Office for iPad adds monthly in-app subscription payments

Microsoft is now letting customers subscribe to Office 365 in monthly payments within its Office for iPad apps.

Microsoft today began letting customers subscribe to Office 365 in monthly payments within its Office for iPad apps.

The change came in Tuesday's revisions of the apps -- Excel, PowerPoint and Word -- for Apple's tablet.

Prices for the monthly subscriptions were $6.99 per month for Office 365 Personal, $9.99 per month for Office 365 Home. Previously, the three apps offered only annual subscriptions of $69.99 (Personal) or $99.99 (Home).

On Microsoft's website, however, the company has discounted Office 365 Home to $89.99 for an annual subscription, and to $8.99 when billed monthly.

The company touted the new monthly iPad price plans as "great options for those who prefer the flexibility," in a Tuesday blog. Customers can dump the monthly plans at any time, and then if necessary, restart a plan later.

The Excel, PowerPoint and Word apps can be used free of charge on the iPad to view documents and spreadsheets, and present PowerPoint slideshows. But to create new documents or edit existing ones, the user must have an active Office 365 subscription.

Office 365 Personal lets customers install one copy of Office 2013 or Office 2011 for Mac on a Windows PC or Mac, and run Office for iPad on one tablet; Office 365 Home boosts the number for both personal computers and tablets to five.

Because Microsoft sells the monthly subscriptions as an in-app purchase, Apple takes a 30% cut of all revenue, just as it has since March for in-app annual subscriptions. Thus Apple receives $2.10 each month when a customer signs up for the Office 365 Personal deal, and $3.00 each month for an Office 365 Home subscription.

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