re: Microsoft Office For iPad Faces Many Challenges
If IT wants to enable Office on an iOS device right now, it can only do so natively on the iPhone, and that requires Office 365. You can use the app on an iPad, but that involves upsizing the iPhone-sized screen, which degrades image quality, or using only a tiny portion of the iPad screen, which isn't useful. The native iPad app will be beneficial to both IT and consumers in that it overcomes these problems without forcing people to use Microsoft's web apps, which are mostly fine but won't replace a native offering for a lot of users.
The app will no doubt still be included in Office 365 packages, and that alone might be good enough for some companies. But unless it's a great version of Office, consumers aren't going to be interested. Even if it is great, consumers might not be swayed if they have to sign up for a full 365 subscription. That's why I think Microsoft needs to not only have a realistic pricing model independent of Office 365 but also a UI that blows away free competitors. iPad users who want to use productivity software on their tablets are already getting used to Office alternatives; by the time Office for iPad rolls around, Apple will probably have had nearly a year to condition users toward iWork. Once people get used to something for free, they need a reason to start paying for something similar.