We can live without Office for iPad

“Last week Microsoft made the headlines by finally acknowledging that iOS is a credible content creation platform and releasing a version of Office that’s compatible with the iPad,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes for ZDNet. “There’s no doubt that this is a monumental time for mobile computing, and it’s no coincidence that in the run up to this release the Redmond giant’s share price broke $40 a share for the first since July 2000.”

“I’ve taken a look at Office for iPad and there’s no doubt that it’s an impressive piece of software,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “At a time when Microsoft is hell-bent on going against what it’s customers want – think Windows 8, or the abolition of the TechNet program – it’s comforting to see that Microsoft can deliver a product that people want.”

“But I won’t be using Office for iPad, and this decision has nothing to do with the BYOD licensing minefield, or the cost (shop around if you want the Home Premium version, you can pick up an Office 365 subscription gift card on Amazon.com for under $70, saving you $30), and it isn’t the fact that I can’t print,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “I’m giving Office for iPad a wide berth is, quite simply, because I can… for me it comes years too late. If this had been on the scene two or three years ago then I probably would have been the first in line to jump into the apps, but time has moved on and I’m comfortable with my existing workflow for now.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

• 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

• 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

Related articles:
Ihnatko: Office for iPad a boon for compatibility with business, but costs $100 a year forever – March 28, 2014
Microsoft’s Nadella to Apple’s Cook on Office revenue sharing: Drop dead – March 28, 2014
Apple takes their usual 30% cut of Microsoft’s Office for iPad subscriptions – March 27, 2014
Microsoft releases hobbled Office for iPad; requires $100/year subscription to create/edit documents – March 27, 2014
Microsoft CEO Nadella to use his first press conference to talk a lot about Apple – March 27, 2014
Microsoft Office for iPad: 5 big questions – March 26, 2014
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. Thank you! I don’t rent software or music. I don’t want to have to pay for software forever because there’s no way anyone can tell me that renting software is cheaper over time than just owning it.

      What also goes against that proposition is that, if you own the software, you don’t necessarily have to purchase the most recent software to get work done, while if you rent, your functionality could in some way be screwed.

  1. Adobe CC offers a lot for it’s monthly dues. It’s worth it for creative professionals. Microsoft on the other hand… I’ll keep pirating that software, they don’t deserve my money, for anything.

    1. Many people only need Adobe software sporadically or as prosumers where people want to use the good stuff in their hobby but don’t actively make money from it. This is why Adobe still needs to maintain a standalone product. Most people already have too many monthly subscriptions and there’s a limit. If you’re making boo-coo bucks from Adobe products have at CC monthly fee’s, but if not those people need alternatives.

        1. I’m not so sure about that. I know a lot of people like myself where we need some functionality of the Creative Suite but don’t need the latest version (or often even the 2nd most recent version). In fact, upgrading can be disruptive to productive workflow that wouldn’t have benefited from any upgrade in years. For us, the rental model of CC sucks because we’d be paying much more per year than buying and holding on to a version past a generation.

          Likewise, I know a lot of people who do contract work or bounce from job to job often getting software purchased for them, in the rental model, they get cut off as soon as the job is done.

          In both scenarios (and others) the rental model just increases the incentive to pirate.

    1. Already using it. There is this world you know, outside the happy happy joy joy world of MDN, where enterprise clients of all sizes depend on office. They have thousands of word and excel documents and all to often “compatible” software doesn’t format those documents properly or even open them. So far testing Office for iPad, I’m having no such problems. It’s working great. For me personally, I use pages and numbers, but most of my clients are going to love Office for iPad.

      1. The 3 business I know of that are stuck with Office on windows have downloaded it for their iPad but will only use it to view, for free. Editing can wait till they’re back on a desktop to use the office they paid for prior to the silly subscription came in.
        If MS wanted subscription they should have done it back in 2005 or earlier. There is no new updates they can bring to office that people can’t live without so they’re is no reason to be paying for a subscription. If they make changes to force it, people will find alternatives.

        1. The spin this forum is mind-boggling to me. Pages and Numbers are simply not 100% compatible with Office apps. If you are a student or someone who does not share documents with others outside of PDF’s, these apps work fine. But, for anyone who shares documents with others who use Windows/Office, need pivot tables and other advanced uses, need 100% compatibilty…Office is the ONLY choice. We now have an excellent option on the iPad that has a free read-only version. FYI, I have been using Pages and Numbers for the past year or more. They are simply not an alternative for me in the business environment. But, I am looking forward to quick updates to add missing features like printing and improvements to OneDrive.

  2. I don’t want to use Word. Whenever possible I use alternatives: Mellel, Scrivener, TextWrangler, Pages (mostly the extinct version with linked text boxes), and others. I have probably used 90% of every iOS, Mac and Apple II word processor ever sold. I try to use the best tool available for the current task.

    Sadly, that is sometimes Word. I have had a love/hate relationship with the program since version 1.0 for Mac (Mac Word outsold DOS and Windows Word from 1985-90). MacWrite was easier to use, but it wasn’t as powerful. More importantly, it couldn’t exchange files with people on as many other platforms as Word could. Word even served me well in an industry dominated by WordPerfect.

    Things have not changed that much, frankly. Pages is good for what it does, but it still cannot exchange complex files back and forth with Word users without losing formatting as often as not.

    Most companies are not in a position to switch. The current version of Pages only runs on a Mac or iPad that can run and is running the current Apple-made OS. That leaves out at least 90% of the computers used today in business and government.

    I can tell my clients that they would be happier if they were on Macs, but then I don’t have hundreds of thousands of computers to replace, along with most of the peripherals, and all the associated software (much of which is simply not available on Mac). I don’t have decades of archived data that needs a Windows or DOS program to read it. I don’t have thousands of employees, many of whom are computer illiterate aside from Office, to retrain. If they ever switch it will take years.

    So, I use Office, not because it is particularly good, but because it is the best tool available for communicating with the world outside our Apple paradise

  3. “Last week Microsoft made the headlines by finally acknowledging that iOS is a credible content creation platform”

    Those who do a lot of creation will do so on a computer, thus the need for Office or a Office 365 subscription. You can argue that M$ just wants rental revenue, but get real. If you are going to do any amount of content creation, you are going to want a computer and full blown software packages.

    I’m just saying the fact that M$ made Office available for the the iPad doesn’t automatically mean they view the iPad as a content creation device. If that were true, M$ would probably do something evil like make Office for iOS free and full featured, but any files exported out of it could only be uploaded to M$ cloud services.

    As it is offering a free viewer only is smart, because that’s what 99% of people will use their iPad for.

    1. Ya, I can’t believe you can’t print. I don’t understand that at all given the AirPrint framework is already built into iOS. There are a bunch of Office compatible apps that do print, and do allow local and cloud storage, so that $100 a year is just a waste for me.

  4. Just in the last few minutes of downloading Microsoft Office etc. I just got the yearly subscription and will then download to the iPad and then lastly to my Acer PC. That means I still have 3 other ‘computers’ allowed and 4 more portable devices. Until now, for the last 2 years I have been using OpenOffice.org which is quite sufficient for odd things needing done. My original computer training was done on a ‘mini’ black & white mac in 1993 – using ‘Word’ & ‘Excel’. I like those programs…in fact…I don’t like any others. 2 years ago my very expensive Acer PC ‘blew up’…only 1 year old….nothing salvaged….no more photo’s , no more ‘Word or Excel’ and no more ‘Photoshop’ amongst many other programs. So…. ought an iMac 27″, got an iPhone and 2 weeks ago, an iPad. Luv em…totally …almost….Got no ‘Word or Excel’…..now I do and if the machine ‘blows up’, I’ve still got my subscription..and all my back-ups. By the way …’Pixelmator’ is an acceptable replacement for my Photoshop Elements because I’m just not going to pay for it again. Just starting to work with GIMP as well.

    1. I agree for the most part. The value in the O365 is pretty amazing. But, while there have been rave reviews for Pixelmater on the forum, I have the exact opposite view with regard to being a Photoshop alternative. We have significant issues with Pixelmator opening and correctly formatting PSD files. I guess you could use Pixelmator to create a PSD that can be read by Photoshop. But, it is not 100% compatible going the other way. Far from it.

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