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iPhone gets Office docs

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2009 will finally see Microsoft Office documents arrive on the iPhone, it seems, with Soonr allowing access to documents stored in the cloud while QuickOffice makes good on its promise of local editing.

The QuickOffice product is Excel-only, with other formats to follow later in the year as promised back in November, but does offer real local editing of documents that have been downloaded from MobileMe storage. Soonr supports a much wider range of formats, but only for viewing and only when connected to the cloud, as the work is done on the server.

The initial press release we had from Soonr claimed documents could be edited on the iPhone, so perhaps that will come soon. Until then users are limited to commenting on documents while on the move, as demonstrated in the promotional video:

So you can append a note to make changes when you get back to the office, and share that note with colleagues who can access the same cloud storage, hosted by Soonr.

Soonr isn't charging for their service; providing 500MB of cloud storage free along with desktop and iPhone clients that ensure data is synchronised across the platforms. The company intends to make money by launching operator-branded versions, and has announced one such deal with TeliaSonera in Denmark, to be known as "Sky Files".

This is an interesting development as it takes the network operator well away from providing telephony, and makes switching operators all the more difficult - the idea being to produce a sufficient reduction in churn to pay for the application.

QuickOffice have gone for a more traditional approach to fund development: the application will cost you $10, but once installed you'll be able to edit Excel documents on your iPhone without being beholden to anyone except Apple (for the MobileMe service). ®

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