New App Lets iPad Users Run Microsoft Office

Your last excuse for not using an iPad as your on-the-go-mobile computing device has just disappeared. A new app brings Microsoft Office to Apple's tablet computer. But don't rush to download a copy; the app was pulled because the demand overwhelmed the developer.

Love it or hate it, Microsoft's productivity package — Word in particular — has become the lingua franca for businesses. But this answer to every road warrior's prayers doesn't come from Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond.

CloudOn, which is a hybrid app/Web service that operates in the cloud, lets you create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on your iPad.  Users can even use the app to create pivot tables and insert formulas in Excel workbooks.

This app opens a whole new world of Office functionality to mobile workers because Microsoft has yet to produce a version of Office written for iOS, the iPad's operating system.

Though the app is free from the App Store, it's currently unavailable. It was pulled because of overwhelming demand that taxed CloudOn's ability to support so many users and caused a few "teething issues," the company said. CloudOn says it will return the app when it is confident it can support more users and is offering pre-registration for its next release.

You need to have a Dropbox account, which CloudOn lets you use to manage your files. Because the Office-compatible software runs on CloudOn's servers, you need to be online to use the app, and the app is not touch-optimized, which means it can be a little clumsy to work with. But CloudOn does let you take your Office on the road.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.