Microsoft Office Suite Now Available For Symbian – Word, Powerpoint & Excel

Earlier this year Microsoft’s OneNote, Lync 2010, Document Connection and PowerPoint Broadcast became available for Symbian devices. This was part of Nokia and Microsoft’s broader alliance in which Microsoft was to bring its productivity apps to Symbian. For non enterprise users, the aforementioned apps were not that important, but if you own a Nokia 701, Nokia 700, Nokia 603, Nokia E7, Nokia X7, Nokia C7, Nokia Oro, or Nokia C6-01, you’ll be glad to know that Word, Excel and Powerpoint are now available for your device.

The Microsoft Office Suite is available via the Nokia Software Update tool on your smartphone, or by connecting your phone to the Nokia Suite on your PC. The apps should also show up on the Nokia Store in a few weeks.

From Nokia Conversations:

Word mobile, you can save or send documents while preserving tables, SmartArt and charts, or the pinch/zoom functionality to easily view and edit documents. In PowerPoint mobile, you can edit presentation texts and speaker notes, or use the Outline view to quickly browse through slides. With Excel mobile, you can create charts, or insert formulae and view rich data and charts from anywhere.

If you have a Nokia N8, Nokia E6 or Nokia 500, you are out of luck for now, and Nokia is promising an update on availability soon. The Nokia 808 PureView will come pre-loaded with the app suite.

The advantage of having official Microsoft Office apps is multifold. First, they are free. Second, compatibility is ensured, and there is no chance that the formatting of a document will be ruined just because you edited it on the phone. Third, the level of functionality that you have expect from these apps should be higher than third party alternatives.

With this release Symbian becomes the first rival platform where Microsoft has itself gone ahead and built an Office client for. Symbian may be on its way out, but with apps like these its showing that there seems to be more than a spark left in it.

2 thoughts on “Microsoft Office Suite Now Available For Symbian – Word, Powerpoint & Excel”

  1. quote from the article: “The advantage of having official Microsoft Office apps is multifold. First, they are free. Second, compatibility is ensured, and there is no chance that the formatting of a document will be ruined just because you edited it on the phone. Third, the level of functionality that you have expect from these apps should be higher than third party alternatives.”

    historically, #2 and #3 are actually counter arguments against your intended point.

    #2: “compatibility is ensured”, “no chance [..] document will be ruined [..]”
    - microsoft can’t keep back-to-back versions of the windows desktop office suite file-compatible with each other, nevermind the horrible PocketPC implementations of the office suite apps. PocketPC was THEIR OWN platform too! they might do a great job this time, but history tells another story entirely and we shouldn’t just assume that they suddenly get it right (for the first time ever?) on the first rev of a free product for a dying platform they’ve barely been exposed to.

    #3: “level of functionality [..] higher than third party alternatives”
    - again, reviewing microsoft’s history would lead you to conclude otherwise. take their previous PocketPC apps again: they were stripped of all but the most basic functions. 3rd party alternatives have been providing great levels of functionality, nearing the desktop experience at times, for years now (on many platforms, including symbian). i would expect this first version to be bare of at least some of the more complex functionality, and likely stripped right down to the most basic. and we’d be lucky if those most basic features work at all as expected: after all this is pretty new territory for microsoft (symbian) and they have a strong history of screwing up big time for the first few revisions of just about every product they have ever shipped.

    now i’m not saying this is all bad news – that microsoft is putting devs onto an office suite project for symbian can only be taken as good news. whether the software can reasonably be expected, at this early stage or even after several iterations, to be remotely comparable to any of the existing incumbent office suites – time will tell, but i predict not; microsoft isn’t magic, this would be hard for any software shop; in microsoft’s case they specifically have a history of NOT doing well in this sort of space.

    i am a betting man: if i were to bet on microsoft coming out strong here i’d want at least 4:1 for my money.

    as for the impact of this on symbian as a platform? well if i were developing software and mulling over the idea of abandoning symbian, i’d take this as some evidence that there is life yet in symbian development and perhaps wait things out a bit longer before making a decision. that’s the real value here: with microsoft on board there is more stability in the symbian platform.

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