Microsoft’s Word app for the iPad has proved something of a flop with users in the first month since it was made available, with an average user rating of just two and a half stars from more than 1,000 reviews.
Of 1,028 ratings for the Word app on iTunes, 500 users have rated it at just one star. This is contrasted with 303 five-star reviews, while the rest of the votes are split evenly between four stars (77), three stars (72) and two stars (76).
The bulk of the negative reviews cite the fact that using the Word app to any useful degree requires a full Office 365 subscription.
Naryn wrote: “Useless without a subscription, should be called Word Viewer. Should have a one-off purchase cost for edit functionality." Another, Mykola87, wrote that it was a “waste of time unless you already have Office 365”.
The fact that a subscription costs £80 was cited by many as another major issue. “Entirely useless without paying the outstanding £79.99,” wrote Lewjenk. "£79.99 for the full package. Delete, delete, delete," complained another.
The lack of printer support from within the app was another cause of irritation. “I have to import [documents] into a third-party app to print. If I had known I wouldn’t have subscribed until after it was added,” wrote one. “Basic feature of printing missing?! Will not be using until it’s sorted,” wrote another.
However, there are plenty of positive comments too, which show that for some it has proved a useful addition to their working lives.
“This works fantastically well, integrates with OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. Recommended,” wrote Cambelio. Arc1983 wrote: “Brilliant implementation of Office for a touch interface.”
Many of these reviewers noted that they are already Office 365 subscribers and agreed with the naysayers that a standalone iPad use option should be made available.
V3 asked Microsoft if it had any intention of introducing this kind of pricing model, but had received no reply at the time of publication.
Microsoft launched the apps just less than a month ago as it finally bowed to the demand from users for its key Office tools on Apple's tablet. So far the apps have been downloaded more than 12 million times, although how many of these users were paid-up Office 365 subscribers is unclear.
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