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Lightweight Microsoft Office available on iPhone

Jun. 14, 2013 @ 11:52 PM

NEW YORK -- Microsoft's Office software package is coming to the iPhone for the first time Friday, offering people the ability to read and edit their text documents, spreadsheets and slide presentations at the doctor's office or at a soccer game.

The company isn't making an iPad version, though, nor is it offering the app on Android devices. Microsoft Corp. is treading a fine line as it tries to make its $100-a-year Office subscription more compelling, without removing an advantage that tablet computers running Microsoft's Windows system now have -- the ability to run popular Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Office Mobile for iPhone is available free through Apple's app store, but an Office 365 subscription is required to use it. That subscription lets you use Office on up to five Mac and Windows computers for the annual fee. A subscription can be more expensive than buying the package outright for just one or two computers, but the iPhone version won't be sold separately for those who resist the recurring fee.

Microsoft has been pushing subscriptions as a way to get customers to keep paying for a product that has historically been sold in a single purchase. The company touts such benefits as the ability to run the package on multiple computers and get updates for free on a regular basis. Microsoft said it wants to give customers yet another reason to embrace subscriptions by offering Office on the iPhone only with a subscription.

 

Chrysler freezes pension plan for 8,000 employees

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Chrysler Group LLC said Friday that it is freezing the pensions of roughly 8,000 U.S. salaried employees at the end of the year.

The U.S. automaker said it is making the move to stay in line with industry trends and to comply with IRS regulations.

The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company declined to detail the specifics of the IRS issue, but said it is currently in compliance. Company spokeswoman Shawn Morgan said the compliance matter is not related to underfunding of the pension.

U.S. companies in general have moved away from traditional, or "defined benefit," pensions due to the cost. General Motors made a similar move last year when it froze traditional pension benefits for 19,000 salaried workers hired before 2001. Such pensions guarantee a specific payment to retirees.

Chrysler said that all of its affected employees will be shifted to a defined contribution plan. It also lowered the age at which employees can begin claiming all of their retirement savings to 58 from 62.

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