Microsoft CEO Nadella expected to finally admit holding Office for iPad hostage a failed strategy

“Satya Nadella, the Indian-born self-described cricket fanatic who took over as Microsoft Corp’s chief executive last month, makes his public debut on Thursday and is expected to go on the offensive right away with some bold strokes,” Bill Rigby reports for Reuters. “When Nadella hosts his first major press conference this week, he’s likely to describe – if not officially launch – versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint designed for Apple Inc’s iPad, looking to cash in on a market worth up to $7 billion a year, according to Wall Street analysts.”

“Depending what Microsoft charges for Office on the iPad, and how many of the scores of millions – and rising – iPad users adopt it, it could rake in anywhere between $840 million to $6.7 billion a year in revenue, estimates Raimo Lenschow, an analyst at Barclays,” Rigby reports. “Rick Sherlund, an analyst at Nomura who has urged Microsoft to put its most lucrative franchise on the iPad for some time, welcomed the idea but was more cautious on the rewards. He estimates that an iPad Office would generate only $1 billion or so in new revenue a year, as many potential users will already have corporate licenses that can be converted to the new product. And it’s unclear how much of its revenue will be surrendered to Apple, which generally takes a 30 percent cut of app sales through its store.”

Microsoft's Satya Nadella
Microsoft’s Satya Nadella
“‘This is something that should have happened a few years ago,’ said J.P. Gownder, an analyst at tech research firm Forrester. ‘Holding Office for iPad as a hostage in the tablet war didn’t work out well for them. They have to start to undo this negative behavior,'” Rigby reports. “Microsoft’s $7.2 billion deal to buy the handset unit of Nokia, now delayed in closing, is unpopular with many investors who view it as a doomed defensive play to curb Google Inc’s Android’s dominance in the smartphone market. It is ‘an acquisition not even a mother could love,’ according to Nomura’s Sherlund.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft’s strategy of holding back on Office for iPad is dead wrong, as we’ve been explaining for quite some time now.

Related articles:
Microsoft Office on iPad: Too little too late? – March 23, 2014
iPad generation shuns Microsoft Office; one of Microsoft’s biggest squandered opportunities – March 14, 2014
Apple makes the world’s most advanced operating system freeware – October 23, 2013
Apple’s new free OS X for Mac hurts Microsoft and the Windows PC industry in myriad ways – October 22, 2013
Apple exploits Microsoft’s confused hesitation on Office for iPad – October 22, 2013
Apple’s OS X Mavericks available today free from the Mac App Store – October 22, 2013
Apple releases next-gen 64-bit iWork and iLife apps for OS X and iOS; free with new Macs and iOS devices – October 22, 2013


  1. Just wait till they unveil this and it requires a subscription. Who is going to go for that? Who is going to subscribe to a half-cooked set of office tools on the iPad?

    I like their strategy. I like it a lot…

  2. and Apple missed the boat by not porting iTunes to Android….how many deep links to iTunes music are rendered useless now?….remember how iTunes for Windows turbocharged the iPod.

    1. Troll,
      Apple missed nothing … iTunes is not just music.

      They didn’t miss having to try to support all of the fragmented versions of Android on all the different platforms.

      And they didn’t miss the opportunity to port one of the core foundations of their entire mobile strategy to a competitive OS. iPhone/iPad/iOS7/iTunes are the bases upon which Apple has built its profitable mobile environment. The Apple ID that is needed for an iTunes account is integrated with application delivery, mobile backups, etc.

      I don’t think Apple cares too much about Android users who can’t play iTunes purchased music on their non-Apple devices.

      The situation with Android is different from Windows. By porting to Windows, they allowed non-Apple users to buy music from Apple at a time when Mobile devices were not in play. It also gave many a poor, beleaguered Windows user their first introduction to the Apple universe.

      1. “I don’t think Apple cares too much about Android users who can’t play iTunes purchased music on their non-Apple devices.”

        I just want to point out that this isn’t an accurate statement. You can play purchased music on any device.

    2. Porting iTunes to Windows spurred sales of Apple devices, by getting PC owners to buy iPods. How would opening up iTunes to Android users generate sales of Apple devices?

  3. Only reason to use MSOffice is to edit or proof another persons strangely formatted document that Pages won’t open right.

    That means MSO only belongs on my Mac. I refuse to use an iPad to edit large docs and certainly don’t do it on the road! It is simply not efficient.

      1. OK I’ll bite.
        What macros? What do you do for a living? How many other people on the planet (as a percentage) have that need? Why do you think that has a commercial application?

    1. You assume that a touch interface is inherently inferior to a keyboard and mouse when editing large documents. While that has been the case so far with the existing text and spreadsheet editing software, it isn’t necessarily given that this will always be true. We’re still in the early days of touch UI and who’s to say that some creative software engineer won’t come up with a fantastic touch UI that let’s you edit faster and more efficiently than on a classic computer.

      Having said that, Microsoft would be the last place I would expect to take touch UI controls to the next level.

      1. Since Windows 8.0/8.1 the touch controls are baked in. You would think that they had done the same for the iPad version of MSO.

        I mean, they aren’t that stupid to have no touch controls, are they?

  4. Held it hostage? Like we actually wanted, needed or even required Office to grace out iPads?

    Microsoft really need to get a grip and realise it’s not 1997 anymore and they can’t just ‘cut off a competitor’s air0supply’ anymore.

  5. “Depending what Microsoft charges for Office on the iPad, and how many of the scores of millions – and rising – iPad users adopt it, it could rake in anywhere between $840 million to $6.7 billion a year in revenue”.

    No it could rake anywhere between $0 to $6.7 billion. Not knowing how much it will cost or how many adopters there will be means one can have NO possible idea of the outcome.

  6. I wish the man well as a competitive Microsoft will make for a more innovative Apple and we will all benefit.

    Just because I wish him well does not mean that I expect he will teach the elephant to tap-dance. Possible, but not very easy.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.