For business or working professionals, what's a smartphone or a tablet for without this long-time running office application that has been the loyal companion of many for decades? 

Fret not, it's keeping up with technology and it's finally here - and possibly here to stay.

Microsoft has announced Thursday, March 27, the release of its Office for iPad application.

"Today, we unveiled Office for iPad® - specifically Word, PowerPoint and Excel. But this isn't simply Office on another device. We thought a lot about what people want to do when they're on their tablet, iPad functionality, and touch-first when we were building Office for iPad. We reimagined Office on the iPad, while retaining what people love about Office. We hope you'll be as pleased with the results as we are," the company says in its blog post.

What's in store for Microsoft users then?

The free application of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad has the same appearance and impression, according to the company. Though it's on a portable device, you can view the documents as you do on your desktops and laptops on Mac and PC.

For those wanting to do more, an Office 365 subscription allows you to edit and create new presentations or documents with the iPad, without having to worry that the content and format will change because basically all remains as is even when you transfer to another device. Besides, one subscription gets you covered in several devices: this app can be installed on up to five tablets as well as five copies across Office for your Macs and PCs.

The voice dictation in your iPad can help you draft a Word document or Airplay to show a presentation wirelessly on a TV screen. Even in PowerPoint presentations, you can now use built-in laser pointer, highlighters and pens to emphasize, well, your point.

Your files are accessible as well in SharePoint, OneDrive and OneDrive for Business, which helps you share your files with others. The Office for iPad has been seamlessly combined with the cloud service of Microsoft.

The subscription plans has the following options: Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Home, Office 365 Small Business Premium, Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 University, Office 365 Education A3 and A4 and Office 365 E3 and E4 (Enterprise and Government). To be made available later this spring is the new Office 365 Personal.

The Office for iPad comes in 29 languages and available in 135 countries. Apparently, this is not all.

"In addition to Office for iPad, we've gone a step further in our mobile first and cloud first approach, and like Windows Phone, we've now made Office Mobile for iPhone and Android phones available for free," the company writes.

Initial reactions on the official launch of the office apps were on both sides of the fence though - a bit good, a bit bad. It's probably up to you to have a look and decide.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.