Office 365 on multiple device form factors - cartoon.

Yesterday Microsoft Corp. released news it was changing its approach to its Office mobile strategy, saying it was “bringing Office to everyone” and would allow full-featured free versions on Android and iOS platforms. Now it seems as though only consumers will get the free versions, and businesses are stuck footing the bill, according to an article in Computerworld.

  • Previously, consumers accessing Office mobile apps to view documents. Now they can edit and create those documents as well. There’s some restrictions on the advanced editing features.
  • Microsoft will still charge users in a business setting that are using Office, even if its only on an iPad or Android. Those users are required to have an Office 365 subscription under Microsoft’s licence terms.
  • This creates a problem in a BYOD scenario, a worker brings an iPad to the office and does some work related to the business on it.

Read the fine print

Yesterday’s Microsoft announcement is just another example that businesses can’t be too careful when it comes to reading the fine print on all licence agreements. The last thing you want to happen is for an audit to be conducted on your organization and have a fine levied because of some sporadic BYOD use-case scenarios. Businesses will want to take action to either put licences in place for Office 365 or enforce a clear policy against using the consumer version for business projects.