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Microsoft exec takes swing at Apple, calls iWork 'watered down,' iPad 'entertainment device'

post #1 of 201
Thread Starter 
A senior Microsoft executive on Wednesday fired out a post on the company's official blog deriding Apple's recent special event, saying the iPad with iWork is no equal to Surface 2 and Office.

iPad


Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Communications Frank Shaw, pooh-poohed Apple's move to make the iWork suite of apps free with new device purchases, saying the Surface and Surface 2 were more adept in the productivity department. Shaw was apparently writing the post, titled "Apples and oranges," from Abu Dhabi, "where the only thing hotter than the weather are the new Windows devices unveiled by Nokia this week."

"Surface and Surface 2 both include Office, the world's most popular, most powerful productivity software for free and are priced below both the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively," Shaw said. "Making Apple's decision to build the price of their less popular and less powerful iWork into their tablets not a very big (or very good) deal."

Apple on Tuesday announced that it would be offering much of its newly updated software, including the new OS X Mavericks, for free. As for the iWork suite, the company is pre-installing the software on all new iOS and Mac devices, while owners of boxed editions and those who purchased the apps through the Mac App Store can upgrade for no fee.

New iWork


During Apple's keynote, chief executive Tim Cook claimed the competition is confused when it comes to portables. While not naming names, he said, "They chased after netbooks. Now they're trying to make PCs in to tablets, and tablets into PCs." Cook reiterated that Apple has a very clear direction with its own iPad lineup.

Microsoft just recently entered the computer hardware market, and its first devices were the Surface RT and Surface Pro. The two tablets feature detachable QWERTY keyboard covers and, in the case of the Pro, a full version of Windows 8. The devices did not perform well against Apple's iPad and a sea of Android tablets, including those made by the market leader in that segment, Samsung.

It remains to be seen whether Microsoft, which just released the second-generation Surface 2, will be able to catch up to the tablet segment's dominant players. Early reviews of the new tablet have been lukewarm.

Surface


According to Shaw, making a tablet tailored for content consumption is easy, but creating a dual-use device is more challenging.

"That's what Surface is. A single, simple, affordable device that helps you both lean in and kick back," Shaw writes. "Let's be clear - helping folks kill time on a tablet is relatively easy. But helping people be productive on a tablet is a little trickier."

Shaw continued, saying the Surface is the "most productive tablet" on the market today. To get there, Microsoft needed to include three key elements in the tablet:
1. The gold standard in productivity software - Office.
2. Faster and more precise input methods like keyboard/trackpad.
3. The ability to use apps and documents side by side, allowing the comparisons, analysis and synthesis that happens frequently during content creation.

Apple's decision to drop fees for iWork was insignificant, Shaw said, adding that the suite of apps never got much traction. Using the software on an iPad is even more difficult due to the lack of precision input and true multitasking, he said.

Perhaps attendees at Apple's event were required to work on iOS devices that don't allow them to have two windows open for side-by-side comparisons, so let me help them out by highlighting the following facts:

  • The Surface and Surface 2 are less expensive than the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively, and yet offer more storage, both onboard and in the cloud.
  • ... come with full versions of Office 2013, including Outlook, not non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps that can't share docs with the rest of the world.
  • ... offer additional native productivity enhancing capabilities like kickstands, USB ports, SD card slots and multiple keyboard options.
  • ... include interfaces for opening multiple windows, either side by side or layered to fit the way most people actually work.

"So, when I see Apple drop the price of their struggling, lightweight productivity apps, I don't see a shot across our bow, I see an attempt to play catch up," he said. Shaw did not take into account that, whether an entertainment tablet or not, the iPad has for many become a de facto productivity device.
post #2 of 201

When will they stop trying so hard to look stupid...

Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #3 of 201

So what does Surface offer that would compel me to give up my notebook?

Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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post #4 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

When will they stop trying so hard to look stupid...

I'm quite sure they're not working hard at it - it just comes naturally to so many at MS.

 

I wonder if it hurts to work there - actual physical pain, not just the mental anguish I imagine many face.

post #5 of 201
Remember when Ballmer called the iPhone a “rounding error?” Remember him laughing at the iPhone saying no one would buy a $500 phone?

Same thing here.

Wanna bet Office for iOS is announced sooner rather than later?
post #6 of 201
Ah so this is Ballmer's replacement. He forgot the #1 reason: dancers!!
post #7 of 201

And how many billions did they have to write down when their tablet instantly turned into landfill material?

 

Not the most credible source.

post #8 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by hentaiboy View Post
 

So what does Surface offer that would compel me to give up my notebook?

Well if you spend the EXTRA money to buy the keyboard it makes a happy "click" sound when you attach it. Your builtin, NOT extra money, notebook keyboard won't do that.

post #9 of 201
The fact that somebody that high up in Microsoft writes that way really shows that at Microsoft, buffoonish incompetence reaches down from the very top: Steve Ballmer
post #10 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post
 

And how many billions did they have to write down when their tablet instantly turned into landfill material?

 

Not the most credible source.


No, they're really not credible.

 

And yet, Apple somehow decided to stupidly copy their ugly flat look with iOS.  Why is Apple trying to copy M$? 

 

Oh, and it's not exactly inaccurate to call iWork "watered down" because it is.  It's not nearly as powerful as the dungheap that is M$ Office.  Apple could fix that, but they haven't been trying.  People really do want that feature mix, and if it were in a decent program, Apple could take over the office software market.

post #11 of 201

 

Quote:

Microsoft exec takes swing at Apple, calls iWork 'watered down,' iPad 'entertainment device'

As clueless as ever it seems. From what I remember that "entertainment device" didn't need $1 billion in write-downs. And I'm sure Apple is ever so upset that their "entertainment device" has sold 150 million units and has made them countless 10s of billions of dollars.

post #12 of 201
My iWorks documents share just fine with their MS counterparts. Its a joy to be able to work with great productivity software at home and have no compatibility issues when I have to bring my docs back to work.
post #13 of 201
He's right, the iPad with iWork is no equal to the Surface with Office. Apple would have to reduce the iPad quality, increase the cost, and make buggy software for it to be equal to the Surface with Office.
post #14 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post

He's right, the iPad with iWork is no equal to the Surface with Office. Apple would have to reduce the iPad quality, increase the cost, and make buggy software for it to be equal to the Surface with Office.

And they'd have to sell only about 1% of their current total iPad sales.

post #15 of 201
Yes Frank, we know you make trucks.

Macintosh 512Ke.......

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Macintosh 512Ke.......

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post #16 of 201
He mentioned Surface is the "most productive tablet" on the market today. He meant the most boring tablet on the market. Because of Windows 8. Moreover, Surface is not a tablet, Surface is kind of small ultra-book. Let him compare Windows 8 to Mavericks "Apple's new OS". Windows 8 has lack of design and there is no consistency. I wanna from him to show give facts that Surface is more powerful than iPad in terms of hardware and Software. Senior Microsoft forgot to mention how are Microsoft programs are expensive. For example, Windows 8 price for $400 - $450 in Australia. Yesterday I download Mavericks for free..
post #17 of 201
None of this matters.

What matters is that since the iPad was released, people realized that MS Office is not as crucial to their work as they thought. They got along fine without it for three years. Very few are waiting for Office for iPad with baited breath. This should scare MS if it isn't already.

They didn't rush to buy the Surface 1 when it came out, even though it came with Office. So what's different now?
post #18 of 201
How much power do I need to write a letter, report, or book? Pages handles all of that bloat free. Same for making spreadsheets. Numbers is actually designed for touch input and is really fast on an ipad.

Ironically, the app where you do need power is presentations, where Keynote cleans Powerpoint's clock.

The next killer app from Redmond will be known as MS Irrelevance.
post #19 of 201
Quote:

1. The gold standard in productivity software - Office.

 

Yeah, that's going to bring the kiddies running!

Quote:
2. Faster and more precise input methods like keyboard/trackpad.

A trackpad is a touch screen without the screen. You can easily add a keyboard to iPad, if using your fingers or speaking are too difficult for corporate types.

Quote:
3. The ability to use apps and documents side by side, allowing the comparisons, analysis and synthesis that happens frequently during content creation.

What you talkin' 'bout? Are you trying to say "making stuff"? Talk about making simple things complex! While you can make stuff on an iPad, that's actually what I have a MacBook Pro for with a big screen connected to it. I can actually have a WHOLE bunch of stuff open at once on that. ;)

post #20 of 201
It's a desperate response to what was a great keynote 1smile.gif
post #21 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Communications Frank Shaw, pooh-poohed Apple's move to make the iWork suite of apps free with new device purchases, saying the Surface and Surface 2 were more adept in the productivity department. Shaw was apparently writing the post, titled "Apples and oranges," from Abu Dhabi, "where the only thing hotter than the weather are the new Windows devices unveiled by Nokia this week."
 


Hey Ballmer!!! Good to hear from ya??!!  How the heck are you??!!  Why the name change?

post #22 of 201
Quote:
... while owners of boxed editions and those who purchased the apps through the Mac App Store can upgrade for no fee. 

Is this true? My computer had iWork '09 installed from the boxed edition. When I upgraded it from Mac App Store, I received 3 bills, charging me $19.99 each for Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Should I ask for a refund? Has anyone with boxed versions of iWork been able to upgrade these for no free?

post #23 of 201
Sounds like Frank Shaw is taking a page out of Ballmer's BS book.

Obviously, people don't NEED a fully feature rich Office apps on a tablet. Personally, I don't think that many people actually use all of the functionality of any app on the desktop and a tablet is more for simplified use. People use tablets differently than a desktop and bloating an app with a kagillion features bloats the app, and makes it overly complicated.

So, in some ways, Microsoft is doing what they do and it's not working because the market says so.

I think Microsoft execs are just full of their own BS to realize that people don't NEED all of those features. I've never met a single person that used 100% of the features of any Microsoft application. Most people use about 20% of the features routinely.

If Microsoft was smart, they would have come out with Office for the iPad and see what people buy. They are blaming Apple for their own internal problems. What IDIOTS.
post #24 of 201

I'll bet there aren't that many things that people are requesting for Numbers and Pages other than superficial changes, but I'm sure as time goes on, Apple will add the features they get a lot of requests for, just like they do for any application.

 

Microsoft should get off their collective asses and come out with Office for iOS and see what people buy and use.  Otherwise, they should keep their pie hole CLOSED. 

post #25 of 201
got nothing good to say about yourself? talk trash about the competition. applies to both politics and business.
post #26 of 201
How many corporate executives will have to eat their trash talking about Apple before they understand it is a bad idea?
post #27 of 201

I thinking Microsoft is scared...very scared...and it ain't even Halloween yet! Surface 2 the rescue...not! LMAO!

post #28 of 201

I would suggest that Office and Powerpoint are not feature rich apps.  

 

They were feature rich apps by the standards of 20 years ago.

 

Now it's no big whoop to create an alternative that's compatible with Microsoft Office.

 

Google docs.  iWork.  Pages.  TextEdit.

 

What's so great about Microsoft Office in 2013?  It's time to let go of the familiar that has value only because it's familiar.

post #29 of 201

Software licensing is dead

I'm sure this mindless rant will convince people to buy a Surface to type all of their documents.

 

I think we are on a trend where common software is subsidized by hardware and/or services.  Microsoft may be based on a failing software-centric business model.  Especially since they don't seem to understand how to create a hardware-centric model if the Surface (hybrid product for a market that doesn't exist) is what they came up with.

post #30 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

When will they stop trying so hard to look stupid...

They don't have to try very hard to look stupid, for Microsoft execs it comes naturally.  Especially when they start talking like Ballmer.

 

Shaw sounds like another Ballmer clone trying to get attention.

 

And everyone NEEDS a kickstand that goes click, click.  /s

post #31 of 201

"...and yet offer more storage, both onboard...

 

Hasn't this shown to be false?

post #32 of 201
Lol go back to sleep Frank!!
post #33 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

When will they stop trying so hard to look stupid...

 

 

Fortunately for them, each time they do it less of their customers hear it. 

post #34 of 201

For it to even be a level playing field MS would have to make Office and Office 365 FREE.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #35 of 201

What will be funny is when, a couple of months after finally releasing MSOffice for iOS, they're forced to admit that they make more selling their iOS app than selling any of their Surface products!

 

I can't wait!

post #36 of 201
Quote:
 Abu Dhabi, "where the only thing hotter than the weather are the new Windows devices unveiled by Nokia this week."

 

Seriously? This guy is the Vice President of Communications?

post #37 of 201
Fine words from the company that brought us the all-conquering Zune! The message is we still think that people are going to buy tablets so that they can do office work round the clock - they just don't get it. Word processors and spreadsheets are not the only vehicles for productivity. Garage Band may be ridiculed as an app that helps one 'kill time', but it also happens to be a brilliant tool for creating and playing music and in educational terms it is without equal. It is immensely powerful, easy to learn and innovative - in short having this one app installed massively increases the value of the device. The same applies to iMovie and iPhoto and some of the other amazing apps. that differentiate Apple from the competition. Keynote is better than Powerpoint and now it's free!
My son went to New York for his honeymoon and when he was over there got caught up in all the hype and bought a Surface, assuming that the app eco-structure would develop like Apple's. That didn't happen. I've not seen him use it for anything because it doesn't offer anything that his laptop doesn't do better and that's the nub of it. People don't want a device that just runs desktop apps, where's the incentive to splash the cash unless it does something better, something different to their office PC?
post #38 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anant View Post

Is this true? My computer had iWork '09 installed from the boxed edition. When I upgraded it from Mac App Store, I received 3 bills, charging me $19.99 each for Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Should I ask for a refund? Has anyone with boxed versions of iWork been able to upgrade these for no free?

Aperture worked for me. Had to visit MAS then saw the price. Opened Aperture. Said it could no longer read my iPhoto library unless it upgraded. Went back to the MAS and it now said Upgrade.

If you bought them yesterday, I would request a refund. Prior to that? Think you may be out if luck.
post #39 of 201
Sent from his iPad.
post #40 of 201
For the record, Microsoft, I had two friends do clean installs of Mavericks in the past 24 hours. Both decided they no longer needed Office. One had iWork 09, the other with iWork 08. The one with iWork 08 actually paid for iWork today to get the upgrades
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