Update, January 29: Microsoft has now released the final versions of its Word, Excel, and Powerpoint apps for Android tablets. The apps dropped the “preview” label, so you should expect a solid and polished experience. The apps are still only available to Android tablets (7-inch and higher.) Check them out in the Play Store: Word, Excel, Powerpoint.
According to the Office blog: “When you use the apps for personal use, core editing is free and premium features require a qualifying Office 365 subscription. When used for commercial use, you need a qualifying Office 365 subscription for editing and premium features.”
Original post, January 6:
Back in November, Microsoft opened up early previews builds for its new mobile Office applications for Android tablets to those willing to sign up and wait for an invitation. After taking on feedback over the past couple of months, Microsoft has announced that it is expanding its preview scheme by releasing its Office applications to everyone directly through the Google Play Store.
The new Office software for mobile unifies Android, iOS, and Windows platforms. Previously each platform had to make do with its own apps, meaning that feature sets differed depending on your operating system and updates were often slow and intermittent. By unifying the Office platform, Microsoft hopes to bring updates and new features to users in a timelier manner.
There are still a couple of conditions attached to the preview builds though. Firstly, Office is still limited to ARM-based Android tablets with a screen size between 7 and 10.1 inches. Your tablet will also need to be running KitKat or Lollipop versions of Android, so users on Jelly Bean or earlier are out of luck.