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This is an Android phone running a Microsoft app, because we live in a multiplatform world.

Office Mobile for Android Phones Preview

Microsoft’s devices strategy gets a bit clearer

Following in the footsteps of the recently released Office Mobile for iPhone, Microsoft this week released a new version of Office Mobile for Android handsets. Like its predecessor, it appears to be based on the Office Mobile feature set from Windows Phone, and is a free perk for Office 365 home and business subscribers.

Check out Office Mobile for iPhone Review for more information about that version. The Android version of Office Mobile appears to be essentially identical.

“We are thrilled that Office Mobile for Android phones is available today,” Microsoft senior product manager Guy Gilbert says. “Office 365 subscribers will now be able to access, view, and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents with Windows Phone, iPhone and Android phones.”

I didn’t get early access to Office Mobile for Android phones as I did with the iPhone version, so I’ll be examining this release in the days ahead. For now, here’s a roundup of what to expect.

Office Mobile, not full Office. As with Office Mobile for Windows Phone and iPhone, Office Mobile for Android phones is a mobile experience aimed at handsets and not the full Office experience that you get on Windows-based PCs and tablets.

Differences with Windows Phone version. Office Mobile provides a more integrated experience on Windows Phone and does not require an Office 365 subscription. Office documents received as attachments in email will open directly with the appropriate Office Mobile app and not with a built-in viewer app. The Windows Phone version can open and save documents locally on the phone, and is compatible with Information Rights Management (IRM) technology.

Differences with iPhone version. Office Mobile for Android phones does not include an option to purchase an Office 365 subscription from within the app; you can only sign-in to an existing account.

Apps. Office Mobile for Android phones includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint Mobile. OneNote Mobile for Android is available separately.

Office 365 only. To use Office Mobile for Android phones, you must have an Office 365 subscription. This includes Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 ProPlus, or any business version of Office 365. You must sign in to the app to use it.

Free. Office Mobile for Android phones is a free perk of your Office 365 subscription.

Document libraries. Office Mobile for Android phones can connect to your document libraries on SkyDrive Pro (SharePoint Online in Office 365) or SkyDrive.

Android. Office Mobile for Android phones requires Android 4.0 or higher.

Android phones only. Office Mobile for Android phones is for phones only. You will not be able to download and install Office Mobile for Android phones on an Android tablet from the Google Play store. 

Languages. Office Mobile for Android phones will be available in 33 languages: Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (US), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian , Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Latin), Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian.

Markets. Office Mobile for Android phones will be available in 117 markets but today’s release is US only. Office Mobile for Android phones will be available in other markets over the next several weeks.

More soon. In the meantime, here are a few screenshots from Microsoft.

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