Apple’s iPhone 5s’ biggest loser: Microsoft

“Apple’s rivals are always on edge when new iPhones are unveiled, but Tuesday’s iPhone 5S event made an unlikely loser out of Microsoft,” Julianne Pepitone reports for CNNMoney.

“Apple is now offering its five iWork productivity apps for free on new iPhones and iPads — a direct challenge to Microsoft’s Office. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the apps in the iWork suite, which previously cost $40, are the best-selling mobile productivity apps on any platform,” Pepitone reports. “Office Mobile apps come with two big catches that Apple’s iWork doesn’t have: Office Mobile is available only for users who subscribe to Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based Office service that costs $100 per year. And the Microsoft apps don’t work on tablets — likely because Microsoft wants to give its own struggling Surface tablet a fighting chance.”

Pepitone reports, “That’s not going to cut it, particularly now that iPhone users can get iWork with no price tag or other strings attached… Apple iWork is the scariest foe that Microsoft Office has yet faced, according to Zeus Kerravala, an independent analyst. Apple’s offering, which includes iPhoto and iMovie, plus three services that let users create documents and presentations, has deeper functionality than other popular free alternatives, including Google Docs, Evernote and Dropbox. To counteract the threat, Kerravala thinks Microsoft should make full-functionality Office Mobile apps available to all Apple and Android non-corporate users. ‘If you were going to lose that person to another platform, you’re going to have trouble monetizing them anyway,’ Kerravala said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing unlikely about Microsoft being in a losing position at an iPhone event. Apple been killing them at every iPhone event ever held.

Now, we wrote back in July:

Microsoft had a chance to preserve one of their cash cows by making Office for iOS and Android. That window of opportunity is closing, if it hasn’t already.

The world has or soon will realize that, no, actually you do not need Microsoft Office to word process or create spreadsheets and presentations.

The failure to create Office for iOS and Android in a misguided push to sell tablets and phones running Microsoft OSes will be looked at as one of, if not the, biggest mistake Microsoft made during their ill-fated attempt to recover after being repeatedly, unmercifully steamrolled by Apple’s Steve Jobs with the iPhone, iPad, iCloud, App Store and the rest of the formidable iOS ecosystem.

Related articles:
Apple kicks Microsoft when it’s down with free iWork for iOS apps – September 10, 2013
Apple’s iWork for iCloud beta seeded to consumers; brings iWork to Windows PCs; may be free, hurting Microsoft’s Office 365 – July 19, 2013
NY Times’ Pogue: Microsoft’s Office Mobile for iPhone is very little, very late – June 19, 2013
Microsoft releases Office Mobile for iPhone via Apple App Store – June 14, 2013

31 Comments

    1. I had a hearty laugh last week. Reading a review by a writer of a new car. They were describing it’s integration with mobile phones and said how it linked up immediately with their windows phone.

      Talk about rendering your opinion worthless! Needless to say I ceased reading the rest of the review.

        1. I wouldn’t let the Sync system dictate my entire car purchase. I love my new Ford F150 but was not thrilled to see Microsoft installed. It works OK I guess, but not great. Two months in and I’m still trying to figure everything out. I’ve opened and closed the Windows repeatedly to no avail. (old joke)

          Sure wish it had iOS built in. Maybe I can get a replacement Head Unit later on.

    1. Kind of had a feeling they would do this though. Especially after unveiling “iWork for iCloud” that works on PCs. I bet when Apple releases OS X Mavericks, they’ll also include iWork with new Mac sales as well.

      This triple combo is REALLY going to put a dent in Microsoft’s Office business if they don’t do something soon.

    1. iWork is my main choice. When I have to do wonky MS EXCEL compatibility junk, I fire up Open Office. Funny how the tech press never ever mentions this suite. It works perfectly fine as a replacement for MS Office. If more people knew or use it, MS would lose one of its LOCKS in the corporate world.

      1. I install Open Office in every Mac I set up for people. I show them iWork, but put OO in as well, because some didn’t want to pay for iWork so OO was a good suite to kick out Microsoft. I’ve only had 2 people, both professional editors, tell me they had to have Microsloth office to be compatible with clients. Anyone else never asked me for MSO again. Now I’ll put both freebies in. I probably robbed MS of about 50 sales already in the last 15 years or so by doing that.

  1. You know you’re screwed when even the most slavish rip off, fragmented OS Android is beating you. I have no sympathy for Microsoft. At least Gaagle knew the future and ripped off Apple. Microsloth decided to keep WinCE until the last minute. I liked M$’s strategy. I liked it a lot.

  2. I had this dream. I was attending a conference and I had to submit my presentation at the support desk. The guy looks up and asks in a stern voice, “Did you check whether it’s Keynote-compatible?”
    Coming soon :o)

    1. Agree. I want that piece of ugly-shit producing media called PowerPoint to finally die. End product is ancient looking garbage.

      Excel is fugly as well.

      For as little as Apple was charging for iWork apps, they might as well give them away free, they won’t even miss the spare change, and the uptake in usage which benefits Apple in the log run is well worth it. Free is an investment in the future.

  3. Apple derives its income from selling the whole widget, hardware plus software. Deriving its income from software only, MS won’t won’t give develop its Office crown jewels for iOS and give it away for free. And nobody who has a perfectly adequate “Office” for free from Apple is going to shell out for expensive software that gives them nothing that they don’t already have. Seeing its software market slowly turning into vapour before their eyes, MS has decided it had better become a whole widget company like Apple, or wither on the vine. Unfortunately for MS, they owe their whole existence to copying other people’s innovation and making it their own. Will Ballmer’s plan to turn MS into a company that doesn’t copy but produces innovative widgets ever succeed? Too far behind, mired in their culture of copying to do that, I’m afraid.

    1. I agree with nearly everything you said. However, until Apple can match the full functionality of Excel, I would gladly pay for a fully functioning version of Excel on my iPad. I would love to use Numbers, but it doesn’t do what I need.

  4. If only Numbers could replace Excel… sigh. I’m stuck with Office for two reasons:
    1. Nothing can best Excel’s functionality so far. (Although, Excel’s interface stinks mightily.)
    2. Recalcitrant, recidivist administrators insist on sending memos and text-only documents as docx attachments to emails. (Because their secretaries type their notes in Word and can’t figure out how to simply copy/paste the admin drivel into the email!)

  5. Yeah, iWork is nice and all, but can you dance on a meeting table while click-clackey, slap-slapping your way across the room like you can with a Windows rt tablet? i don’t think so.

  6. Many years ago I worked for Wang Labs, then the world’s leading word processor company. Just about every major corporation had dedicated Wang word processing systems and it made Wang a very big and very profitable company.

    … and then the PC came along. Wang ignored the PC for a few years, and then brought out their own PC which, though similar, faster and slightly cheaper, was incompatible with the IBM PC which swept the market.

    Now Wang had developed a version of its word processing software which ran on the Wang PC and was compatible with its huge installed base of dedicated Wang OIS systems, but it didn’t run on the IBM PC. I was told by a very senior Wang manager that this was a deliberate policy because they didn’t want “to give IBM a leg up in the market”.

    A bunch of ex Wang guys introduced a product called Wordperfect, which ran on the IBM PC. In a very short time Wordperfect became the market leader and, as PC networks from Novell and others became viable, Wang’s sales of dedicated word processing systems crashed and Wang disappeared altogether.

    Microsoft is repeating Wang’s mistake with Office. If they hold out in the hope that they will keep Apple out of the office, they risk Wang’s fate and the Office franchise may disappear altogether.

    However, if Apple were sensible, they would release iWork for Android and Windows thereby creating a new standard in the marketplace to compete with Google Docs which is becoming the new standard for many smaller corporations, and some big ones, as well as personal users.

    Like Wang, Apple sees themselves as a hardware company. But Microsoft (and Google) showed that software alone can lead to market dominance and huge profits.

    The Wang story was just long enough ago that most people in the industry have never heard of Wang or their apocalyptic end. Like Apple, Wang was an incredible innovator, making their name with financial calculators (at Wang’s float, every broker had a Wang calculator on their desk). But, like Microsoft, Wang became a monopolist and lost their way.

    History tends to repeat itself…

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