Microsoft is becoming an Apple iPad Pro accessory

“The times they really are ‘a-changin” as Apple begins selling Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions as optional extras to customers ordering a new iPad Pro through the Apple Store,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld.

“Apple is offering Office as a point of sale accessory to iPad Pro purchasers (and purchasers of all other iPad models),” Evans writes. “The steady erosion of traditional PC markets has had consequences on Apple’s old ‘frenemy’ in Redmond, and Apple’s increasing market share in every category means Microsoft must supply software to iOS and OS X platforms.”

Evans writes, “Microsoft has become an Apple accessory maker…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Use Apple’s iWork. It’s far less expensive than Microsoft’s subscriptionware and works seamlessly with Apple devices.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

18 Comments

  1. Times aren’t changing…MS is a software company. If they want to stay relevant, they have to support iOS. That said, iWork is my preference for the Mac and iOS. I only wish I didn’t need Excel.

    1. You can’t get away from Excel because it is a versatile, robust product that does heavy lifting with large files. It’s virtually the only thing M$ ever got right.

      I wish Apple would try to engage this space but they’ve consistently said over the years in actions and in words that they’re most interested in designing products and services for personal and home use. The company just doesn’t have a passion for supporting the business environment. To try to compel Apple to create something they don’t have a passion for would result in an inferior product. So I’ve resigned myself to not hold my breath for Apple to transform Numbers into a serious competitor to Excel.

      1. Couldn’t agree more. If only MS would still allow you to purchase rather than rent their software though. I will use an old pirated version (excel for mac 2011) forever, or until MS changes their purchase policy. I refuse to get on the 365 bandwagon. I should have taken the opportunity to purchase Office 2011 before they discontinued it and now I can’t even buy it legally.

        Apple doesn’t have a comparably good product for my needs (Numbers remains bush league) and MS won’t even take my money to buy theirs. Frustrating.

        If you are listening MS… if you want to earn money from Apple loving customers, sell us your software…don’t ask us to rent.

    2. I won’t downgrade to Office 365 unless I *absolutely* have to do so. I do need Office to interact with many organizations that are 100% Office centric — and NO Apple’s iWork suite and the open source suites are not 100% file and functionality compatible.

      But I won’t go to the subscription model unless I *absolutely* have to do so. Purely subscription software is nothing more than ransomware. They will evolve the file formats. If you think they won’t you’re worse than naive. In so doing the current, license purchase versions won’t be able to read the new formats. This makes it so that you keep buying the subscription or you won’t be able to read your own files. You keep paying the ransom (or protection money) or else you lose access to your own files. I’m not being put under that gun unless I have absolutely no other choice.

      The subscription model for software (or even worse the “software as a service” model) is just a way to lock in a user and force them to keep paying monthly or annual fees forever. Everyone needs to fight against this to keep it from becoming the only option.

      I actually support Microsoft’s current dual avenue method for Office: both purchased licenses and subscription. The end user can chose which they want to go.

  2. I use Pages, LibreOffice Spreadsheet, and Keynote. I used to write grant applications for projects under 7 govt agencies. At that time I used Word. The grant apps required text, graphics, drawings, and sometimes photos imbedded in the text. After about 3 pages Word would just blow up and become almost unmanageable. It would take hours fighting with the program to get the formatting to stay put. Balmer was stating at the time that “MS Office doesn’t work as well on the Mac”, meaning they made sure is was buggy.

    After switching to Pages, those problems went away (about 95%) and things go much smoother.

    As for Excel, when they dropped the formula bar at the top, I switched to LO. Haven’t missed anything. In fact, the “classical” interface is much easier to use, and the file format doesn’t change with each new release. All my work is scientific, and LO is just as powerful mathematically, if not moreso than Excel. I hear people say LO doesn’t have as many financial formulas, but that is not what I do.

    As for Keynote, it beats PP hands down.

  3. iWork is 1,000x cleaner, more streamlined, efficient, productive, and stable than MS Office.
    Switching to iWork alone would save companies so much money!

    1. I am a long term Apple fan, but I am not afraid to put the spotlight on Apple’s shortcomings.

      Given the time that has elapsed since Apple released the iWork products and given the massive resources available to the company, I expected iWork to become an “Office killer” years ago. iWork started out well, lacking only parity in functionality. That was expected in an initial release. But iWork, like some other Past and recent Apple products, has not evolved as smoothly or rapidly as I expected…as most people expected.

      Apple, quit starting stuff and letting it hang around with tepid development and support. We love your leaps of innovation, but steady incremental development has its place, too. When we buy into your hardware and software products and develop an experience base and effective process, only to have you pull the rug out from under us with cancellations, that hurts. It leaves us scrambling for a replacement, which often ends up being inferior. Businesses and professionals need and appreciate stability in many areas. So do regular consumers. We do not have the time to make radical shifts in the way we handle basic data – photos, music, video, etc.

      Find some balance and continue to support what you start, even if it is not a significant profit center. You have the resources to afford some break-even scenarios, or even minor losses, to support your loyal base.

      1. “Use Apple’s iWork.”

        I used to enthusiastically promote Pages to Word users. Not anymore, since it devolved to Pages 5 — a pretty program that is still far below Pages 4.3 in layout capability.

        We’re on 5.6.1 now, and the reviews are still WAY weighted to one star, and specifically name many problems.

  4. Sure… an accessory maker with a massive server (cloud) presence, databases, development tools, business tools, collaboration and messaging platforms.

    other than that yeah they are just an iPad accessory maker. lol

  5. MS Office 365 is very cheap – you could say you get Offuce for free with a 1TB OneDrive subscription. I used to use iWork before Apple dumbed it down to work on iOS so now I have Pages and use it for simple docs and Numbers for simple spreadsheets. But for real work I use Office. Try and embed a landscape table in a portrait document in Pages. You can’t. Some of the Pages templates were designed before the dumbing-down and now don’t work properly. You can’t paginate a bank statement in Numbers. Keynote is nice but you can’t control volume from the Mac on an hdmi interface – and I had one disastrous presentation as a consequence. Next time I will use a Windows notebook.

    Apple don’t know anything about, and do not care about, the needs of professionals. The Mac has been ignored for several years and it shows in crap software and unreliable operation. I don’t need every device to ring when someone calls me, but I’d like mail to be able to recover after I close the lid on my MacBook, and I’d like search to work properly in mail. I’d like the Mac to recognise my second monitor is off and I’d like a proper backup application that doesn’t delete files by itself or bury them in impenetrable files which cannot be read by later versions of the software.

    I’d like my macs to “just work”.

  6. I am not sure if MDN ever really delved deeply into the various uses of iWork (vs. MS Office) in various professions. I have used both, at least up to MS Office 98 (not bought any of the later versions) and I even bought iWork before it became free.

    There are a number of features that I like about Pages and Numbers but quite honestly, there are so many features that are subpar wrt to some of the basic features in MS Office.

    In the scientific community for example, try looking at graphic presentations of data where multiple variables are superimposed in one 2D or 3D graph — mainly to emphasize comparison or correlation of the findings in a study but also to save space in a publication or research grant application with maximum text or pages limits. How about having the chance to change the specific color of one of the “bars” in a graph to emphasize the uniqueness of a data among a series of the findings? Inserting referenced materials (e..g., by numbers, letters, etc.) to a written article for submission to be published or for grant application — with the ability to “renumber” automatically as new or additional referenced materials are added or even deleted is very important, if we are talking about hundreds or thousands of articles. Formatting the “literature citation” is also critical because various publications or funding agencies vary in format specifications.

    The above are just a few examples. If someone or Apple is able to perform such tasks with iWorks then perhaps more professions may use it in lieu of MS Office or the other applications (software) that complement the use of MS Office. This is not that MS Office is not without its faults — the updates are bloated and the licensing agreement is worrisome. I am also concerned about the reported monitoring or recording of the works that use the more recent version of the MS Office.

    KingMel, Sean and others above also expressed similar experienced and expectations that we hoped would follow through but never did. I have bought or used a number of Mac applications in the past, only to find that they have been dropped by Apple, or their future iterations were worse than the previous versions.

    So iWorks may be suitable for some applications suitable for many individuals, small businesses and enterprises but iWorks still leaves much to be desired to meet the exacting needs of the scientific community, more complex and sophisticated of larger businesses, corporations and institutions.

    CGC

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