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Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
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Sandworm
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Sandworm,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/23/2013 | 12:25:21 PM
re: Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
I (Android user) don't miss Microsoft Office at all. The apps from SoftMaker (SoftMaker Office Mobile) which I use give me all functions I need for working on the go, full compatibility with Microsoft Office formats-¶, and - they are cheap.

Example: Mainly I use word processor TextMaker Mobile, it has true track changes functionality, spell checker, pdf export, format conversions, cloud connections, lets you view / edit / create footnotes, endnotes, and comments, or embed any TrueType, or openType fonts, and so much more - for less than $5. Interoperability with doc and docx is faithfully, technical support included.

Why should I desperately wait for an Android version of MSO? I really don't care about their new strategy. Their office suite might dominate the Windows world, but it's too late for dominating Android, Linux, or iOs, too.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/3/2013 | 11:53:42 PM
re: Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
BYOD has been a HUGE disrupter in the overall tech market. It has certainly destabilized the once venerable and consistent enterprise market.

For a company in Microsoft's position, it is just as dangerous to chase the consumer market as it is to ignore it. People are fickle and trendy. That's makes it very dicey when it comes to staking your business' future on tech devices and software. You have to be a fortune teller (or employee a good one) in order to gauge where the market is going and hope that you can execute well to capitalize on it.

Exchange is a great product and widely used. But so is SQL and a legion of other management apps that run on Server. So, it's a very valuable market. With Exchange moving more into the cloud (Office365), it reduces the number of Microsoft Exchange Servers that will be required.

You are correct on the point about getting other platforms on Office as they would need that backend infrastructure. This is why Microsoft has been pushing Office365 subscriptions on iOS to capture that element.
MFeibus
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MFeibus,
User Rank: Strategist
10/2/2013 | 11:55:14 PM
re: Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
You all are right. The server arguments are definitely valid. But we could go around in circles on this, because it's all so interconnected. The key here is that Windows 8.x just isn't keeping users around. It certainly isn't enticing new ones. That weakens Server's hold regardless of the exclusivity of Office.

The fact is, you can only tie users down for so long to something when they'd rather have something else. Eventually, they'll find a way around. Just ask Blackberry. They thought that their services gave them a lock on the enterprise. It worked for a little while, until execs who wanted iPhones told IT to make it happen. And that was that.

Correct me if I'm wrong on this point (read: don't correct me on anything else but this point!), but it seems to me that MS Exchange Server offers the biggest discernible end-user benefit out of the entire Server suite. I think that those who make use of inter-company calendar invites, for example, are beholden to Outlook for those. So wouldn't porting Office to the other tablet platforms strengthen Exchange's position?

But again, if Windows 8.x was alluring to end users, all of this would be moot. Unfortunately, it's all very relevant.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2013 | 10:18:47 PM
re: Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
It's getting close. Microsoft's nightmare scenario: Office alternatives really take hold on iOS and Android while Windows 8/8.1 continues to stumble badly on tablets.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2013 | 10:06:53 PM
re: Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
Given existing options like QuickOffice, I'd say so.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2013 | 8:32:05 PM
re: Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
That's one big obstacle. iWork does an okay but not great job of playing with Office. The new version that's supposed to debut this fall (maybe when OS X Mavericks comes out) might be better.

But even if the next version of iWork does a perfect job ingesting and outputting compatible files, Office would still retain other advantages, such as the ease with which documents can be shared. iWork's Numbers has nothing like Power BI for Excel either. These concerns are more enterprise-oriented than consumer-oriented. But they also show why Office's position in the enterprise is pretty entrenched, even if a lot of consumers start flocking to iWork.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2013 | 8:20:58 PM
re: Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
I think this articulates Microsoft's position pretty well. When people talk about multi-billion dollar opportunities for Office on iOS and Android, it sounds like a lot of money. But Office props up not only Windows but also Server--which represents an even more gargantuan chunk of money.

The question is whether Microsoft takes so long getting Windows in order that the appeal of an iOS/Android version of Office evaporates, replaced by iWork and others.

I don't think Microsoft has crossed the rubicon yet, but I think some of its future choices have been impacted. Can Microsoft get away with waiting until some time in 2014? Yes, I think so-- unless the new version of iWork is more jaw-droppingly awesome than anyone of us expect it to be, or unless some other unexpected disruption jumps up.

Can Microsoft dare to make the iPad version available only through Office 365 subscriptions? I don't think that's a great call. Can Microsoft charge $100 or even $30 for a standalone license, now that iWork is free? Sure, they can, but it probably wouldn't go over well.

I really think Microsoft is going to wait to see how Windows 8.1 does. If it's still trending upward in January, Microsoft will feel pretty confident about releasing Office on its own terms. If it's not doing much better than Windows 8 has done, that could be another story.

As for the Web apps, they're definitely under-appreciated. But I don't think they'll ever be a widely accepted iOS/Android solution.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2013 | 7:16:57 PM
re: Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
"No question that such a move is long overdue." Is it too late?
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
10/2/2013 | 5:17:44 PM
re: Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
I don't know anything about iWorks so here is the question: I'm sure it does a good job of letting you write something but who can read it (besides another Apple) when you send it to them? Meaning what is the file type of the equivalent Word, Excel, Powerpoint in iWorks?
That has always been the reason Office has dominated in business, your chances were pretty good that most people could read what you created.
That started to change with Sun OpenOffice being able to at least read Office docs even if it could not (initially) save in that format. Now with more products having ability to save in PDF, maybe this issue is going away? Well, at least for Word, having PDF of Excel or Powerpoint kind of defeats purpose of those formats.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/2/2013 | 5:15:33 PM
re: Microsoft's Office For iOS, Android Dilemma
This is an easy one to call: Should Microsoft (in the short term) port Office so it will run on competing OS and hardware platforms? NO.

Reason: If you lessen the need for a Windows Client, then it ultimately lessens the need for the Server OS and all the management tools and applications that run on it. All the while never really knowing what sort of the pie Office will even gain on those competing platforms.

Seems to me that it would be a huge gamble to make Office available on other platforms Before they get Windows running correctly (and well accepted by customers) on the new paradigm.

btw - If customers only need 20% of Office features, they can run the Web App versions today for free.
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