What’s not to like? Office is full featured on iPad and mostly on iPhone and it’s free. That’s because Microsoft has a couple of crazy features in their product pricing structures. For example, manufacturers who sell notebooks for less than $200 get to include Windows for free. Office is free for iPhone and iPad, too.
iPad Pro customers who want Office for iPad will have to pay a price.
Pay And Pay More
There is little question that iPad Pro is aimed at the professional; whether it’s graphic artists and designers or the enterprise, iPad Pro is a premium device that starts with a premium price tag.
The entry-level iPad Pro starts at $799 for $32GB, but there’s no 64GB model, so the next jump is $150 for 128GB at $949 and another $130 for the cellular model. The Smart Keyboard is another add on feature. Scroll way, way, way down on the product page to see the price. $169. Do the same for Apple Pencil and add another $99 to the list.
A tricked out iPad Pro could set you back $1,347, which happens to be about $50 more than an entry-level MacBook, which has quite a bit more power and capability and weighs about the same.
Where does Microsoft Office fit into this mix? iPad Pro is an Office machine. Like iPhone and iPad and Mac, it runs Office, but unlike iPad and iPhone, it comes with a price tag. You can get Office on the Mac either by Office 365 subscription or the standalone version, but you’ll need an Office 365 subscription to run it on iPad Pro. Why? It’s the screen size.
Microsoft says a mobile device has a screen size of 10.1-inches or less and that leaves out both Mac and iPad Pro. iPad Air 2 and iPhone get Office for free. That’s $99.99 a year to run Office on up to dive devices– Mac and iPad Pro. If you just need Office on an iPad Pro, that’s $69.99 a year (monthly plan is available, too).
Tablet sales, including iPads, have been dropping in recent years, and a $1,300 12.9-inch iPad– despite the professional features like multi-tasking and split screen and Pencil– is not likely to sell by the gazillions but maybe Microsoft wants to limit the competition for the Surface line of hybrid notebook tablets by forcing iPad Pro users to pay more for Office.