  • If you read through the article, you'll see the update to make it free isn't quite available in the Play Store yet :) .
  • How many people are going to NOT read the article and post this same question? EVO 4G LTE still doing work!
  • It asked me for my 364 subscription too ;) Sent from my bathroom
  • Cool! I still an to buy a WP 8.1 Nokia device when they come out. I love the lumia cameras. Sent from my Moto X!
  • Then a few months later Microsoft will announce Windows Phone 9 and you will be stuck with abondonedware. Posted via Android Central App
  • Well, no reason for me to use Google Drive anymore now. I never seen MS this generous before.
  • They really are the only group that is playing fair with all parties. I don't care that some may argue that they have too... I like to use services that no matter what device I am on, I can have access to it... If it does not fit that category, they I move... I usually try not to involve myself with them in the first place. I am really digging Microsoft now and I hope that other companies can follow, especially Google as they use to be so dog gone cool to me. They can all still make money without screwing the end users. We will choose what services and devices work for us, nut what they try to force us to use.
  • Absolutely agreed. The one that particularly bugs me is Google *actively* screwing over the Win8 Metro interface. No native Google Maps app, actually withdrawing a perfectly functional YouTube app, and killing Exchange ActiveSync support (and thereby sync with MS's Win8 calendar and contacts) in exactly the same month that MS launched the Surface. I love my Surface Pro but Google has done their damnedest to make it bloody awkward to use their products on it. As if that's going to make me exchange my Surface for a not-remotely-comparable Android tablet...
  • If you have the surface pro.. Just get a desktop calendar app? Also it's on both sides since on macs you can sync calendar bc they built it into their calendar app when Msft refuses to.. Posted via Android Central App
  • I see no reason for Google to be nice to Microsoft, a company that was until recently run by a guy who said he would "f*cking kill Google" But I'm sure they would develop apps for Windows phone if it actually had a decent market share. And Microsoft hasn't made a version of office for Linux yet, because that would of course enable more businesses to move away from using Windows. They really aren't any better than Google. Microsoft really has a LOT of changing to do before I'm willing to cut them some slack. Posted via Android Central App
  • Your third paragraph is spot on. Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"
  • I agree with that completely. Posted via Android Central App
  • I just installed it and I do not have a 365 subscription. I put in my email address and password and am off to the races. I checked out a few things and all seems in order; opening, editing, creating a document from scratch.
  • How do you uninstall it?
  • Downloading now! Posted via Android Central App
  • Does anyone have the link? I don't see it in the Play store.
  • The link at the top of this post :)
  • Its live now!!! Posted via Android Central App
  • I installed and told me I had no Office 365 active account, then the Play Store told me it had an update, after updating, I was able to sign it. I saw all my onedrive documents and I can confirm you can make Excel and Word documents (not Powerpoint) I will keep it in my device as another option. I use Onedrive to sync some documents as it offers complete Word and Excel online capabilities and I think this goes well in hand with my solution.
  • Does it come complete with Word viruses?
  • Not funny man. if you don't like Office. Go back to Google Docs. It's that simple.
  • Not being funny. There's a reason one shouldn't open word attachments. Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.
  • Exactly. Which is why documents should be exchanged in *real* open formats.... like ODF or PDF
  • Huh? Those are crap. Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.
  • I'll stick with polaris office that came with my phone. Thanks
  • Agreed. I have Polaris, and it works just fine. It does a really good job.
    It's the most useful app Samsung had already installed. Posted via Android Central App
  • No download for 2012 Nexus 7 :-( Posted via Android Central App
  • Or any tablet, actually.
  • Phones only unfortunately.
  • You can sideload the apk to tablets! Just extracted the apk from my phone with APK Extractor, uploaded it to my Dropbox, and successfully sideloaded on my Nexus 7 2012. Scales it accurately! Posted via Android Central App
  • Until MS closes that hole by having the app "phone home" for live blacklists and such. I bet it will happen...
  • Just got the update on my HTC One in California. Works for me! :)
  • Can I just take Word for half that free price?
  • Google docs needs to come to android not this quick office nonsense. But I guess this is cool..but I don't use Microsoft office personally Posted via Android Central App
  • Google docs is on Android.. Google drive app is there and Quickoffice works seamlessly with it.. All for free and released by Google... Posted via Android Central App
  • That is awesome!!!! The Google version of excel sucks and now I get to use the real office woohoo!!!! Posted via Android Central App
  • Can't/won't even open password protected *.xlsx files (created in Excel 2013). 3rd party solutions can so I'm thinking that this is intentional on Microsoft's part.
  • Yeah, I noticed that too! Why wouldn't they let you see a password protected document? What's in it for them? Guess I'll still use OfficeSuite Pro for word and excel, but the PowerPoint viewing functionality in this MS Office app is really nice. Haven't really explored other PPT viewing apps, but what I have used in OfficeSuite is pretty clunky... Posted via Android Central App
  • They are probably assuming that it's being used for business use if it's password protected Posted via Android Central App
  • Your first hit of crack is free!!!
  • Awesomeness! N3 via AC App
  • As a current WP user (because of Nokia) I'd like to take this time to thank Microsoft for removing all the possible obstacles that existed for me to jump to Android once Nokia leaves the market. Next step (which is allegedly being worked on): Xbox Live games on Android.
  • And that is useless now too since the PS4 is 30x superior the Xbox One
  • Lol well I'm a PS guy. I only play Xbox games on the phone actually lol
  • Kinda pointless if I can't edit. I'll stay with QuickOffice.
  • Way to go, Microsoft! I'll probably work on class assignments using my phone more often, now. Posted via AC App on HTC One
  • Thanks for the heads up, Andrew! Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"
  • They just cost themselves a windows device sale, no need now. Posted from my Nexus 5
  • Maybe this is an insane question, but using Microsoft Office, you cannot save a document to Google Drive (or any other location). Is that right?
  • You should be able to save any type of file in Google Drive, I believe. I don't think it cares what type of file as much as how big the file is. EVO 4G LTE still doing work!
  • I mean, if I open a file from Google Drive with Microsoft Office and edit that doc, it doesn't appear that I can save it back to Drive. I have to save it to "OneDrive" or SharePoint or something.... That seems like a bummer. Is that right?
  • I think that is an example of how out of touch MS is with its (former) customer base. Forcing people to use OneDrive, for example, will simply drive people away from MS products in general on their phone, tablet, and desktop. Sad, as I remember MS as a disruptive force in end user computing many years ago. Also serves as a warning to Google. Don't get slow and old or you will end up like MS.
  • How do you sign in/sign up????? Keeps hanging up for me....typical Microsoft Posted via Android Central App
  • Read the article! EVO 4G LTE still doing work!
  • 1. no password support.
    2. can't browse to local SD folder. WTF. i'll stick with OfficeSuite Pro.
  • I can edit my xcel sheets with Quickoffice. What makes this free ms office better?
  • It just updated. It does ask for an associated email account to access One Drive. Looks like you can create Word and Excel files and it reads Power Point, but I don't see where you can create a new presentation. Will keep poking around. And Office 365 becomes available for iPad on Friday 28-March. The first 50 people to bring their iPad's in get it for a year free, at least at the Scottsdale, AZ store.
  • I have never really had a 'need' for any Office type products in my 30+ years in Systems Administration. Maybe once or twice a year I write a memo, which is best in an email now days, and in the old days I would write it in vi. I really don't get a public need for Office type software ...
  • I use vi all the time for editing text files. And gedit too. But neither is appropriate for complex word processing. And spreadsheets can be very useful. Sounds like you just don't have a very wide job scope. But hey, that's OK. For the rest, it is time to use software that is REALLY free, AND open, AND standards based, AND community driven, AND far more multiplatform:
  • Edit and View. What about create new docs? Posted via Android Central & Samsung Galaxy S4 on the T-Mobile network
  • You can create, also Posted via Android Central App
  • In my opinion quick office is still a far better option. It has way more options for formatting of the document and the user interface is much better. Not to mention I CAN USE IT ON MY TABLET! For gods sake Microsoft make it a tablet app! Who wants to edit a spreadsheet on their phone! Posted via Android Central App
  • Now if I could legally get it free on windows Posted via Android Central App
  • "app not available in your country"
  • I feel this maybe a little late, since quick office already creates and edits office documents. Posted via Android Central App
  • What about Android tablets? When is that going to be available? Office 365, or whatever?
  • Now I can finally use it! I have a paid Office365 subscription, but the login process for their app was so screwed up that I almost never used it.
  • Doesn't support Nexus 7 Posted via Android Central App
  • Sideload great on mine Posted via Android Central App
  • Had Office with my old Windows 8 phone and glad to see it now on Android. Just logged in with my outlook email and it synced up with One Drive and laptop. Really appreciate and thanks for the post. Posted via Android Central App
  • Device not compatible?? WTF???? Posted via Android Central App
  • But it doesn't work on tablets? Not compatible on my Nexus 7. I guess they really just mean Android PHONES, at least for the moment? Who is gonna be typing word documents on their phone? Posted via Android Central App
  • Sideloading works, only in portrait mode though. Posted via Android Central App
  • Microsoft Office for Android. Wow!
    Just what I needed to read sample documents in ?? What language?? is that? ?? OMG.....cant even read any of my own docs and files. that really a language in those samples?
    Well Microsoft you've done it again, no wonder you are behind the rest of the tech world.....uninstall...goodbye Posted via Android Central App
  • Can't get it on Nexus 2013 :( DROID DATA
  • No tablet version and useless to me on a phone. Wonder why the iPad got it and Android tablets did not. I didn't think Microsoft had any more love for Apple than it did for Android......
  • I downloaded it but it will not allow you to use Dropbox to pull your files and folders from. Until that is the case it's not worth much to me because I don't want to have to move all of that from Dropbox over to 1Drive just to please Microsoft. Posted via Android Central App
    What the Hell!
    My Phone is Compatible according to the Requirements that are Listed.
  • 6 months later and this app still can't creat/edit a local file on your device. Uninstalled inmediatly
  • When I saw this article I downloaded the office app and to my disappointment, it Doesn't asks me to sign in.
  • This would have been exciting 2-3 years ago but Google Docs has all but make non-corporate use of Office totally unnecessary. Like others have said, this might be a way to exit Windows Phone but try to keep interest in the Office software alive a bit longer.
  • I tried to install Microsoft Office Mobile from the Google Play. It says it's compatible with some of my devices. I just upgraded from the Droid Maxx (compatible with Microsoft Office Mobile) to the Droid Turbo. Unfortunately it says Microsoft Office Mobile is not compatible with the Droid Turbo, Does anyone know what devices will be compatible with Microsoft Office Mobile?
  • If you click the link and then click install it will give you a list of compatible phones and the list is very short for now!
    You would think that something that important should have been mentioned in the article right? Article heading should say "MS Office mobile now free and available on a few here listed handsets"
  • Very disappointing. Hopefully it will be available for additional Android phones and tablets soon.
  • Not compatible with LG g3. Bummer. Posted via Android Central App
  • good one Microsoft
  • Still no tablet
  • I used it....until Google started to come up with ways to force me to use it. If it is good you don't need to coerce your users. I closed me Google+ profile in protest to Google coercive practices. But then, Google forced me to create another account without my real name to give ratings in the Play Store. I'm not ashamed of my feedback. I would use my name, but then people would start to find and follow me in Google+, which defeats the purpose. Again, if it is really good they would not need to bundle everything into Google+.
  • How do you uninstall the microsoft apps?
  • How do you get this rubbish off my phone? I did not install it as it was downloaded as a Samsung update. It tried to update all the office apps which in good old microsoft style crashed as soon as it downloaded the updates and then tried again. It is not listed in App Manager and App Store does not give an uninstall option
  • The specs say it is for 4.4 or earlier,,,,, so its not compatible with my 5.------, yes?
    Thanks for the reply Posted via the Android Central App