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Entrepreneurs brace for MS Office on iPad

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Up until yesterday, entrepreneurs relying on their iPads to work on the go were stuck without the popular Microsoft Office suite. But yesterday, March 27, Microsoft announced Microsoft Office for iPad, which will allow entrepreneurs to slip their slim tablets into their bags and jet off to work on documents without conversion woes.

Office for iPad's three productivity programs work as standalone programs as well as seamlessly integrate with their desktop counterparts, a boon for entrepreneurs and business users who want to travel as lightly as possible while still editing and creating documents. However, the programs aren't perfect: they require an Office 365 subscription at $99 per year to edit and create documents, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel files. The Office 365 subscription does include 20GB of storage, as well as access to all saved files from OneDrive. The free versions allow users to read documents for free.

Most businesses rely on Microsoft Office in some form or another - approximately 95% of office applications in enterprises are Microsoft. Entrepreneurs that want to share files often must conform to these standards.

However, for those who don't need to preserve perfect formatting between documents, alternatives exist. Apple offers its iWork suite free to new users, and Google offers its office suite free through the Google Drive app for iOS. QuickOffice is also free through the iTunes store. All edit Microsoft Office documents, with varying degrees of formatting success. For those working on primarily text documents or simple spreadsheets, those alternatives may be more appropriate for entrepreneurs on a shoestring budget.

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