Microsoft released Office for iOS at the end of March. In just six weeks, the apps have been downloaded over 27 million times. That is a staggering number! Word for iPad is the most popular Office app.
Office for iPad has a great set of tools optimized for working on the touch screen. It is much more robust than Office Mobile for iPhone. There are separate apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The iPad screen is bigger to begin with than the iPhone, then add tools and controls are intuitive and touch focused, and it is a great new app.
The free version has limited features. You can connect to OneDrive to browse and read your files for free. You will need an Office 365 subscription, to use the full features.
Apple is working hard to compete by bundling iWork free with new iOS devices. The iWork suite, Pages, Numbers and Keynote has gotten major updates and improvements in the last few months. Apple claims the three apps will be more compatible with Microsoft Office, and you can now open a password protected Office document. As hard as Apple is competing, Office for iPad apps claimed the top four spots in the Top Free iPad Apps chart a day after the launch.