or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPad › First look: Hands on with Office for iPad from Microsoft's event in San Francisco
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First look: Hands on with Office for iPad from Microsoft's event in San Francisco

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
The long-awaited debut of Microsoft Office for iPad finally took place on Thursday with an event in San Francisco featuring the company's new chief executive Satya Nadella. AppleInsider was there live to test out Office on the iPad, and also see Microsoft's new leader in action.




The new Office for iPad looks very much like Apple's iWork, and the features demonstrated by Microsoft on Thursday were also similar. The newly released Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad are actually the first touch-enabled versions of Office, as the existing applications for Windows and Surface are still using what is essentially a desktop PC interface, while Windows Phone sports a very different editor.
Office for iPad brings a true touchscreen interface to Microsoft's productivity suite. The interface is much better than Office for Mac, but is still distinctly Microsoft.
Apple's entirely new interface on Office for iPad seems much better than Office for Mac, which frankly we haven't been impressed by in some time. Office for iPad looks usable and fluid, and likely works with more document types than its Mac counterpart as well.

In our hands-on time, we came away feeling that Office works like an iPad application, though the complex interfaces are distinctly Microsoft.

We spoke with Microsoft Office general manager Julia White, and asked about support for previous version of Office, and how much fidelity users can expect between the Windows and iOS versions of the suite. She said there has been no changes to the file types in Office since ".docx" debuted, and that everything is supported aside from possibly macros.

We were given the impression that Office for iPad is a major effort for Microsoft, and find it interesting that the company is giving the downloads away for free. This is likely because they know they can't sell the applications themselves while Apple is including iWork for free with all new iOS device purchases.




Still, editing documents on Office for iPad will require users to subscribe to Microsoft's Office 365 service, which costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for a home account, and can be used on up to five PCs and Macs, as well as tablets and smartphones. Both personal and corporate accounts can be used, and allow access to OneDrive and Sharepoint, while files can also be shared via standard methods such as email.

One thing we did notice is that Office for iPad does not offer the ability to rotate with multi-touch. Instead, that function works like Office on the desktop, requiring users to select an image and touch the rotation button. While somewhat strange, this may actually be a benefit for some, as people may accidentally touch and rotate items while editing a document.

But many aspects of Microsoft's presentation on Thursday felt similar to how Apple showcased iWork on iPad four years ago, in 2010. For example, the company showed how Word on iPad allows users to move images around freely, and text will automatically flow around the picture. That's exactly how Apple showed off Pages on iPad.

The Excel presentation also emphasized a custom keyboard for character entry -- something Apple focused on in showcasing Numbers. And in unveiling PowerPoint for iPad, Microsoft showcased its animated transitions much like Apple has already done.

Still, enterprise users who rely heavily on Excel will be pleased with its arrival on iPad, as Microsoft's spreadsheet application simply has more capabilities than Apple's Numbers. In addition, there are some functions possible in Excel that simply don't translate over to Numbers.




Excel for iPad boasts many more functions available to users than Apple's Numbers. However, it doesn't appear that all desktop-class capabilities have been brought over to the touchscreen interface.

In taking the stage, Nadella emphasized that he's been with Microsoft for most of his adult life, though the role of CEO is obviously new. He said the release of Office on Apple's market leading iPad isn't about competing with other companies, as Microsoft is simply focused on going to where the customers are.

The 45-minute presentation did seem rushed, with very little time being spent on an application before moving on to something else. With its annual Build developer conference next week, it's likely that Microsoft didn't want to draw too much focus away from Nadella's next presentation.

Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad were all released on Apple's App Store earlier Thursday as free downloads.



post #2 of 68
Geez AI how many different articles do you need to have for this?
post #3 of 68
Maybe now the dev team can get some work done on Office for Mac OS X - I do a lot of work in Excel with lots of custom macros and often multiple docs open and it often gets quite slow and even crashes - and has many little quirks beside the differences in the way pages are rendered between the platforms.
post #4 of 68
A link to the presentation would be great AI.
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #5 of 68
"...and find it interesting that the company is giving the downloads away for free. This is likely because they know they can't sell the applications themselves while Apple is including iWork for free with all new iOS device purchases"

No. It's the only way to avoid giving Apple 30% of their cut.
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Geez AI how many different articles do you need to have for this?

This is #4, but it's just a 'hands-on' article. Expect an 'in-depth review' this weekend.

I think they fucked up with the picture rotation; they clearly use a mouse with their tablet, and clearly haven't used the app after compiling it.
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #7 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

This is #4, but it's just a 'hands-on' article. Expect an 'in-depth review' this weekend.

I think they fucked up with the picture rotation; they clearly use a mouse with their tablet, and clearly haven't used the app after compiling it.

First comes the on-depth overview then comes the in-depth review and finally the depth-adjacent review which gets feedback on your thoughts of the depthiness of their reviews.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Maybe now the dev team can get some work done on Office for Mac OS X - I do a lot of work in Excel with lots of custom macros and often multiple docs open and it often gets quite slow and even crashes - and has many little quirks beside the differences in the way pages are rendered between the platforms.

 

I hear you.

 

Excel for Mac seems to only make use of one core on my eight core machine.  For some of the bigger spreadsheets I use, I actually find it more efficient to bring up Parallels and run Excel for Windows, which seems ridiculous.

post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

First comes the on-depth overview then comes the in-depth review and finally the depth-adjacent review which gets feedback on your thoughts of the depthiness of their reviews.

"Geez man, that deep."
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #10 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcode View Post

"...and find it interesting that the company is giving the downloads away for free. This is likely because they know they can't sell the applications themselves while Apple is including iWork for free with all new iOS device purchases"

No. It's the only way to avoid giving Apple 30% of their cut.

NO, They are not "giving" the full-functioning App away....if you want to *CREATE* any document with the program, you have to subscribe to their $99/year service, which will probably keep re-billing you until you cancel. Thing is a total rip-off. It's not free.

post #11 of 68

Too little, too late.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post
 

 

I hear you.

 

Excel for Mac seems to only make use of one core on my eight core machine.  For some of the bigger spreadsheets I use, I actually find it more efficient to bring up Parallels and run Excel for Windows, which seems ridiculous.

 

I do run Parallels on my home system and Fusion on my work machine - and the dev work that I do has to work on both Mac and Windows. Some operations that I script take far longer to execute on the Mac side than Windows - had never looked to see how many cores were being pushed. Overall, aside from the lack of Active X on the Mac, and the differences in the way fonts and text boxes render - the current versions are more similar than any previous versions. Better performance on the Mac side would be welcome. 

post #13 of 68
From what I can tell these apps offer IAP. So I'm assuming Apple gets a cut of any IAP? I figured MS would do anything possible to avoid giving Apple a cut. Unless some special deal has been worked out where Apple doesn't get a cut?
post #14 of 68

I will tell you, I would pay a reasonable amount, say $49.99 to buy and own the app for the iPad. But no way am I paying $99/year for some subscription service just to run this thing on my iPad. No thank you M$

post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post
 

 

I do run Parallels on my home system and Fusion on my work machine - and the dev work that I do has to work on both Mac and Windows. Some operations that I script take far longer to execute on the Mac side than Windows - had never looked to see how many cores were being pushed. Overall, aside from the lack of Active X on the Mac, and the differences in the way fonts and text boxes render - the current versions are more similar than any previous versions. Better performance on the Mac side would be welcome. 

 

How do you find Fusion in comparison with Parallels?

post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Excel for Mac seems to only make use of one core on my eight core machine.  For some of the bigger spreadsheets I use, I actually find it more efficient to bring up Parallels and run Excel for Windows, which seems ridiculous.

Well, that's exactly like Excel 2010 on my Windows 7 machine at work. Four cores, only one being used - for *all* spreadsheets I have open and they are frequently all being recalculated every time a calculation changes in one of the sheets even if they are not linked in any way.

 

Minor gripe, though, since Excel is a really powerful albeit with many weird quirks. One gets used to it.

post #17 of 68
"Apple's entirely new interface on Office for iPad seems much better than Office for Mac"

Psst. Don't you mean Microsoft's new interface? 1smile.gif
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcode View Post

"...and find it interesting that the company is giving the downloads away for free. This is likely because they know they can't sell the applications themselves while Apple is including iWork for free with all new iOS device purchases"

No. It's the only way to avoid giving Apple 30% of their cut.

I think both are right, although the latter is less of an issue if the former was not true. 

 

The external subscription is the key factor here.   as long as that is the revenue stream, microsoft staunches the revenue hemorrage. 

 

It's no different than my IRA management app... it's free, but they are taking 1% of my assets under management.   I think it better be free (and a send me a few free tickets to your golf tournament too..)

post #19 of 68
I didn't think Microsoft had it in them. I guess I was wrong. Historically, Microsoft released the first GUI version of Word on the Mac, and it ultimately did not hold back the future success of the Windows versions of the same. So there's no reason for MS to hold back the iPad version so that a Metro UI version can arrive first.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #20 of 68

Should every paragraph end with

"... this is how Apple showed their iWork.", "... this is exactly like Apple."

 

Come on!

No one beats Microsoft in Office suite, to be frank!  They just dont have better OS and Hardware!

post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post
 

 

How do you find Fusion in comparison with Parallels?

 

I prefer Parallels - seems to work a bit better especially for graphics - although I am using the latest version of Parallels compared to version 4 on my work machine - not sure if I want to pay for the upgrade myself or try to convince the company to cover it. For work I have a couple apps that are windows only so have to use it - for home I do a lot more in the VM so the extra power helps, even though it is marginal. 

post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcode View Post

"...and find it interesting that the company is giving the downloads away for free. This is likely because they know they can't sell the applications themselves while Apple is including iWork for free with all new iOS device purchases"

No. It's the only way to avoid giving Apple 30% of their cut.

It is not really free. Without subscription, it is only a glorified document viewer.

Subscription is licensing model MS is pushing hard nowadays across the whole (supported) market. Even in corporate volume licensing, MS is gunning for Office 365 or Open Level Subscription.

For people who are upgrading to new versions of Office (or are paying Software Assurance through Open Value model), subscription should come with comparable price - maybe even a bit cheaper. In addition, it offers additional benefits - license count step-up and step-down, which could be handy for companies with "seasonal" workers. Office 365, for example, includes all the required Lync licensing, which are completely crazy unrealistic if you want to purchase them through other options.

Reason for pushing subscriptions is not because of users who do upgrade, but for users who purchase one Office and use it forever. You'd be surprised how many people still use Office 2003. From MS point of view, that is 11 years of lost income.
post #23 of 68

Does it connect to DropBox?

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
15" Matte MacBook Pro: 2.66Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, GT330m 512MB, 512GB SSD

iPhone 5 Black 32GB

iPad 3rd Generation, 32GB

Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.26ghz,...

Reply

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
15" Matte MacBook Pro: 2.66Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, GT330m 512MB, 512GB SSD

iPhone 5 Black 32GB

iPad 3rd Generation, 32GB

Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.26ghz,...

Reply
post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

This is #4, but it's just a 'hands-on' article. Expect an 'in-depth review' this weekend.

I think they fucked up with the picture rotation; they clearly use a mouse with their tablet, and clearly haven't used the app after compiling it.

First comes the on-depth overview then comes the in-depth review and finally the depth-adjacent review which gets feedback on your thoughts of the depthiness of their reviews.

Don't forget the mind-numbing, wandering-rant, jaw-dropping anti-Microsoft editorial!
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

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

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Don't forget the mind-numbing, wandering-rant, jaw-dropping anti-Microsoft editorial!

Written by yours truly, the one and only......
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #26 of 68
Unfortunately, no mention in the hands-on review about the apps inability to work with DropBox or any non-Microsoft cloud-storage service. This makes these apps virtually useless to MANY if not most MS Office users, even those who are Office 365 subscribers.
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

Should every paragraph end with
"... this is how Apple showed their iWork.", "... this is exactly like Apple."

Come on!
No one beats Microsoft in Office suite, to be frank!  They just dont have better OS and Hardware!

They don't really have hardware, short of Surface tablets... 1wink.gif

Regarding their OEMs and concept of better hardware... isn't it really relative, down to one's individual needs?

I will be in market for new laptop later this year, and until recently I had two candidates - MBP 13" Retina and ThinkPad Carbon X1 (new one). Here in New Zealand, X1 with same RAM/storage is actually quite a bit more expensive than MBP; I think it is around NZ$3,000 for i7-4600U CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD, and 14" 2560 x 1440 IPS screen. Battery is claimed to hold 8 hours, and machine is lighter than 13" MBP even if screen is 1" larger. But... comparable 13" MBP Retina is NZ$2,300. It is smaller and heavier, with a bit slower CPU (i5)... but it should squeeze at least 1 more hour from the battery, and is using better integrated graphics (Intel Iris). My laptop requirements are quite relaxed - I'm not using my personal laptop for work, so I don't even require Office on it - Lightroom is the only real requirement, Photoshop to much lesser degree... better gaming capabilities would be nice, but I gave up on light and portable gaming laptop some time back, every single one had an issue (poor screen, bulky, crappy battery life even in non-gaming scenarios)... rest, any OS would do, and I'm curious to give OSX a go.

However, Gigabyte has just released P34G v2. This is 14" gaming laptop, only 100g heavier than 13" MBP, reasonably thin (21mm). Not as premium built as MBP or X1, of course, and screen in "only" 1080p... but screen is of good IPS variety, and Haswel i7 CPU, 8GB or more of RAM, backlit keyboard, 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD with GTX 860M are quite tempting. I don't know pricing yet, but I'm expecting it not to go over NZ$2,500 for described configuration.

So now, it is between MBP and P34G v2. What is better hardware here... for me? I have gaming desktop, so I don't really need gaming laptop... but whenever I go to lan party, or we organize little tournament in the office after hours or weekends, I wish I can just take my laptop, instead of moving my desktop rig. Outside of graphics, Gigabyte will offer faster CPU, more storage (without sacrificing performance)... MPB will offer more premium finish, still better screen, better battery life (though Gigabyte can sacrifice spinner HDD for larger battery which should at least match MBP). What is better here? Machine with stronger insides or machine with better outsides? Much as I am concerned, I'm finding both equally attractive.
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

From what I can tell these apps offer IAP. So I'm assuming Apple gets a cut of any IAP? I figured MS would do anything possible to avoid giving Apple a cut. Unless some special deal has been worked out where Apple doesn't get a cut?

No cut. They sell their subscription on their own site. So basically they're paying $99/y for their membership at Apple, and use their infrastructure, 700M clients and the humongous name of Apple. Don't know how they got these apps pass, but we'll see.

The previous article has more on the prices.

Edit: turns out Apple does get their cut.
Edited by PhilBoogie - 3/27/14 at 5:03pm
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by WardC View Post

I will tell you, I would pay a reasonable amount, say $49.99 to buy and own the app for the iPad. But no way am I paying $99/year for some subscription service just to run this thing on my iPad. No thank you M$

Exactly. I would probably be willing to pay about £20 each for Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the iPad. No way am I going to subscribe to Office 365.
post #30 of 68
Doesn't the in-app purchase to edit give Apple 30%? That's what I see for the iPad version?

There are three application from MS. I would expect one would have to pay the $99.99 for only one application, and the license would apply to the other two. Right?
post #31 of 68
The app I'd like to see on the iPad and AppleTV is Popcorn-Time:

https://github.com/popcorn-team/popcorn-app/releases/tag/v0.2.7-beta
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

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

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
post #32 of 68
They are giving them away, to entice ( hook ) users into subscribing to 365 when they want to do more than viewing documents.

Pretty happy with iWork, so no need for me to swap horses. And I definitely do not want work remote anything on my personal devices, end story.
post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Written by yours truly, the one and only......

So you're DED? :wow:

 

/s

yours truly

noun
1.
a conventional phrase used at the end of a letter.
2.
Informal. I; myself; me: I'm only in business to profit yours truly.
 
You talkin' to me?
Reply
You talkin' to me?
Reply
post #34 of 68

Does anyone know if you can print from the iPad versions of the MS Office Apps??????

post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

A link to the presentation would be great AI.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/mar14/03-27mobilecloudpr.aspx

 

;)

 

I have to say that although I'm not a fan of this subscription model, the Apps do look very good.

 

I think the presentation overall was great - well done Microsoft!

post #36 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkse View Post
 

Well, that's exactly like Excel 2010 on my Windows 7 machine at work. Four cores, only one being used - for *all* spreadsheets I have open and they are frequently all being recalculated every time a calculation changes in one of the sheets even if they are not linked in any way.

 

Minor gripe, though, since Excel is a really powerful albeit with many weird quirks. One gets used to it.

 

Ah.  They fixed that in Excel 2012.  On Windows 7, it's pretty impressive.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post
 

 

I prefer Parallels - seems to work a bit better especially for graphics - although I am using the latest version of Parallels compared to version 4 on my work machine - not sure if I want to pay for the upgrade myself or try to convince the company to cover it. For work I have a couple apps that are windows only so have to use it - for home I do a lot more in the VM so the extra power helps, even though it is marginal. 

 

Thanks.  I've not got anything against Parallels, but it's always good to see what someone who's used both thinks, in case I'm missing out on something!

post #37 of 68
without Excel Macro's this entire announcement is pointless. good one Micro$haft way to replicate iWork in every way. as usual creating an us and them situation for the company that made you in the beginning.
post #38 of 68
Bite me where the sun don't shine!
post #39 of 68
So this is interesting i downloaded it and opened one of my excel spreadsheets. firstly all Formulas that refer to an external spreadsheet are instantly set as the last data saved. (no dynamically updating spreadsheets) the sparklines don't work and no pictures. so this app is worse than Numbers.

AI please do a good comparison review especially with these things.

Although i am not surprised that Microsoft's offering is not even as advertised as their offering are rarely as advertised i would have thought they would have gotten some features right.
post #40 of 68

*snicker* The pictured propped-up iPads on the table look suspiciously like Microsoft Surfaces.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPad
  • First look: Hands on with Office for iPad from Microsoft's event in San Francisco
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPad › First look: Hands on with Office for iPad from Microsoft's event in San Francisco