Technology digest: Microsoft not clinging to old ways with release of Office for iPad

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Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2014 12:00 am

SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft has released an iPad version of its popular Office software suite, a breakthrough heralding a new era under a CEO who promises to focus more on the devices that people are using instead of trying to protect the company’s lucrative Windows franchise.

Microsoft’s decision to relent to persistent demands to make its top-selling software application available on the world’s most popular tablet comes seven weeks after the Redmond, Wash., company anointed Sayta Nadella as its CEO after being led for 14 years by Steve Ballmer.

Although the Office app is free to anyone who wants to read Office’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs on the iPad, it will require a subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 to create and edit documents on the device. The Office 365 subscriptions cost $70 or $100 annually, with the lower price placing more restrictions on the number and types of devices that can be used.

The Office 365 subscriptions also have been required to use Office apps built for the iPhone and Android phones last summer, so many iPad owners may already have one.

But millions of other people with iPads probably haven’t had a reason to buy Office 365 until now. — AP

Settlements allow for refunds, credits

Apple and Amazon customers were notified last week of opportunities to get money back as a result of two legal settlements with the government. Both cases revolved around Apple.

Apple emailed customers eligible for a refund related to a federal complaint that children could make purchases in iPhone or iPad apps without adequate parental consent. In January, Apple reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to pay at least $32.5 million in refunds.

In another email, Amazon notified customers about store credit they received for e-book purchases, a result of a settlement reached with five major book publishers. In an antitrust lawsuit filed in 2012, the Justice Department had accused the publishers of conspiring with Apple to raise the average price of e-book titles. The publishers agreed to pay a total of $166 million.

Customers who bought an e-book published by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan or Penguin from April 1, 2010, to May 21, 2012, are getting a credit of $3.17 for each book that was on the New York Times best-seller list; for books not on the list, customers get a credit of 73 cents per title. — The New York Times

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