Microsoft Office For iPad Faces Many Challenges - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Office For iPad Faces Many Challenges
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
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10/9/2013 | 4:39:49 PM
re: Microsoft Office For iPad Faces Many Challenges
If IT wants to enable Office on an iOS device, why wouldn't they use Office 365? What's the benefit of the app?
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
10/9/2013 | 5:03:29 PM
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.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
10/10/2013 | 12:43:40 AM
re: Microsoft Office For iPad Faces Many Challenges
I still can bring myself to write anything on an iPad. The keyboard and trackpad of a laptop just works better for text entry.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
10/10/2013 | 2:31:16 PM
re: Microsoft Office For iPad Faces Many Challenges
Native Office on iPads is only a nice-to-have for consumers, but could be a game-changer on all iOS and Android tablets in the workplace if the UI is better than free alternatives and it truly makes Office apps tablet-friendly (no small feat). But looking at the big picture, it's a shame that Microsoft has been reduced to trying to be a mobile player through a productivity suite that was designed for desktops. Obviously, the way to the mobile A-list is through a killer OS, app ecosystem, modern hardware and great marketing, all of which Microsoft tried to do but the execution and the timing were off by about 100 miles. Now the company is really in a pickle.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
10/10/2013 | 10:01:57 PM
re: Microsoft Office For iPad Faces Many Challenges
It's a good question. But if Microsoft has already lost some of its ability to capitalize on the iPad's popularity, I think a crippled iOS app would get rid of a lot of what's left.


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