Microsoft's Office suite of applications, encompassing its popular Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs, will become available to iPad users from Apple Inc's app store from Thursday.
The announcement marks a significant break with Microsoft's longstanding Windows strategy now that new Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has taken the helm. The software giant has previously been unwilling to compromise its signature PC operating system.
At a news conference Thursday, Microsoft executives demonstrated a new "touch-first" version of Office crafted for the iPad, available for download as a free app this morning, although a subscription is needed to let users create or edit documents. Significantly, executives did not demo any software on Windows machines.
Thursday's Microsoft event is Nadella's first major public appearance since his appointment last month.