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Office for iPad

Nuspieds

Active Member
Methinks there's a little bit of overreaction going on here.

I, too, agree that I would like to see Microsoft keep whatever edge it can with regards to the Surface vs. the iPad. As a contrasting example, take iTunes: Apple isn't stepping up to the plate to produce a Windows 8 version of iTunes.

That being said, one has to remember that there are basically two different markets for Office:
  1. Desktop Office
  2. Online Office
When it comes to Desktop Office (Wintel and MacOS), MS basically owns that market, so no real competitive threat for them to worry about. The Surface and Surface Pro have this version of Office, so they are not late or last to the game.

When it comes to Online Office, however, there is competition for them to worry about. Consequently, it makes good business sense for them to create an iOS product that seamlessly integrates with their online offerings. Doing this, however, does not take away from the capabilities of the Surface devices to use Desktop Office and/or Online Office.

What has yet to be released by MS is a fully-functional, touch-based version of Desktop Office. Now, if that were to be released on iOS prior to Windows 8, then I'd be kicking and screaming. The bottom line is that the only tablet that offers native Desktop Office is the Surface/Win8 tablets; all others have to either use a web browser or web-integrated apps to work with Online Office.

I do not need an Office 365 subscription to create and edit Office documents on my Surface Pro--and I don't want, need nor am I interested in an Office 365 subscription. If I only owned an iPad, however, I couldn't say that, now could I?

When you take a step back and put things into context, you see that the Surface line still maintains its competitive edge, Office-wise, over the iPad.
 

oion

Well-Known Member
Methinks there's a little bit of overreaction going on here.

When you take a step back and put things into context, you see that the Surface line still maintains its competitive edge, Office-wise, over the iPad.

Office-wise is still only part of the big picture, though. The biggest argument against the Surface line (especially RT) is "lack of apps." Office is supposed to be the mega app. Since app markets aren't equal and few people understand that Windows RT is significantly better than iOS, taking a step back, it does soften the edge that Surface has (no, doesn't remove it). I wouldn't even talk about a Pro in context, though, since we're talking about iOS, so it's foolish to put those anywhere near each other in a comparison table. It's the RT line that has a lot more convincing to do when it comes to mass market.

This also means that the Metro version of Office has to be that much better. :p
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
One thing to remember is the version of Office on RT doesn't require an Office365 subscription to get work done, it works fully OOB.
 

Nuspieds

Active Member
The biggest argument against the Surface line (especially RT) is "lack of apps." Office is supposed to be the mega app. Since app markets aren't equal and few people understand that Windows RT is significantly better than iOS, taking a step back, it does soften the edge that Surface has (no, doesn't remove it)
But that's where Marketing comes into the picture: At the end of the day, all cars get you from point A to point B--but they do so differently via their design, accessories, level of comfort, speed, etc. Thus, it is up to the manufacturer to use Marketing to differentiate its products from its competitors.

Using Office for iPad is not the same as using Office for Surface/Windows 8; similar, yes, but definitely not the same. Though it is essential that Microsoft defend its entire Office platform, at the end of the day, if most of the public cannot determine that the native Surface/Windows 8 Office versions offer superior capabilities to the version on the iPad (or other device), then that only hurts Microsoft in that people will then more likely adopt the more popular competitive device.
 

oion

Well-Known Member
Marketing is only part of the picture, and frankly I'm not sure MS marketing can pull off a miracle against the simple fact that "you can run MS Office on an iPad," technical details aside.

Why The Microsoft Surface Just Died Last Week - Forbes

Beyond marketing, the mass media is what will influence this whole thing (yet again, against Surface). I'll have to ponder this and add to my own review now, seeing as the overall competitive value is decreased. The problem with "that only hurts Microsoft in that people will then more likely adopt the more popular competitive device" is that that statement is only true when looking at pure entertainment devices; had Surface been properly leveraged from the beginning (and public media smarter about it being a productivity tool for both business and academia), perhaps things would be different.

Maybe MS really should just bundle the Type cover now.
 

jrhillma

Member
The reason I have a SP2 is that I needed to deliver a high priority presentation (in PowerPoint) in very short order, compounded by my having a completely FUBAR calendar that week. The only way I could squeeze in the time to generate the content was to have full-blown PowerPoint available in a very portable form factor. I do have an iPad, but Keynote just doesn't translate well when porting over to PowerPoint 2013 (although I do love that Magic Move transition thing in Keynote).

Another thing to consider--for those who think Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot by releasing Office for iPad--is that the Office business unit and the Surface business unit are separate entities within a larger, matrix organization. As standalone businesses, they have individual goals and targets that need to be met (or surpassed). Would it be great if they coordinated? Absolutely, and I'm sure they do so where possible (Office for RT doesn't require a subscription, for instance, in contrast to Office for iOS). Would Office forego potentially millions of O365 subscriptions just so the Surface business unit can 'retain their edge'? I think that's less likely, but I could be wrong.
 

CrippsCorner

Well-Known Member
Using Office for iPad is not the same as using Office for Surface/Windows 8; similar, yes, but definitely not the same.

Problem is, 99% of the public won't know this. Just as they didn't know the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8.

iPad with Office
Surface with Office

That's how people are going to see it... "Might as well get an iPad huh, it's more established, my friends have them, and I've heard there's more apps" boom, Microsoft just lost another sale.
 

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