Microsoft Office for iPad: 5 big questions

“Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Thursday will deliver his first press presentation since taking the company reins,” Michael Endler writes for InformationWeek. “Officially, Microsoft has said only that the event will be “related to the intersection of cloud and mobile,” but a variety of sources have claimed, citing anonymous insiders, that a native version of Office for iPads will finally debut.”

“Microsoft’s greatest challenge isn’t making money, but rather positioning Office to be as dominant in today’s consumerized mobile landscape as it was during the PC’s heyday,” Endler writes. “What does Microsoft need to bring to the tablet to make Office for iPad a smash? Assuming the much-anticipated productivity suite appears this Thursday as expected, here are five things to watch.”

1. Will Office for iPad be more than an oversized version of Office Mobile?
2. Will Office for iPad be available without an Office 365 subscription?
3. Is it too late?
4. Will Office for iPads kill Windows tablets?
5. Is Satya Nadella asserting his authority as CEO?

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:
1. If not, it’ll be DOA.
2. If not, it’ll be a niche app, not ubiquitous.
3. For many, yes. By now, a lot of people have woken up and realized that Office is not a requirement.
4. What’s there to kill?
5. Depends on the answers to questions 1 and 2, but doing something that obviously should have been done years ago is hardly revolutionary leadership.

Related articles:
Microsoft CEO Nadella expected to finally admit holding Office for iPad hostage a failed strategy – March 26, 2014
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. Apple has already demonstrated how to build a suite of office apps for the mobile world. I realize some people will say that iWork is not as feature rich as Microsoft Office, but the way you interact with it on a mobile device is amazing. If Microsoft has not rethought how Office will work on mobile devices (Windows RT has shown that they haven’t), then this will not be successful. Apple completely reimagined iWork for iOS. I don’t think Microsoft has that capability.

  2. MDN’s take is pretty spot on. Initially, I would’ve paid big bucks for MS Office on the iPad (easily $100 a year if it was decent).

    Now, there are many MS Office compatible apps for iOS and I’m not sure Microsoft will make the best MS Office compatible app. However, if it does, I’d still be willing to pay a lot for it, but I don’t want a subscription. I also don’t want to be forced to use Sky One Live Drive or whatever the heck they’re calling their cloud service this month, so those two things could be deal killers.

    I guess is that that indeed will be what happens. Microsoft will bundle iOS Office as a subscription with something like 5 devices (including notebooks/desktops) for $100 a year. Unless they also offer a purchase version of MS Office for notebooks/desktops, many of us will need to subscribe (eventually) and thus get it on iOS as well anyway.

    Until tomorrow, I’m remaining optimistic. This is a great opportunity for Microsoft under new leadership to transform and become a company that offers value to people like me instead of being the company it has been (one that I wish would just stop and go away).

  3. I have had the experince of trying to work on a common document between various versions of MS Office on desktops with Windows and iMacs–it is not pretty.

    The name MS Office may be the same, but there are many features that don’t work well across versions and/or across platforms. MS Office for iPad will not be helpful to own because you don’t need it for small, routine tasks and it can’t be trusted for large ones.

  4. As long as MS’s whole deal is to stick it to Apple by creating half ass products for Apple devices instead of giving ALL users best experience they can have, they will be shooting themselves in the foot.

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