Re: Focus on enterprises
Will the touch-first Office apps be any good-- that's a big question.
Microsoft is taking a while to finish these touch-first Office apps finished. The company will surely make touch-first apps exclusive to Windows tablets for a few months-- but if the apps aren't great, will they prove a major differentiator? The traditional version of Office hasn't helped Windows tablets much so far. I think Windows tablets will grow in popularity in coming months, now that Windows 8.1 has smoothed over some wrinkles, and now that some of the devices are coming way down in price. But they're still going to be a distant third option, and though they'll be more popular in the enterprise, they won't force the iPads out. It's clear that Office hasn't been the major differentiator that Microsoft hoped, and if the touch-first versions aren't compelling, iOS/ Android users will only be that much more invested in alternatives.
Analysts talk about all the billions that Microsoft could earn by releasing Office for the iPad-- and that would probably be true, today. But if the touch-first apps aren't excellent, will iPad users care when Microsoft finally gets around to releasing them? Is Microsoft missing its window for leveraging Office to monetize iOS's success? Office commands a huge degree of respect, in whatever form, because Office compatibility is so important to so many businesses. But if touch-first Office doesn't roll around until late 2014/ early 2015, and iOS users don't gain access until late 2015/ early 2016, what then?
For what it's worth, I find OneNote quite useful on Surface-sized touch devices, though I'm not sure if it sets a high enough bar to overcome all the questions I mentioned.