Why Microsoft’s anti-iPad strategy will backfire

“For more than a decade, Microsoft has failed in its tablet ambitions, with the various Pen and Tablet editions of Windows XP, Vista, and 7 falling flat, and the heavy tablets that used them saw, at best, minuscule sales to a handful of hospitals and government agencies that had no other options,” Galen Gruman writes for InfoWorld. “No one knows the number actually sold, but it has to be less than 2 million over those dozen years. By contrast, Apple has sold about 70 million iPads in just over two years of that tablet’s existence.”

“Microsoft is of course hoping to change that record with the release of Windows 8 for Intel-based tablets and Windows RT for ARM-based tablets this fall. But perhaps to hedge its bets, Microsoft is also trying to isolate the iPad by discouraging access to a key Microsoft technology — its Office suite — through iPad-targeted hikes in desktop virtualization fees,” Gruman writes. “Microsoft’s strategy is clear: Do not encourage iPad purchases by making Office or SharePoint available.”

Gruman writes, “Microsoft has decided it doesn’t want to be an office productivity company first and foremost. Instead, it wants to keep the Windows hegemony it has long enjoyed by throwing up roadblocks to slow iPad adoption. That’s understandable, but not realistic. At best, Windows will be a major OS on PCs and mobile devices, competing with a merged OS X and iOS, and perhaps with Android. Still, owning 30 to 50 percent of the overall computing OS market is no small thing, if only Microsoft could see that.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Shhh. We like their strategy. We like it a lot.

Related articles:
Microsoft Word is cumbersome, inefficient, and obsolete; it’s time for it to die – April 12, 2012
Microsoft: Office for iPad story based on inaccurate rumors and speculation – February 21, 2012

27 Comments

  1. I used to hear how Apple had a 10 year head start and Microsoft overtook them in the computer market. Now the opposite can be said. They had a 10 year start on tablets and they did nothing with them. They didn’t make Windows function ***WELL*** with them, so nobody wanted them.

    I used to configure Windows tablets back in 2005 and 2006 and they were garbage. They were difficult to read because of their size (we had the *really* small ones) and even more difficult to traverse with the stylus.

    Unless they come out with something amazing (doubtful), Microsoft’s reign will remain with desktop PCs for the foreseeable future, but not tablets.

    1. The xerox machines at Redmond haven’t stopped since they first started rolling in the early eighties.

      Just wanted to dispell that false notion of yours about Microsoft ever being ‘ahead’ of Apple. Expect perhaps in the line for toner cartridges which became overpriced due the supply shortages. Guess who was to blame for that.

  2. Hold your ground Mr. Steve Ballmer. People will stop buying iPads and Apple will never be able to make a word processor or spreadsheet app for an iOS device!spreadsheet.

    May Steve ballmer remain the top dog (Dancing Monkey) at Microsoft for as long as it takes! What a clueless idiot!

  3. So Microsoft will not make its Office suite available for use on an iPad. And exactly how is this a problem? How many fewer PowerPointless presentations would this mean? If one were technically adept to really make use of Office products, and this is for the Excel boffins, surely one could use some sort of emulator (Parallels) to run a Windows machine somewhere out there in the ether where their beloved numbers can frolic in their cells, pivoting to their hearts content.

    And last but not least, MS Word, that dreaded, evil tool of Satan’s wordsmiths would not be loosed upon an undeserving populace who can now embrace other, much better tools like FrameMaker, Scrivener, Pages, or other tools too numerous to mention.

    Personally, I think MS should be praised for their pig-headed, shortsightedness (with all due apologies to the pigs reading this).

    1. Has anyone not heard of iWork?? I use it on the MBP and it opens up Word and Excel and saves to them quite well.

      Will iWork kill in the office? Nah but on peoples private iPad, where you can open a word doc, edit it in pages, save it in word and send it back…… Hey, sounds like a plan to me. And never have to buy Office for Mac iPad sounds great too. 🙂

  4. Microsoft needs to decide if they’re a software or Windows company. As a software company does it make sense to develop Office for iPad? You betcha! As a Windows company not so much. But now you’re using the undeveloped software for a rivals system as a marketing weapon. That seems to have anti-trust implications.

    1. It’s not anti-trust, just as Apple refusing to make Pages, Keynote, and Numbers for Windows isn’t anti-trust. Nobody can force a software company to support a competing platform. The problem is Microsoft treating their customers like crap, which will bite them in the end. It’s a poor business decision – nothing more.

    2. It’s not anti-trust, but it is anti-smart. Microsoft could sell millions of ADDITIONAL copies of Office, or each app individually, if it created iOS versions. The real issue is that Microsoft likely can’t streamline it’s apps enough to have them fit and run well on an iPad or iPhone’s limited memory and storage.

  5. I would like a global way of turning off replies being emailed to me. I see the checkbox when I leave a comment, but once it’s left, I’m not sure there’s any way to reverse it and I get harassed all day. Just my 2¢ for an Apple-like, friendly method. 😛

  6. This kind of thinking exposes the dull, thick headed mentality in Microsoft’s managemt. They don’t make PCs, but thy champion every plastic POS the makers shit out when they could be selling Windows to Mac users, many of whom must or do have dual boots or Paralells environ mwnta for a number of good business reasons. They are irrelevant OS wise in mobile right now but have no presence to speak of on the #1 mobile phone platform. And since they made no effort to make software (remember that fact Microsft?

    1. (D’oh!) …, the fact that you are a software company?) on the number one mobile platform, they had nothing to offer for sale on the tablet Thr is taking the world by storm. No matter what one thinks of Microsoft, a touch optimized Office for iPad would sell and sell in the tens of millions. As well as provide Microsoft with a test bed to tune touch UI for their own mobile OS and it’s family of apps.

      Instead, they’re content to sit on the sidelines and pretend that their clueless partners will make their half hearted mobile efforts magically relevant despite themselves.

  7. Maybe Apple should release a version of Pages, Keynote and Numbers for the new Windows 8 Tablets. Then to really grind it in Microsoft’s faces allow students to cross-grade Office to iWork for free.

  8. I thought MSFT was pro iPad the way they keep delaying their iPad killer and allowing many other Office apps for the iPad to develop and flourish. If wiser, MSFT could have ported Offcie apps and sold 30 million copies already, I suspect. Keep it up.

    Yesterday, Bill Gates was on CNBC mumbling some “investment advice. The MS BOD is more incompetent than even the HP and YHOO BODs for leaving the Ballmer leadership in place all of these years.

  9. Microsoft’s anti-iPad strategy will fail for the same reasons that their anti-iPod strategy (the Zune) failed. First, they are late to market; second, they can only succeed if they can convince people to switch; third, people will perceive as an iPad knock-off; fourth, they have to pay developers to lure them to their platform, and fifth, it’s an anti-competitor strategy. No one buys a product to help you beat a competitor.

    Microsoft is late out of the garage, they are rushing to get there on time, and they are checking their face in the mirror instead looking where they are going: a crash is unavoidable.

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