Microsoft hasn't been a major presence in the mobile phone market, but one of users' biggest needs is support for Microsoft Office documents on their iOS and Android devices. There are many products, such as ionGrid's, that attempt to do a better job than the default viewers that ship with mobile operating systems. But those viewers have many deficiencies, such as no support for password-protected documents.
Now Microsoft has released Office for Windows Phone 8 in an attempt to make Windows Phone the best mobile platform for using Office. Microsoft provides Lync and OneNote on iOS, Android and Symbian, but on Windows Phone 8 you also get Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. And they're all pre-installed on all Windows Phone 8 systems.
In a Monday blog entry, Bert Van Hoof, group program manager of Office mobile at Microsoft, explained how the apps are designed to work with SkyDrive and Office 365 to give users access to their documents wherever users are. The apps can save directly to SkyDrive, which also syncs settings such as your list of recent documents, so even if you read a document on a Windows 8 PC, when you go to your Windows 8 Phone that document will be at the top of your recent document list.
The image below shows some renderings of Office documents on Windows Phone, including Excel's ability to show cell text in a readable space on the screen.
OneNote can take voice notes that record audio and save it with transcribed text.
Microsoft also demonstrated right-to-left font support in Hebrew and Arabic, as well as other complex script languages, such as Japanese, Hindi, Vietnamese and Thai.