Beleaguered Microsoft must bring Office to iPad

“Microsoft may have chosen a new CEO but it seems it still hasn’t figured out how to carve a future in the Apple-driven Post-PC computer world,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “And it all comes down to Office.”

“You see, after years of foundering Microsoft is fading. Combine both PC and Post-PC device sales and Apple sold more systems last quarter than sold by the entire Windows ecosystem,” Evans writes. “Windows isn’t selling. For most computer users an iPad, iPhone or one of their many quickly obsolescent challengers do everything they need to do on a PC: email, music, a few apps, games, and so on… Microsoft must accept that its vision of a Windows-only planet is done for.”

“Apple changed the game. From the iMac to iPhoto, from iPod to the iPhone, to the iPad and the decision to offer OS upgrades for free, Cupertino has set the scenery for a new type of tech industry. An industry Google quickly latched onto,” Evans writes. “Right now, people still want Office, but analysts say Microsoft blocked introduction of Office on non-Windows mobile platforms in an attempt to boost sales of its own mobile devices… Microsoft, with all that thinking, you need to go out and buy yourself a fiddle because (and I’m sorry to say this) if you do ever manage to wake up you’ll realize: You are Rome; You are on fire; You no longer have time to think. Fail to support other platforms and you’ll lose the rest of your accidental empire.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

The more people who learn the fact that they do not need Office and the quicker they learn it, the better. For all we care (being 100% Microsoft free for as long as we can remember) wait until you’re dead, Microsoft. The world would be a better place without you and your ilk.MacDailyNews, March 1, 2013

The longer Microsoft dithers, the more people wake up to the fact that Office is not necessary. iPad is taking the enterprise by storm. No Microsoft Office needed. Take your time, dummies.MacDailyNews, April 10, 2013

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.MacDailyNews, July 12, 2013

iPad and iPhone are already firmly ensconced into the Fortune 500 and SMB without Microsoft’s bloated morass of insecure spaghetti-code. The world is rapidly learning that it can live without Office and, by failing to pollute iOS devices with their crapware, Microsoft is spreading the news better than anyone.MacDailyNews, January 30, 2013


  1. MDN, don’t forget to repost Steve Jobs’s famous dictum about trucks and cars. Paraphrasing: [Windows] PCs will still be around, they will still hold value, but they’ll be used only by one out of every “X” people.

    Microsoft will be a much smaller company by the end of this decade, at the worst, a patent-holding company and not much else; at best, a company that sells Enterprise [Back-End] software and services, if they concentrate on their real strengths.

    The icing on the cake is Mr. Bill Gates returning as ‘Technology Advisor’. This time, he won’t be able to hide in the background while he makes his ill-fated decisions: it’ll be out there in front for everyone to see. This will be painful to watch.

  2. too late now. It would take them a year at least to make it work on tables. Really took late then. And it would be crap since they don’t really understand the difference.

      1. Is Apple coming out with a BAT (Big Assed Table)?

        Just kidding. M$ jumped the shark, trying to maintain that Office would only run on Windows and only a crippled implementation for Mac OS and not at all for iOS. It is over, too many people have seen that the whole M$ and Windows thing is suboptimal and expensive.

  3. Microsoft missed that train many years ago and even if they had got on it back then, they would have found that it they had the wrong ticket.

    I find it hard to believe that Microsoft would offer a 100% full version of Office for IOS. There are bound to be things missing that would have been present on a Windows version.

    Unless Microsoft offers a 100% version of Office on IOS, users would have to accept that it isn’t 100% compatible. If you’re having to compromise by working with something that isn’t 100% compatible, you might as well use Pages or some other word processor, which overs an excellent degree of compatibility, but is much easier to use.

    Microsoft only has two options. They must either offer a 100% full version for IOS, or nothing at all. If they Office lite, they risk humiliating themselves.

    1. Don’t forget that Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are also free, so unless Microsoft wanted to offer Office for free, they would have to make a version of Office for iPad that was better (more functional, more compatible with Office for desktop) than Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

      1. Free to new customers. Just putting this out here, because it’s confusing when someone hears these apps are free, then goes to the App store on their semi-old iOS device and sees the $10 price tags on these apps.

  4. After years of foundering? What is foundering? Do folks even know what they are reading/writing? FLOUNDERING… as in flopping around on the bottom of the sea like a FLOUNDER.

    1. Floundering would be the better word to describe what Microsoft has been doing under the leadership of Ballmer, but foundering could have found its way cleverly into the sentence too. “… after years of floundering, Microsoft is foundering.”

      Flounder: to move clumsily, or with little progress, to act or function in a confused or directionless manner

      Founder: to cave in or sink, to fail utterly or collapse

    2. The right word *is* foundering – style points to the writer for using the right word instead of the common mistake “floundering.” It’s like its/it’s or lose/loose, etc.

      I always thought floundering meant fishing for flounder (“yee haw, let’s get some beer and go floundering!”), but I guess that’s just the country boy in me.

      1. Not really equivalent. Floundering and foundering are both what MS is doing – both valid, ultimately.
        Loose is not what is happening when market share goes down, or when you can’t find your keys.

      2. Did you read the definitions in my comment? I didn’t make those up. I think it’s pretty clear that both words apply to Microsoft, but floundering is a better description of what it has been doing for years, where foundering better fits its current situation. Foundering is not something one continues to do for long. When you start to founder, your demise is nigh, or your current activity is bound to grind to a halt. That is a state that Microsoft has reached only after a very long period of floundering.

  5. iWork is… free, right? On the web and on iDevices?

    And MSFT wants to sell, what, a $50 app on iPad, and give 30% to Apple? Uh, that’s insane. So then just give it away for free?

    Wow. I guess the chickens have come home to roost. You can’t sell the same pile of code for 30 years. Well. I guess MSFT has done just that. Maybe you just can’t sell it for 40 years.


    1. Well, right now, Pages 5 is a gutted disaster, still amazingly lacking in numerous BASIC features that are part of Pages 4. If I weren’t able to use 4, I’d — well I can’t say ‘gladly’ – pay for Word.

  6. I am an avid Apple supporter, but I have to say, I still need Microsoft Word for work. Pages just doesn’t cut it as much as I wish it could. As a lawyer drafting a variety of documents, from simple to complex, only Word gives me all the features I need to get the job done. I fear Pages will never be redesigned to meet my needs. So I’m stuck with Word.

    1. What is it with lawyers? In my experience, they are the only people who insist that they need Word. For me, the situation is the opposite. I write papers with complex equations and symbols. I do not think it can be done in Word without add-on software. With Pages it is straightforward (Mellel gives even more flexibility). A few hours ago I finished a draft that I sent to a collaborator. He is a Word person, so I exported my Pages document to docx. Miraculously, Word displays my equations correctly, even though I cannot enter them directly into Word. I suspect it is the lawyers’ mindset, rather than programming reality, that makes Word a necessity for them. But who knows – the world of Law is not our world.

  7. Microsoft needs to ameliorate its difficulties such as weak vision, weal execution, and weak growth by returning to its roots, which would be to once again become Apple’s better and steady software developers.

  8. BYOE (…Everything) is replacing BYOD (…Device) as people are bringing in their own MBP, Pages/OpenOffice and DropBox for all work-based functions.

    Windows 7 will succeed for a while as a virtual environment on old XP hardware until people see that this virtual environment runs on their BYOE Mac/iPad as well. Eventually, Windows becomes akin to a mainframe terminal window or browser to run a few company apps while the rest is run on the mobile Mac/iPad/other.

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