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Microsoft working to bring its Office apps to iPad, Mac OS X Lion

post #1 of 86
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Microsoft is preparing a new edition of its Office suite for Apple's iPad, as well as an updated Office for Mac OS X Lion users.

According to a report by The Daily, Microsoft is "actively working on adapting its popular software suite for Apples tablet," in recognition of the fact that iPad now accounts for the vast majority of tablets sold, and now represents a market nearly as large as Mac OS X itself.

The report also notes Microsoft is working to complete Office 2012 for Windows, already in beta, for release next year. An updated edition for Lion would presumably be made available through the Mac App Store. The existing Office 2011 only supports Snow Leopard officially.

By adding support for Lion document features such as Auto Save and Versions, Microsoft could bring its Mac Office into parity with Apple's iWork suite, which has been updated for Lion but hasn't been significantly revised since the release of "iWork 09" nearly three years ago.

On iOS, Apple has enjoyed an uncontested run at providing its iWork productivity software for the iPad, as well as the smaller screen of the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple's Pages, Keynote and Numbers apps for iOS have remained at the top of the App Store's highest grossing iPad apps.

Microsoft on iPad

While failing to predict the popularity of Apple's iOS as a mobile platform, Microsoft has made some efforts to bring its apps and services to the App Store.

It has delivered an iPad version of its Bing search app as well as MSN Onit and OnPoint apps, and has released a Tag barcode scanner, OneNote and Windows Live Messenger clients for iPhone.



Microsoft also just announced a deal to license its enterprise protocols involved with Remote Desktop Services, Windows Azure, Active Directory and SharePoint, to third party developer Agreeya Mobility, which plans to build apps for Apple's iOS as well as Android and other mobile operating systems.

While Microsoft has largely ignored Apple's iOS as it worked to improve Windows Mobile 6, then build Windows Phone 7 as a viable competitor, it's own mobile platforms have failed to gain traction.

Bad news for WP7, Windows 8

After a year on the market, Windows Phone 7 hasn't attracted meaningful sales, and the future prospects of Nokia's WP7-based Lumia line have not been encouraging.

Microsoft is also struggling to bring Windows 8 to market at least a year from now, meaning it will hit the market only after another year of iPad sales further erode the slim market left for non-iPad tablets.

A new study by Forrester notes that while it is "bullish" on Microsoft's new software platform, it believes that the company has missed the "peak of consumer desire" for a Windows-based tablet, noting that in just six months, consumers' interest in a future Windows tablet had dropped by 25 percent.

Across 2011, Google's Android 3.0 tablet effort has completely failed, HP has abandoned its own rival webOS tablet project, and RIM has been embarrassed by the absolute lack of interest in its PlayBook. The only "tablets" garnering any attention outside of iPad are cheap loss leader devices running year old versions of Android incompatible with the tablet apps Google hoped to sell and effectively acting as large screen smartphones without mobile calling features.

By shifting its focus to support iOS, Microsoft appears to be acknowledging that its chances of building a viable competitor to Apple's mobile products are not just a year away, but shrinking in potential every day as even its own employees leave the company to work on iOS related projects.

Microsoft's Technical Evangelist Mike Swanson, who has worked for the company for the last eleven years, recently announced that his side interest in developing apps for iOS devices has grown into a full time job, resulting in his departure from Microsoft to focus on building "new and exciting" mobile software.
post #2 of 86
Amazing ! Times when S Jobs had to make compromises to have Microsoft products on Mac are over. The balance of power is reversed, and the one who depends on the other is not the same ...
post #3 of 86
Sounds like the first good decision Microsoft has made in awhile.

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post #4 of 86
Can they focus enough on core functionality to make Office viable and easy to use on the iOS platform, or are they going to continue "just getting by" and trade on familiarity and integration to push this out.

They are so corporate driven, that had to be the straw that broke the camel's back, when it became apparent that iDevices were making inroads and iCTOs were calling them up and asking why Office wasn't on the iPad yet. Because I know there are corp. managers just dying to do a pivot chart on their iPad....
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post #5 of 86
And this time Microsoft were not hired by Steve Jobs to develop it nor did Microsoft get a version of the OS to illegally reverse engineer while they were at it. Got to love SDKs.

Meanwhile I hope the folks behind Neo Office get an iPad version out first.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #6 of 86
It's amazing how much difficulty competitors have had in competing with the iPad (and iPhone).

Part of the problem I think is the focus on hardware. Android people love to brag about the size of the screen, camera megapixels, processor speed, etc of their particular device. The real strength of iPad is the OS, user interface, smoothness/speed, programming API, and ease of use. Anyone can make a rectangle shaped device with a bright screen, camera, and wifi.

Microsoft and Google need to ditch their current bloated/clunky operating systems and go with a new slim, fast, smooth, nice looking OS that runs native code not virtualized Java/C# junk programs. It has to have a strong API that has good fast OpenGL accelerated controls. Much the same way Apple has done.

They can still differentiate their platform from Apple with a different UI paradigm and other enhanced features. At this point, they need to match AND overtake how well the iPad works to grab market share. I just don't think the fundamental architecture of Android and Windows Mobile can do it.
post #7 of 86
Microsoft stole the show and became what it became and Apple has planned and fortified its new holdings and wont be giving in anytime too soon to the copyists.

And who wants Office anyway unless you're corporate and tied to that old horse.

I would be surprised if MSs swipe OS will go much beyond the computer.

When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

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When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

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post #8 of 86
I think if Word was put on the MAS it would be a permanent top 10 resident. Good job Microsoft!
post #9 of 86
I don't personally have any use for that kind of software, but I'm always pleased to see good apps and major apps coming to the iPad.

Bring it on!
post #10 of 86
If true, then this is a good news indeed. MS Office is still the leader by far in terms of productivity software.
post #11 of 86
Wow Microsoft the big pig is gonna produce and sell software on the Big Apple App Store. this is a smart move for Microsoft. Lets just hope that the office they sell isn't a big bunch of crap. It will be interesting to see what the iOS version of it looks like.

Making it available for the android market is also good. We will see how many sales there are per market. I bet Apples App Store sells more than Android. Android tablets are kinda lame right now.
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post #12 of 86
Now...if only Nintendo can see the handwriting on the wall.

Tom
post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Now...if only Nintendo can see the handwriting on the wall.

Tom

It won't happen just yet, but if they're still hurting in a year or two, then perhaps there is hope. Times are changing and the portable gaming business is only going to be seeing worse times.

post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post

Amazing ! Times when S Jobs had to make compromises to have Microsoft products on Mac are over. The balance of power is reversed, and the one who depends on the other is not the same ...

Are you saying that M$ depends on Apple?

You are delusional.
post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Now...if only Nintendo can see the handwriting on the wall.

Tom

If Nintendo is smart (which right now they are not) they wouldn't have too.

Nintendo has an absolutely massive collection of content that they could be delivered to their 3DS platform at reasonable prices... Imagine all of their NES, SNES, N64, GBA, DS content being available for .99 to $5.99. Nintendo would have no problem reaching their sales goals... The days of $29.99/$39.99 per cartridge, per user are largely over for the company...
post #16 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Are you saying that M$ depends on Apple?

You are delusional.

Agreed. With the pathetic offering that iWork is, Apple still needs Office.
post #17 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

If Nintendo is smart (which right now they are not) they wouldn't have too.

Nintendo has an absolutely massive collection of content that they could be delivered to their 3DS platform at reasonable prices... Imagine all of their NES, SNES, N64, GBA, DS content being available for .99 to $5.99. Nintendo would have no problem reaching their sales goals... The days of $29.99/$39.99 per cartridge, per user are largely over for the company...

Either way...it is decision time. iOS has momentum and would be a cash cow for them. There is more profit in software sales than hardware and there is a whole heck of a lot more iOS devices than Nintendo 3DS devices out there.

Who wants to carry 2 devices around anyway?

Tom
post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Now...if only Nintendo can see the handwriting on the wall.

Tom

In Nintendo's case it would actually be a terrible move. The majority of their profit is driven by hardware sales and software exclusively released on their own hardware. Additionally, none of their software is suited to a device without tactile controls.

The wii is a very good system - it's the online experience that is lacking. They should borrow from the app store rather than acquiesce to it.
post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Agreed. With the pathetic offering that iWork is, Apple still needs Office.

Not sure Apple needs MS Office though! Ever tried Neo Office? Or Open Office?

http://www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/index.php

http://www.openoffice.org/
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #20 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

Additionally, none of their software is suited to a device without tactile controls.

That's why they're going to be releasing their bluetooth Nintendo D-pad for iOS devices.
post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Agreed. With the pathetic offering that iWork is, Apple still needs Office.

Apple has been doing unfathomably well without office on iOS. They don't seem to need it to me. Some iOS users may need it but that hasn't hurt sales. Sales have only been limited by production constraints.
post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] Microsoft's Technical Evangelist Mike Swanson, who has worked for the company for the last eleven years, recently announced that his side interest in developing apps for iOS devices has grown into a full time job, resulting in his departure from Microsoft to focus on building "new and exciting" mobile software.

That's it. Swanson has shown Microsoft the best way to break into mobile: by writing iOS apps.

After all, Microsoft *is* a software company. Right?

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post #23 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

That's it. Swanson has shown Microsoft the best way to break into mobile.

Write iOS apps. After all, Microsoft is a software company. Right?

Well they are good at reverse engineering I'll give them that.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #24 of 86
"Siri, kick Clippy's ass for me."

"Clippy is pwned."
post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft is preparing a new edition of its Office suite for Apple's iPad, as well as a updated Office for Mac OS X Lion users. ...

While IMO it would be pretty easy to make a better word processor than Pages for iOS, (or even a worthy competitor), I don't see that Microsoft actually has the talent to do this.

They haven't ever shown any skill in making simple, easy to use software in the past. Let's face it, they excel at the needlessly complicated, and they use an everything and the kitchen sink approach to development.

I fear what will happen here is what usually happens with Microsoft's stuff. They will make a product that technically is inferior and filled with stupidity, but it will still be number one "because it's Word." We will thus all be forced to use Word, even though Pages is better, and Pages will continue to be mediocre because there is no reason to improve it.
post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Now...if only Nintendo can see the handwriting on the wall.

Tom

Amen! Microsoft bringing office to ios is great, but Nintendo games on ios would be even better!
post #27 of 86
The ultimate presentation tool:

PowerPoint for iOS (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad).
post #28 of 86
If true, this is a very smart move for Microsoft:

-- they optimize complex apps to the single window touch UI
-- they get something running on the ARM architecture
-- they interface their mobile apps to their desktop apps
-- they take advantage of their dominant position in desktop office apps
-- they exploit the iOS ecosystem for selling and delivering apps
-- they make some money

All of this is a learning experience for MS -- and this gives them a seat at the table in the hottest game in town!

MS can do this with an eye to delivering the same capability (likely more) to Windows 8 ARM Tablets in late 2012.

Should the Windows 8 Everywhere prove to be "too little, too late" -- MS will have their apps running on the tablets of choice for personal and enterprise.

The real challenge will be to re-think, re-design and re-implement Office apps for the mobile form factor.

This is no small task:
-- single window (no resizable, overlapping windows, inspectors, etc.)
-- no complex toolbars monopolizing screen real-estate
-- larger, but fewer controls
-- different workflow, but must be intuitive

The iPad apps will be totally different apps than the desktop apps -- with a separate code base.

IMO, MS has a small window [sic] of opportunity (1Q 2012) and only one chance to get it right!

What's taken them so long?

"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

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post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

The ultimate presentation tool:

PowerPoint for iOS (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad).



2002 called. They want their pre-Keynote software back.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Are you saying that M$ depends on Apple?

You are delusional.

Apple products are becoming increasingly important to MS. There is nothing delusional about that.
post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by techguy911 View Post

It's amazing how much difficulty competitors have had in competing with the iPad (and iPhone).

Part of the problem I think is the focus on hardware. Android people love to brag about the size of the screen, camera megapixels, processor speed, etc of their particular device. The real strength of iPad is the OS, user interface, smoothness/speed, programming API, and ease of use. Anyone can make a rectangle shaped device with a bright screen, camera, and wifi.

Microsoft and Google need to ditch their current bloated/clunky operating systems and go with a new slim, fast, smooth, nice looking OS that runs native code not virtualized Java/C# junk programs. It has to have a strong API that has good fast OpenGL accelerated controls. Much the same way Apple has done.

They can still differentiate their platform from Apple with a different UI paradigm and other enhanced features. At this point, they need to match AND overtake how well the iPad works to grab market share. I just don't think the fundamental architecture of Android and Windows Mobile can do it.

Microsoft does have a fast OS with an innovative UI that runs native code, it's called Windows Phone 7, it's gaining traction pretty rapidly. And before everyone starts on the 1% market share etc. Kin etc. Think about how smug Nokia were when the iPhone first came out .. and see how well that turned out.
post #32 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mprince View Post

Microsoft does have a fast OS with an innovative UI that runs native code, it's called Windows Phone 7, it's gaining traction pretty rapidly. And before everyone starts on the 1% market share etc. Kin etc. Think about how smug Nokia were when the iPhone first came out .. and see how well that turned out.

The difference here is that Windows Phone 7 won't ever be an iOS toppler. It will act as a compliment to it, but it's not going to be a serious upheaval.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #33 of 86


"If we want to move forward and see Microsoft healthy and prospering again, we have to let go of a few things here. We have to let go of this notion that for Microsoft to win, Apple has to lose. "

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"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

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post #34 of 86
Someone let me know when M$ makes a Mac version of Project and Visio, then I'll be interested in looking at it. Right now, OpenOffice provides all the functionality of M$ Office for Mac, even if the UI isn't as streamlined.

Office for iPad? Only if they don't screw it up. Touch is not desktop apps running on a touch screen. It will require a from the ground-up new product - and we still need Project and Visio here too.
post #35 of 86
Here is the reality. As consumers, we want the most choice with the fewest issues / boundaries. Bringing office to ios removes one reason that some business users may have from not adopting the iPad. This is obviously good for Apple

The good news for Microsoft is that they can make money selling software to iPad users, after all, they are a software company.

From a WP7.5 and Win8 perspective, it's not bad news. Microsoft give away their mobile office for free with WP7.5, it won't be free for other platforms.

One of the things I like about Microsoft is that they (usually) won't kill one business for the sake of another. Arguably Sony hurt the PS3 by including a Blu-Ray player in it; the price was very high early on and they let Microsoft get a big lead. It was more important for Sony to win the video format wars than the console wars, so they stuck to their guns. You could argue that it was strategic .. blah blah blah, but in the end they are number 3 in that space where they could have been number 2 (if you count Wii).

In all fairness, Apple really doesn't (and never has) contributed much to other platforms.
post #36 of 86
I have been using an iPad 2 for a few months now, and two weeks ago took it along to a conference. It worked very well as a note-taking tool, and the automatic posting of the resulting notes to my e-mail inbox on my Mac(s) was very useful.
That said, when I need to do serious work, it's the Macs that I turn to. And yes, Office remains my "go to" application set for text and spreadsheets. I value the formatting flexibility they provide, and while Word or Excel are--for now--simply unavailable on the iPad, I don't see how Microsoft will be able to provide the degree of layout and detailing control on the iPad that it does on the Mac--or a Windows machine, for that matter.
If the goal is to allow for easy presentation of documents, or on-the fly minor editing, that's fine. But for my purposes, the iPad simply isn't a "serious" production machine. "Your mileage may differ," of course.

--Steve

PS: I mean no belittling of the iPad. I very much enjoy mine as a "consumption device" when I need to catch up on Apple Insider at home, for example, or to catch up with the day's news.
post #37 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Are you saying that M$ depends on Apple?

You are delusional.

Microsoft makes billions, annually from Apple hardware. This covers their losses in other departments. To end this would call for Shareholders to push out their current board and CEO.

This is a protection scheme and always has been since Apple started firing on all cylinders.
post #38 of 86
Apple is clearly going to ramp up the capabilities of the iWorks for the Desktop/Laptop/, its Cloud Services and for the iOS platform.

Microsoft realizes they better get going or with a fully robust iWorks Suite in the hands of hundreds of millions of iOS Users they won't need MS Office in the Enterprise, Medical, Military, Federal Markets anymore.
post #39 of 86
The iPad will force MS to de-bloat word. Hopefully they can come up with a version that is more usable that the 2010 POS.
post #40 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Are you saying that M$ depends on Apple?

You are delusional.

It's an interesting question. Apple sold almost 15 million iPads last year. This year they will sell 40 million. Next year, possibly 65 million. This is becoming a good percentage of total computer devices sold each year. Combine that with a stall in Windows box sales, and MS is seeing more devices that don't run Windows year after year. Combine that with smartphone sales, which they are pretty much out of right now, and the situation looks poor.

This doesn't mean that they will depend upon Apple for all of their sales by any means. But it does mean that a larger proportion of devices don't run Windows. They will have to accommodate that or lose sales and profits. If Apple can maintain a majority of tablet sales, and it looks possible as their percentage is higher than was predicted, then that accommodation will increasingly have to be with Apple.
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