Earlier this week Microsoft finally launched Office for iPad. The popular productivity suite, made up of Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps, has landed on Apple’s tablet absolutely free, but there is a caveat. Office for iPad apps can be used for reading, viewing and presentation only. If users want the full editing and composing power, they need an Office 365 subscription. However, a loophole left open by Microsoft makes it possible to use Office for iPad without Office 365 subscription.


An Office 365 subscription gives subscribers the ability to install Office on up to five PCs and Macs, as well as on up to five tablets. The loophole makes it possible to install Office apps on virtually limitless iPads, Microsoft isn’t strictly enforcing the five tablet limit. The loophole is easy to exploit. Someone with a valid Office 365 account simply needs to sign in to any Office for iPad app. Once that happens, the tablet is automatically authenticated for Office apps and any future users, even if they haven’t paid for the subscription.

This will also remove the prompt which reminds users that they have to pay for a 365 subscription to unleash Office for iPad’s power. Even the users’ data will sync with Office Mobile iPhone app and they will be automatically signed into full versions of all other Office apps once they sign in to the first one.

Technically this does violate limits defined by Microsoft in its EULA or end user rights agreement. While Microsoft doesn’t strictly enforce the tablet installations limit, it trusts that “users respect and understand device limits outlined in the EULA.”

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