Microsoft Might be Forced Into a Move that Could Kill the Surface Tablets

Discussion in 'Surface Forum Site News' started by dgstorm, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

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    Microsoft could release a touch-based version of its Office software suite for Apple's iPad before it's released on Microsoft's own Windows tablets, according to plugged-in Microsoft blogger Mary Jo Foley.

    If that's the case, Microsoft could be about to deal a crippling blow to its Windows tablets, which have already vastly underperformed Apple's devices. With Office on the iPad, it's difficult to see how Surface and other tablets running Microsoft's operating system survive.

    Selling the Surface
    Microsoft has run several different TV ads for its Surface tablets, and though they vary significantly, all of them contain the same phrase: "It has Office."

    The inclusion of Microsoft Office has been a key selling point for Microsoft's devices, including the Surface and other tablets running the full version of Windows 8. Compared with Apple's iPads, Windows tablets have far fewer apps -- in fact, the Windows app store is so far behind Apple's iTunes, it's difficult to even compare them.

    In that regard, it's not surprising that Windows tablets have struggled. Last year, Microsoft took a $900 million writedown on the Surface tablet, after the device sold worse than Microsoft had anticipated. Surface sales have improved but are still nowhere close to the 26 million iPads Apple sold last quarter.

    Continue Reading @: Microsoft Corporation Could Be About to Kill the Surface Tablet - DailyFinance
     
  2. tarrant64

    tarrant64 Member

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    I doubt this would kill the Surface, but it doesn't help either. There are other benefits to the Surface other than "Office". It's Microsoft's fault for running TV ads with consistent messages on Office which (to me) isn't the biggest selling point of the Surface tablets.

    Does it state anywhere that you have to purchase another Office license for use on the iPad, and if so how much? That's a drawback for an iPad if you had to, because it's included with the Surface (RT/2).
     
  3. benjitek

    benjitek Active Member

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    The subject line seems unrelated to the information that's being presented...
     
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  4. hotphil

    hotphil Member

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    I'm still intrigued as to how a "touch" version of Office would work. Unless there's a very stripped down set of menus then getting to anything complex might be a chore.
    If it is a lightweight version of Office, I'll stick with my Surface/keyboard/mouse combo for anything actually productivity related.
     
  5. ARosch

    ARosch Member

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    People always like to talk about how the ipad has more apps. Apps really aren't that important on a tablet, at least not to me. Apps are great for phones where you have a small screen, but with the Surface, you have a large screen that is great for web browsing meaning that you don't really need apps. The only app I even use on my Surface now is Pulse(which I could definitely use a web browser to accomplish the same thing), for everything else I use Office or Internet Explorer.
     
  6. tarrant64

    tarrant64 Member

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    Yeah, I think before we call Office foriPad a Surface Killer (granted that's not what surfaceforums.net is saying, I believe that's what the linked article is stating), someone should at least find out if the app is even worth anything to begin with. For all we know, it's a step backwards for Microsoft and they are just making point that Office could suck on an iPad because...it's an iPad and that's why you should buy a Surface.

    People have gone without Office for iPad for years, so I think having it now won't change the landscape much. I hope.
     
  7. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    This almost mythical version of Office is reputed to have a capability that is somewhere between Office Web Apps and the full version of Office and, according to Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, will require an O365 subscription.

    I am not sure how MS is thinking about this though - unless they are getting into this under pressure from their investors/ certain board members. I think this would adversely affect the Surface RT versions but not the Pro. And, maybe MS is thinking along those lines - Keep the Pro and merge the RT to Win Phone 8 and make the latter a mobile OS. Still, does not make too much sense to me at the moment.

    For example, if they kill the RT line then the MS tablet portfolio is restricted to the Surface Pro (and equivalent machines from other OEMs). What this means is that their Modern UI interface is also restricted to the Pro. But since the USP of the Pro is the desktop programs and there is the boot-to-desktop option which most people will opt for, that means the Modern UI will become superfluous. Net effect would be that the whole Win 8 exercise would be a wasted effort.
     
  8. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    The MS Board is stocked with more Pro MS than the one activist investor...Bill G. and Steve B. are still both on the board and are the largest holder of stock. Tami Reller has recently back-tracked on committing to Office on iPad (Outside of Web Apps). We will wait and see. We do know that through the leaks that Phone 8.1 and RT will be much more aligned with RT functionality making its way to the phone platform, not vice versa. So the most likely scenario is Phone dies off for a unified version of RT for all ARM Devices (Hopefully with no desktop).
     
  9. SEANT

    SEANT Member

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    In a way, I don’t find that too bothersome. Microsoft is playing catchup – in mobile, at least – and an “Office Exclusive” is a type of nepotism that encouraged complacency. Removing that bit of favoritism sends the clear message that all products need to stand on their own.

    Besides, when the fully functional, macro enabled (expanded “walled gardened”) RT version ships shortly thereafter, the Surface becomes the clear choice once again. :)
     
  10. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    Which is also why MS should be first releasing their revamped Office for RT (Modern UI version, that is) before releasing it to other platforms.
     
  11. SEANT

    SEANT Member

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    I would certainly prefer that the timing allowed for that.

    I think Microsoft juggles numerous market realities, reactions to one will often be detrimental to another. A particular composite course of action exists, conceivably, that is most beneficial to Microsoft as a whole. The resources made available by those benefits may be critical to realizing some of their riskier endeavors. Or, it may weed out the riskiest of the risky.

    My impression is that it is too risky to abandon the Surface lineup. I think they are committed. If the product will continue regardless, favoritism is not so necessary.
     
  12. EMINENT

    EMINENT Active Member

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    Office for ipad is just another way for MS to make some bank and maybe with 365 just as iphone. There really is no benefit to ipad users that isn't already there except for ease of access, because they can already do this with Office Web Apps.

    Don't forget Surface 2 with LTE just cleared the FCC. There are a lot of users that would love this option that has never been available before. I am one of them. Although, I can use my phone's hotspot at work, it's a hassle I wish I could live without having to turn it on every time I feel like using it.
     

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