Tech arch-rivalry might still yield drawn-out legal battles between Samsung and Apple, advertising mockery, as well as various cheap shots exchanged by Cupertino and Microsoft when it comes to iPad Pro and Windows PC productivity. But if it’s mutually lucrative, the three aforementioned giants, plus Google, have proven time and time again they know how to get along.
The latest evidence of an unlikely alliance for reciprocal gains comes in the form of a pretty vigorous Office 365 endorsement from the makers of the new iPad Pro. The 9.7-incher, alongside its 12.9-inch sibling and Mini 2, Mini 4 and Air 2 cousins, are sold on the Apple Store with optional subscriptions to Redmond’s software plus services bundle.
Granted, you could have paired iPads with Office 365 before, but the novelty is Apple is pushing the combination now. In fact, Microsoft’s productivity-enhancing suite looks to be the only third-party item offered as an official accessory with new and old iOS tablets.
Next to it, there’s just the Apple Pencil, proprietary Smart Keyboard, Smart Cover, Silicone Case, Lightning to USB 3 camera adapter, and Lightning to SD card camera reader before 9.7-inch iPad Pro checkout.
Office 365 subscriptions of course start at $70 a year for Personal packages, $80 for a pair of University licenses, and $100 for five Home use permissions. Across the board, you’ll get 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, plus full access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook apps. Then again, those are free to download in fairly complete flavors on sub-10-inch pads anyway.