Microsoft to let users create and edit Office documents for free on iOS, Android

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is going to let users create and edit Office content on iPhones, iPads, and soon Android tablets using Office apps without an Office 365 subscription. It's another example of Microsoft choosing to forgo some revenue in order to get its software on more devices. Until now, as the Wall Street Journal notes, if customers wanted to edit Word, PowerPoint and other Office documents on their iPhones and Android devices, they needed an Office 365 subscription, which starts at $70 a year for non-business users. 

However, Microsoft is not eliminating the yearly Office 365 fee for laptop or desktop users, and it still requires a paid subscription for access to some features in its mobile apps. The company will also continue to charge business users as well. Office 365 subscribers will continue to get advanced editing and collaboration capabilities, unlimited OneDrive cloud storage, Dropbox integration and other benefits.

Additionally, Microsoft said it will bring its popular Office applications to tablets running Google's Android software, starting with its "Office for Android tablet Preview." The announcement comes a little more than seven months after Microsoft unveiled Office for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad. John Case, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Office, wrote in a company blog post that iPad customers have downloaded Office more than 40 million times. Post