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MS Office coming for Symbian

Dying platform gets more productive

By Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2012

The Microsoft/Nokia tie-up just got weirder, if that's possible, with the launch of Office for Symbian, developed by Microsoft.

Yes, you read that right. Office, the productivity suite that is enmeshed in Microsoft's mobile strategy, now runs on Symbian. Nokia has shunted Symbian to Accenture, to which it has outsourced future development and support work so it can concentrate on Windows Phone.

Nokia is nonetheless gushing about the new apps in wonderful corporate speak like this:

Third party apps can be good, but they often don’t feel quite like the real thing. That’s why, as from today, you can download the Microsoft Office Mobile app right onto your Symbian smartphone.

But wait, there's more ...

“In tech companies, we refer to apps that are deeply ingrained into the platform or which were built specifically for a platform as ‘native apps’. The person who runs IT in your company refers to them as ‘safe apps’. If you use them, you may simply refer to them as ‘really useful apps’.

We think it may also be sensible to refer to them as “almost-certainly-futile apps”, given that Symbian's market share is shrivelling worldwide and, as recently revealed by El Reg, Nokia has all-but-binned future Symbian handset development.

Owners of the Nokia 701, Nokia 700, Nokia 603, Nokia E7, Nokia X7, Nokia C7, Nokia Oro, and Nokia C6-01 can get their hands on the apps now, using the Nokia Software Update tool. The apps will also be available from the Nokia store “in a few weeks.” We imagine users accustomed to speedy downloads from other app stores won't mind the delay at all. ®