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Why did Microsoft port Office to Apple's iOS iPad before Android?

post #1 of 225
Thread Starter 
Earlier this month, Gartner reported worldwide tablet sales for 2013 that depicted Apple's iPad as slipping into obscurity with just 36 percent market share left. Why would Microsoft target Apple's minority tablet platform with its new mobile Office apps over Google's Android, which supposedly owns a 61.9 percent marketshare?

http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2674215


Gartner's tablet numbers



Gartner takes its data very seriously, describing its research as "the most comprehensive collection of analysis and advice for the users and vendors of technology."

While the firm also notes that "Gartner insights are drawn from a critical fact base not available anywhere else," the conclusions it generates about the direction of the global tablet industry largely line up with the opinions of other market research firms including IDC and Strategy Analytics, even if the actual tablet market numbers presented by each company may differ by as much as 9.8 million units within a single quarter.

The only sales numbers that market research firms seem to consistently agree upon are iPad shipments, because Apple is the only company that reports how many tablets it actually sold.

At the same time, all of the market research firms seem to be in agreement, at least in their publicly released reports, that Apple's share of the market is rapidly dropping, a trend they began predicting would occur as soon as iPad competitors began to materialize. So how does it make any sense that Microsoft is focusing attention on an ostensibly withering platform, when there is the booming Android tablet business to profit from?

March 27, 2014


Microsoft privy to non-public market share data



Microsoft was no doubt aware of public reports throughout 2013 that predicted Apple's share of tablet sales would continue to shrivel up into obscurity. Why would it target the release of Office for iPad in early 2014, a full year after this data was generated? In part, it appears that, as a client of these market research firms, Microsoft has access to more of their data than those firms make publicly available.

Market researchers are not always coy in supplying context for the numbers they tabulate. In a conversation with AppleInsider last fall, IDC analyst Ryan Reith noted that his company engaged in research during 2013 that turned up a "significant surge in low end devices," which he described as "tier two" class tablets, ones that feature processors as slow as 600 MHz and include devices that Reith offhandedly described as "kids tablets or toys."

These sort of "tablets" make up an incredible two thirds of the global tablet numbers reported by market research firms, clarifying that it's the recent recognition of these devices as "tablets" that has affected Apple's iPad "market share," not competition from tablet makers like Samsung and Microsoft, both of whom continue to struggle far behind Apple in their tablet sales.

In addition to not being fooled by public market research firms' data insisting that iPad sales are tumbling off a cliff, Microsoft is also well aware of its own anemic Surface sales and the competitive pressure being exerted by Apple's iPad sales against its partner's Tablet PCs and PCs in general. Microsoft knows what hardware its current and potential customers are using.

Microsoft reverses gears on its anti-iPad campaign



Microsoft's new chief executive Satya Nadella, speaking at this week's event where the company unveiled its new Office apps for iPad, stressed that his company isn't worried about optics of supporting Apple's competing iOS platform, and is instead seeking to make its software products and cloud services available on the mobile devices that its customers are actually using.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


This appears to be a dramatic shift for Microsoft. In the late 1980s, Bill Gates was famously said to have told Steve Jobs that Microsoft would never develop its software for the NeXT Computer (the precursor of today's Mac OS X) phrasing his position as, "Develop for it? I'll piss on it."

A decade later, Jobs had to threaten Gates with a multibillion dollar patent infringement case in order to get Microsoft to agree to update its port Office to the Macintosh, a deal that resulted in an incredibly terrible version of Office for Macintosh figuratively dripping in contempt for Apple, Jobs and Macintosh customers.

More recently, Microsoft's last chief executive Steve Ballmer was rumored to have postponed the deployment of native iPad Office apps that were ostensibly ready to release back in 2012, in order to avoid stealing the thunder of the Surface RT and Pro tablets that Microsoft had been fruitlessly seeking to sell in late 2012 and through 2013.

In fact, a primary element of Microsoft's $1 billion 2012 ad campaign for Windows 8 and Surface involved denigrating Apple's iPad as being a "toy" and unfit for business tasks.

Only a monumental failure of the Surface and the greater ecosystem of Tablet PCs could force Microsoft to humbly eat up $1 billion worth of its advertising words and return to the market with Office apps designed to make Apple's iPad a key element of its non-toy, ready for business initiative intended to keep Office relevant in the Post PC world.

That has happened. Most of the billboards erected to portray the Surface as uniquely able to run the "real" Office are now gone, including the notorious ads that depicted a Surface failing to correctly add up five numbers in the "real" (albeit non-touch oriented) Excel.

Microsoft has also stopped mocking Apple's Siri for not being able to launch Powerpoint on iPad, because it now can.



Even the company's October ads for touch-based PCs running Window 8.1, carrying the tagline "honestly, it works for work," are fading away.

Frank Shaw's imitation of imitation apps



Just five months ago, that ad campaign was kicked off by Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Communications Frank Shaw, who took to a blog posting to ridicule the iPad as being an "entertainment device" while denigrating Apple's Pages, Numbers and Keynote mobile apps as "struggling, lightweight productivity apps" that he dismissed as "watered down" and "imitation apps."

This week, Shaw helped kick off the event that introduced Microsoft's Office apps for iPad. But notably, rather than outlining a series of breakout features that clearly differentiated the new Office apps from Apple's iWork, the company largely repeated Phil Schiller's demonstration of the original iWork apps released alongside the first iPad in 2010, an astounding four years earlier.

Rather than focusing attention on, say, OneDrive as a competitor to iCloud or detailing some advantages of Microsoft's Ribbon-style interface over Apple's user interface for iWork apps, Microsoft's Julia White principally highlighted Word's ability to dynamically wrap text around graphics as the user moved the object via touch (just like Pages); Excel's presentation of a custom numeric keyboard when editing spreadsheet data (just like Numbers) and Powerpoint's animated transitions and direct manipulation of slide order (just like Keynote).

Office iPad 2014


If you watch Steve Jobs' entire 2010 iPad keynote, Schiller outlined a lot of other features of iWork, the first touch-centric productivity suite, back in 2010; more than Microsoft demonstrated in 2014, four years and over 200 million iPads later.

White bizarrely didn't highlight much else in the new Office apps for iPad, even though there are some noteworthy and significant original features in the three new apps.

If that weren't embarrassing enough for the "real Office" that Microsoft has had simmering for iPad for over a year now, there's also Microsoft's omission of support for AirPrint, or any ability to print from Office on iPad at all, outside of mailing yourself the documents and printing them directly from Pages, Numbers or Keynote.

Microsoft says it will quickly work to address users' needs in rapid updates of the new Office suite for iPad, another line borrowed from Apple, which has finally gotten serious about releasing frequent, serious updates to iWork. But Microsoft will be selling its product in competition with Apple's iWork, which is now free, on Apple's App Store (which is not free for Microsoft).

Why not tackle the lower hanging fruit in Android land?



After more than a year of bashing Apple's iPad, it might seem more sensible for Microsoft to first offer to support a different competing platform with its touch-centric Office apps: Google's Android, a platform with a noteworthy lack of sophisticated, touch oriented, tablet optimized productivity software. Android is practically begging for Office.

Given the market share numbers from Gartner, IDC and Strategy Analytics, this would also seem to be more sensible commercially, were we still pretending that those market share numbers weren't completely preposterous nonsense that is completely irrelevant to the enterprise, government and education markets where Apple's iPad completely dominates with overwhelming market share.

As it stands, while Microsoft and Google remain bitter rivals engaged in lawsuits at least as ugly as those between Apple and Samsung, Microsoft continues to earn most of its licensing revenue from patent royalties paid by Android licensees, if for no other reason that the company's own Windows Phone and Tablet PC aren't generating any real licensing revenue at all.

There are some significant problems with Android tablets however. First of all, there's IDC data showing that the vast majority of Android tablets are "tier two" devices that minimally function as "kid's toys" or video players. That's not where the money is.



There's also Android's software fragmentation, which makes it much harder to develop apps of any kind when compared to Apple's iOS platform, where the majority of devices sold over the past three years all run the same, up to date version of the operating system, presenting the same development API version capable of supporting the latest features.

Android development tools are inferior



Development tools under Android are also weaker and harder to use. A recent article by Jon Evans of TechCrunch described Apple's Xcode as "a joy to work with," featuring a "debugger [that] works seamlessly, and the simulator is fast and responsive." In contrast, Evans wrote that Android's Eclipse IDE "is embarrassingly bad. Slow, clunky, counterintuitive when not outright baffling, poorly laid out, needlessly complex, it's just a mess."

Evans called Apple's Interface Builder "a very sleek way to put simple good-looking user interfaces together quickly," while noting only that "while Android theoretically has a comparable visual tool, the less said about it the better."

"Android has its advantages," Evans concluded, "but overall, it remains significantly easier to write good iOS apps than good Android apps."

Android's business model problems for developers



Those issues all help to explain why Android has so few tablet optimized apps of any kind. But even the apps that are available are not seeing sales comparable to Apple's App Store. Additionally, the primary business model for supporting Android apps is advertising, in large measure because that's Google's primary business model behind Android itself.

Imagine an ad supported version of Office running on Android.

Office for Android with ads


Additionally, Android tablet makers are focused on selling low priced devices that customers can be enticed to buy. Samsung established that was necessary in its initial attempt to sell iPad clones at similar price points, an effort that was not successful at all.

Google's other partners' attempts to sell Android Honeycomb 3.0 tablets priced at or higher than iPads also failed disastrously, helping to focusing Google's Nexus co-branded tablets and other Android-based initiatives at the very low end of the market.

That's the same strategy that the Commodore 64 used to claim greater market share than the Apple II back in the early days of computing, but it did not result in a viable market for selling C64 software. On the other hand, Apple was able to make lots of money selling AppleWorks to its own customers in the early 1980s, creating a market that attracted Microsoft's attention.

Apple's relatively pricey Macintosh continued to retain disproportionally high interest from third party developers, including Microsoft, for many years after Apple's PC market share dropped down into the single digits in the early 1990s.

Apple's premium hardware model is selling software



It wasn't just unit market share that sold software titles then or now. It's always been premium customers who were willing to pay more for hardware who were also the most valuable software customers. Even five years ago, if you'd said Apple was going to stuff Microsoft Windows back into Pandora's Box and return the tech world to a time where there was real competition in hardware and third party developers like Microsoft had to compete in a software meritocracy for sales, you'd be laughed at.

What we are witnessing today is a radical shift in the computing landscape that nobody predicted, nor could even fathom occurring if you traveled back in time and told them.

Even five years ago, if you'd said Apple was going to stuff Microsoft Windows back into Pandora's Box and return the tech world to a time where there was real competition in hardware and third party developers like Microsoft had to compete in a software meritocracy for sales, you'd be laughed at.

The idea that a software monoculture platform like Windows or Android is the only way to have competition is actually backwards; Microsoft proved beyond any doubt over the past twenty years that with a broadly licensed platform, it could keep software prices sky high and effectively kill any and all competition before it could even sprout.

Microsoft Office remained a $500 suite right up until Apple released iWork and a variety of web-oriented productivity suites like Google Docs appeared. That took nearly a decade. With competition restored, it will be very hard for Microsoft to jack the price of software back up into the stratosphere.

Apple's premium hardware model is promoting real competition



Today, even many Apple fans secretly fear that Apple's increasingly powerful market position needs competition to prevent abuse. But Apple has never been without competition. And only since the rise of OS X and iOS has effective competition been restored. Prices of everyday computing hardware have plummeted even as new mobile form factors and new types of software and services have sprung up.

Apple currently commands a premium in smartphone sales and its tablets are priced higher than competitors, but only because nobody else can sell their own high end products at any price. However, Apple's business model of selling premium hardware means that competitors can germinate under that price umbrella and exert competitive pressure.

Under the Microsoft (or Android) model, hardware prices are driven down so cheap that everyone loses, especially those who are willing to pay more for better gear. The result is a commodity market where all you can buy is junk, and any efforts to compete with better products are undermined by price dumping that effectively destroys innovation.

App Store


On the software side, Apple's App Store is a dynamic market of highly competitive software offerings, something that has never previously existed. The very notion of a $500 Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Suite doesn't even compute for the majority of the population anymore. Today, quality mainstream apps are commonly less than $10. Most of Apple's leading apps are now free. Really, the market has spoken, and there appears to be no turning back

Market research companies are largely still stuck in the mindset of the 1990s, where cheap, low end PC hardware running $500 software suites (that are widely pirated) makes more sense in their minds than high quality hardware with an affordable, broad selection of quality apps that compete for attention.

Apple's unique, premium hardware business model has transformed media players, smartphones, dedicated video games, tablets and desktop computers. There are as many reasons to think that it will also transform other markets, from TV to home automation to wearables.

Really, the market has spoken, and there appears to be no turning back. Microsoft will now need to compete for its revenues, just as Apple will continue to compete for customers' hardware affections. Android, Linux, Windows and Tizen can compete for their share of the cheap hardware market, but none of them look likely to ever lock the world back into a monopoly monoculture, at least under current conditions.

We could fail to learn from the past



The only way a Windows-style monopoly monoculture might return to the tech industry is if the American government repeats the same mistake that initiated the original Windows Dark Ages: decreeing by arbitrary fiat that the intellectual property of one company should be seized and transferred to another one, just as the courts ruled in 1992 that Microsoft should be transferred billions of dollars worth of Apple's property, forcing Apple to compete against its own technology.

While today's courts have flirted with the idea of effectively transferring Apple's intellectual property to South Korea via Samsung or to China via Lenovo's acquisition of Motorola via simple inaction, they haven't gone that far yet. And more importantly, Apple has remained a competitive juggernaut in the market despite the failure of American courts to decisively rule in favor of the enforcement of existing intellectual property laws.

Consumers are currently winning because there are more options, and in turn more intense competition. And that's why Microsoft ported Office to iPad before Android: it was forced to do so in order to remain relevant. Android doesn't have the power or relevance to make anything happen.
post #2 of 225
Why did Microsoft port Office to Apple's iOS iPad before Android? The author himself noted the most likely reason:
"More recently, Microsoft's last chief executive Steve Ballmer was rumored to have postponed the deployment of native iPad Office apps that were ostensibly ready to release back in 2012,"
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post #3 of 225
We don't need an overly-long article to answer that question. The answer is the iPad is 50X the stronger platform when it comes to tablets.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 225
It's not a weekend without DED.
post #5 of 225
Porting to Android means deciding which Android to port to. Most Android stk's won't scale from device to device the way iOS does. Back up and look at the whole picture.

Watched an interview with a pair of developers who have over $200M/yr from their app - just from iOS. Interviewer asked when Android and why not yet. They said there are 800 individual flavors - and even picking the top ten, that meant developing for ten specific platforms with lots of similarities - and differences. What's the return on time invested?

Just part of the farce of open source. Trying to run in the world of commerce while thinking like a hobbyist is absurd. The first question I ask folks who choose on the basis of open source is "what have you reprogrammed or built to use as your own apps?" For consumers, which is 99.999% of all of us, a solid stk-produced product with ample security is what we need. Not laissez-faire ideology.
post #6 of 225
Why? Because android still cannot authenticate properly to Microsoft web services. Either on premise or in MS cloud. This is a big issue with corporate users. If active directory integration is a must and single signon is required for your MS OS devices and failover to SSL on non-ms OS is a must android still cannot do that natively. Google seems to have no desire to fix this. This is why we do not support android in our IT environment.
post #7 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eideard View Post

Porting to Android means deciding which Android to port to. Most Android stk's won't scale from device to device the way iOS does. Back up and look at the whole picture.

Watched an interview with a pair of developers who have over $200M/yr from their app - just from iOS. Interviewer asked when Android and why not yet. They said there are 800 individual flavors - and even picking the top ten, that meant developing for ten specific platforms with lots of similarities - and differences. What's the return on time invested?

TechCrunch posted an article comparing the development process of an identical app for both iOS and Android. A good factual read particularly for those that only know what little they've heard in forum posts. IMO "fragmentation" is much less of a concern thatn it was even 6 months ago. There's other reasons bigger developers prioritize iOS over Android, not that most ignore Android anyway.
http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/16/the-state-of-the-art/?ncid=fb
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post #8 of 225

Yes, the iPad is the better dev platform, and more likely to be used by serious people. 

 

But also, strategically, if Nadella is a cloud guy and wants to take Microsoft in that direction, he may view Google as Microsoft's new biggest enemy, since Google is king of the cloud.

post #9 of 225
The real story is that Windows RT is dead and Windows 8.X on tablets will have to fight on its merits. There is no reason for Microsoft to not release on Android; in fact, there is a phone version which was simultaneously updated with the iPhone version. We can expect this new Microsoft to be running on Android tablets soon; why not? Microsoft doesn't make any extra money specifically from the iOS apps (since doing so would mean giving Apple big App Store commissions). Microsoft is only selling Office 365 subscriptions, which cover all platforms, so there is no reason to ignore the rest of the tablet market. This is a defensive move to protect the Office franchise after concluding that Office is not enough to drive Windows RT sales. It's not a testatment to the awesomeness of iOS, it's a major strategic decision to release some software which has probably been ready for two years. You know, back when iPads had 80% market share.
post #10 of 225
To put it more simply Apple's iPad is where the money is so that's where Microsoft choose to go.
Edited by Lord Amhran - 3/29/14 at 5:55am
post #11 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Yes, the iPad is the better dev platform, and more likely to be used by serious people. 

But also, strategically, if Nadella is a cloud guy and wants to take Microsoft in that direction, he may view Google as Microsoft's new biggest enemy, since Google is king of the cloud.

I think you are right. I was just about to add a post saying that I suspect Google is the main enemy of Microsoft these days not Apple. Add the fact the Ballmer-Gates duopoly seems to have lost some power and so the hate Apple mantra is fading.
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 #12 of 225

DED, instead of tweeting Gartner asking them why MSFT ported Office to iPad, you should be contacting big media.  You already know why Gartner posts the numbers they do - they're being paid to do so.  It has nothing to do with fact, and everything to do with trying to influence both consumer and financial markets, to the benefit of Gartner's customers (which coincidentally are competitors to Apple).

 

Of course big media won't publish your editorials because they're not big enough of bomb shells.  Maybe suggesting more strongly that Gartner (et al) are knowingly lying in order to make their clients look better (to the public and financial markets) might get some attention.  

 

Don't dance around the facts - say it like it is.  Heck, big media publishes outright lies, half truths and false rumors about Apple, so pushing an article that blasts those very organizations that are fueling the lies should make a good story for big media.

post #13 of 225
"Imagine an ad supported version for Android" - especially as most of them appear to be 'widescreen' - the ribbon would take up much needed vertical space!
post #14 of 225
A dumber than usual DED article and that's saying something. First of all if apple reduces $500 apps to $0 then it does to software what DED claims Android does to hardware. This doesn't foster competition as much as destroys independent app devs. Second you end up with craptastic apps based on the "freemium" model or software subscriptions that costs users more over time.

Which what you see now.

The "$500" office app is free but mostly useless without a $99/year 360 subscription. However if iWork wasn't a free suite perhaps office would be $40 each for $120 for me to use until I wanted to upgrade. Which wouldn't be every year. I still run Office 2008 on my personal mac. Which, if I had paid $100 every year on Jan 1 would have cost me $700 by now.

Woot.

While I like that iLife and iWork is now free if Apple did that to every app category it would result in the same monoculture as MS Office is for business. You can't compete with free high quality apps supported by hardware revenue any more than you can compete with cheap hardware sold at virtually no profit.
post #15 of 225
iOS needs USB, a decent file system (like the Mac has, allowing the user to see all files), stop sandboxing applications with files (all files should be available to all applications) and to get out of the jail (which is absolutely unacceptable by all means).

Having to send to myself a presentation made on the Mac to have it on iOS is a deal breaker. No way! I want freedom and to be in control of the machine, not the other way round. That is why a truly portable (pocketable) Mac is needed for presentations.

Besides, Apple should support or even make a Bluetooth (low energy) remote control for the iOS devices like the iPad and even the iPod touch and iPhone. That would be awesome for Keynote presentations. Something like this, but for iOS devices:

Keyspan Wireless Presentation Remote for Conferences, Boardrooms and Classrooms
http://www.tripplite.com/sku/PRUS2
post #16 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppeX View Post

iOS needs USB, a decent file system (like the Mac has, allowing the user to see all files), stop sandboxing applications with files (all files should be available to all applications) and to get out of the jail (which is absolutely unacceptable by all means).

Having to send to myself a presentation made on the Mac to have it on iOS is a deal breaker. No way! I want freedom and to be in control of the machine, not the other way round. That is why a truly portable (pocketable) Mac is needed for presentations.

Besides, Apple should support or even make a Bluetooth (low energy) remote control for the iOS devices like the iPad and even the iPod touch and iPhone. That would be awesome for Keynote presentations. Something like this, but for iOS devices:

Keyspan Wireless Presentation Remote for Conferences, Boardrooms and Classrooms
http://www.tripplite.com/sku/PRUS2

ur kidding, right?

post #17 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppeX View Post

Besides, Apple should support or even make a Bluetooth (low energy) remote control for the iOS devices like the iPad and even the iPod touch and iPhone. That would be awesome for Keynote presentations. Something like this, but for iOS devices:

Keyspan Wireless Presentation Remote for Conferences, Boardrooms and Classrooms
http://www.tripplite.com/sku/PRUS2

Ahaha, that's soooo 2008.

 

Just get a $75 refurb Apple TV, and connect your iPad via AirPlay.

post #18 of 225

I'm not an expert here -- I sat in on one social meeting with a bunch of phone developers. They develop for the iOS first, because with Android, there is a lot more testing, platforms and adaptation that needs to be done -- plus, they have to program for the lowest common denominator.

 

With iPad, there's just more profit there for an application.

 

Microsoft is pushing out first for iOS because it's less development time and more profit -- the same decision most other developers make.

post #19 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

ur kidding, right?

I'm certain he's not. These people are the equivalent to various sects in modern society that refuse conveniences of modern technology. They don't eschew all technology but they have drawn a line in the sand by choosing to only accept technology that existed before a certain date which means everything that made the iPhone and iPad successful, despite decades of attempts by others, is meaningless to them. To me, such comments are the same as the people that swore up and down the Mac and GUI were pointless fads that no "real" user would ever consider.
Edited by SolipsismX - 3/29/14 at 8:35am

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post #20 of 225

Microsoft has been working on Office for Ipad for years, starting back in the day when Ipad was dominant. The announcement also mentioned the forthcoming version of Office for Android. Otherwise, this was yet another great piece of seething pro-Apple agitprop.

post #21 of 225

Get one of these. Works great! They have foot pedals too... http://airturn.com/digit-ii/products/airturn/bluetooth-airturn/digit-ii

post #22 of 225

I keep forgetting all the "news makers" -- isn't Gartner the one that used to be "Gartner Group" until I suppose his dog died?

 

Much IT and product news is "pay to play". You have some cool new bike invention? Buy some advertisements. If not, you could make cold fusion with that bicycle and never get a news story.

 

I don't know what magic Gartner has to get published -- I'm sure it has something to do with a discount on getting the right numbers in their "Gartner research."

post #23 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

A dumber than usual DED article and that's saying something. First of all if apple reduces $500 apps to $0 then it does to software what DED claims Android does to hardware. This doesn't foster competition as much as destroys independent app devs. Second you end up with craptastic apps based on the "freemium" model or software subscriptions that costs users more over time.

Which what you see now.

The "$500" office app is free but mostly useless without a $99/year 360 subscription. However if iWork wasn't a free suite perhaps office would be $40 each for $120 for me to use until I wanted to upgrade. Which wouldn't be every year. I still run Office 2008 on my personal mac. Which, if I had paid $100 every year on Jan 1 would have cost me $700 by now.

Woot.

While I like that iLife and iWork is now free if Apple did that to every app category it would result in the same monoculture as MS Office is for business. You can't compete with free high quality apps supported by hardware revenue any more than you can compete with cheap hardware sold at virtually no profit.
Microsoft was never going to make Office for iOS as paid apps as they're really pushing Office 365 and the Cloud. Plus the subscription model most likely will result in Apple making less off their cut than if it they were paid apps. It has nothing to do with Apple making iWork free.
post #24 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Why did Microsoft port Office to Apple's iOS iPad before Android? The author himself noted the most likely reason:
"More recently, Microsoft's last chief executive Steve Ballmer was rumored to have postponed the deployment of native iPad Office apps that were ostensibly ready to release back in 2012,"

The reason is pretty obvious. The iPad owns 95% of the business tablet market, and that's remained remarkably steady during the rise of the junk tablet market. Microsoft sells the full version of Office mostly to business and government users. So having this for the ipad makes sense. Eventually, they may have it for Android too, but meanwhile, why waste resources?
post #25 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

DED, instead of tweeting Gartner asking them why MSFT ported Office to iPad, you should be contacting big media.  You already know why Gartner posts the numbers they do - they're being paid to do so.  It has nothing to do with fact, and everything to do with trying to influence both consumer and financial markets, to the benefit of Gartner's customers (which coincidentally are competitors to Apple).

Of course big media won't publish your editorials because they're not big enough of bomb shells.  Maybe suggesting more strongly that Gartner (et al) are knowingly lying in order to make their clients look better (to the public and financial markets) might get some attention.  

Don't dance around the facts - say it like it is.  Heck, big media publishes outright lies, half truths and false rumors about Apple, so pushing an article that blasts those very organizations that are fueling the lies should make a good story for big media.

Troll or agitator? I cannot decide. Maybe while DED is at it, he should punch someone's lights out ; )
post #26 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Why did Microsoft port Office to Apple's iOS iPad before Android? The author himself noted the most likely reason:
"More recently, Microsoft's last chief executive Steve Ballmer was rumored to have postponed the deployment of native iPad Office apps that were ostensibly ready to release back in 2012,"

That doesn't answer the question. Why wasn't there an Android version of MS Office also waiting in the wings? I'd say that Android's marketshare is not the single most important consideration when making an app you want to sell to the highest number of potential buyers.

"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

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"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

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post #27 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

Heck, big media publishes outright lies, half truths and false rumors about Apple, so pushing an article that blasts those very organizations that are fueling the lies should make a good story for big media.


Tim Cook has cited Gartner reports as positive evidence of the success of Apple products on more than one occasion. He apparently doesn't share the same concerns over their reliability as a source of market statistics as Mr. Dilger does.
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post #28 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

That doesn't answer the question. Why wasn't there an Android version of MS Office also waiting in the wings? I'd say that Android's marketshare is not the single most important consideration when making an app you want to sell to the highest number of potential buyers.

I've never seen mention of an Android version already complete and ready to go but perhaps there was. If one was already done it wouldn't make sense to hold back on it IMO as it wouldn't affect iOS uptake in any way and could only be an positive revenue source from Android users. What would be the negative?

Since MS has stated a version for Android tablet users is coming soon I suspect there had been no activity on it until recently. I believe under Ballmer the decision had been made not to offer it for either tablet OS. New management has decided differently.
Edited by Gatorguy - 3/29/14 at 8:22am
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post #29 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I'm certain he's not. These people are the equivalent to various sects in modern society that conveniences of modern technology. They don't exactly eschew technology but they have drawn a line in the sand by choosing to only accept technology that existed before a certain date which means everything that made the iPhone and iPad successful, despite decades of attempts by others, is meaningless to them.

Agreed!

 

Did you see the photo of what he described? It looks like Windows/PC's early attempts at "wireless" keyboards and mice. I.e., a USB dongle with an infra red "eye" sitting on the tower. Wireless? Just need a couple of wires to be wireless! Typical PC stuff! :)

 

Best.

post #30 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

TechCrunch posted an article comparing the development process of an identical app for both iOS and Android. A good factual read particularly for those that only know what little they've heard in forum posts. IMO "fragmentation" is much less of a concern thatn it was even 6 months ago. There's other reasons bigger developers prioritize iOS over Android, not that most ignore Android anyway.
http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/16/the-state-of-the-art/?ncid=fb

He also mentions how much harder it is to use their development software, and how much harder it is to develop for Android. Android isn't yet a serious tablet platform, and it's true that there are very few real tablet apps available. Some day, I suppose that will change. But considering that Google doesn't care, it will take a long time.
post #31 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

He also mentions how much harder it is to use their development software, and how much harder it is to develop for Android. Android isn't yet a serious tablet platform, and it's true that there are very few real tablet apps available. Some day, I suppose that will change. But considering that Google doesn't care, it will take a long time.

Yes he absolutely does, which helps make for a factually accurate article that probably few bothered to look at besides you. No reliable source has ever claimed otherwise AFAIK.

As far as Google not caring about tablet apps I've no idea what you base that on. The article's author doesn't come to that conclusion and a simple visit to Google Play would reveal efforts to help users discover tablet-optimized apps and assist developers in marketing them. Here's a page with the currently-promoted ones.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/collection/tablet_featured

...and this page would be the current "Editor's Choice" tablet apps.
https://play.google.com/store/search?q=editors%20choice%20tablet%20apps&c=apps

Just because there's not as wide a selection as there is for iOS doesn't mean Google doesn't care does it?
Edited by Gatorguy - 3/29/14 at 8:34am
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post #32 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Richardson View Post

The real story is that Windows RT is dead and Windows 8.X on tablets will have to fight on its merits. There is no reason for Microsoft to not release on Android; in fact, there is a phone version which was simultaneously updated with the iPhone version. We can expect this new Microsoft to be running on Android tablets soon; why not? Microsoft doesn't make any extra money specifically from the iOS apps (since doing so would mean giving Apple big App Store commissions). Microsoft is only selling Office 365 subscriptions, which cover all platforms, so there is no reason to ignore the rest of the tablet market. This is a defensive move to protect the Office franchise after concluding that Office is not enough to drive Windows RT sales. It's not a testatment to the awesomeness of iOS, it's a major strategic decision to release some software which has probably been ready for two years. You know, back when iPads had 80% market share.

There's a very good reason. Android users simply don't buy software. That a know factor. Many apps in the App Store failed on the Android platform, until they went free with advertising. Even Angry Birds had to go that route.

Can you really see the Android tablet version as being advertising supported? I don't. Microsoft wants it's money for this up front, and they will not get that from the Android platform.
post #33 of 225
I'm kind of tired of the endless rants that pose as 'news' here... Why did MS release Office for iOS? Because they are going to make money. Why did they change their focus? Because their previous focus wasn't working. It's not like Apple hasn't had it's share of issues between its great successes... that's business and that's life.
post #34 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There's a very good reason. Android users simply don't buy software. That a know factor. Many apps in the App Store failed on the Android platform, until they went free with advertising. Even Angry Birds had to go that route.

Can you really see the Android tablet version as being advertising supported? I don't. Microsoft wants it's money for this up front, and they will not get that from the Android platform.
So Angry Birds used to be a paid app for Android but they were forced to make it free? Did not know that. How much does it cost on iOS?
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post #35 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyondYourFrontDoor View Post

I'm kind of tired of the endless rants that pose as 'news' here... Why did MS release Office for iOS? Because they are going to make money. Why did they change their focus? Because their previous focus wasn't working. It's not like Apple hasn't had it's share of issues between its great successes... that's business and that's life.

Pretty sure this is an editorial and not news.
post #36 of 225
Guys, the answer is so simple.

While iOS leads Enterprise use over Android overall at around 2:1, the iPad totally crushes Android on the tablet side with over 90% of tablets in use being the iPad.

Now explain to me why Microsoft would want to invest in making Office for Android tablets when they represent only 10% of the Enterprise market? Then add to that the variations in models and performance/features that would require additional coding effort and that 10% looks pretty pathetic.
post #37 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Guys, the answer is so simple.

While iOS leads Enterprise use over Android overall at around 2:1, the iPad totally crushes Android on the tablet side with over 90% of tablets in use being the iPad.

Now explain to me why Microsoft would want to invest in making Office for Android tablets when they represent only 10% of the Enterprise market? Then add to that the variations in models and performance/features that would require additional coding effort and that 10% looks pretty pathetic.

There's lots of truth in that. Android has a long ways to go before they'll be seen as successful in the enterprise segment. That still won't keep MS from releasing Office Apps for Android tablets in the near future. Of course "near future" is pretty wide-open when it comes to Microsoft.
Edited by Gatorguy - 3/29/14 at 8:51am
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post #38 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Tim Cook has cited Gartner reports as positive evidence of the success of Apple products on more than one occasion. He apparently doesn't share the same concerns over their reliability as a source of market statistics as Mr. Dilger does.

It's well known that both Gartner and IDC strain to make Microsoft look as good as possible. Microsoft is a major client of theirs. If you go to Gartner's site, and I imaging
E the same is for IDC, they say that their goal is to make their clients look as good as possible. Not in those exact words, but you can easily get the point.

It's one reason why both have worked very hard to minimize the drop in Windows sales over the last three years. Both keep overestimating those sales as long as they can. They both underestimate Mac sales, even after Apple releases the numbers.

I don't trust their estimates because we know that Samsung, for example had stopped reporting shipments of their smartphones and tablets after the first quarter of 2011, when Lenovo caught them at giving out tablet shipment numbers that didn't meet reality, when they had claImed to have shipped 1.5 million to N America the last quarter of 2010, but Lenovo accused them of hiding the fact that they only sold 20,000 during that same period. Samsung refused to respond to financial analysts questions about that, and it wasn't the last time.

But nevertheless, Gartner, IDC and others quote these kinds of numbers for Samsung shipments which can't be verified, even though during the trial here in early 2013, Samsung,s shipment numbers as estimated by these companies was again shown to be far off the mark, when both Apple and Samsung had to show actual sales numbers of the products under dispute. Of the estimated 1 million Samsung tablets supposedly shipped here of models under dispute, Samsung had only sold 38,000 one quarter. Of their smartphones, they on,y sold between one third and one half the number.

And yet, none of the companies doing the estimating looked at these numbers and said that they were going to revise Samsung,s sales numbers downward. The same numbers remained on their books, and in the public record. What a load of crap!

Tim Cook has to be politic about this, he can't have public disputes with these companies. If he did, you and others, would call him names about it, even though the complaints would be legitimate.

Oh, and why just use Apple's sold numbers against shipped numbers? We all know how that makes no sense, especially since Apple does, in a roundabout way, give shipped numbers. When Apple talks about days or weeks of supply "in the channel" that's shipped devices. You multiply the average number of devices sold that previous quarter per day by the number of days supply in the channel, and then add that number to the total number sold, and you magically get the number shipped. But no one uses that number. It's very convenient, but I almost never see it done, except occasionally on Seeking Alpha. I've mentioned this to a number of writers on financial sites, and the response is something like; Well, yeah, I guess, that should be done. when I ask why they don't do it, the reply is; Uh, no one else does it.

Brilliant reportage, right?

Yet, whenever we see usage numbers for Samsung, Amazon, and others, they're all well down in the single digits. Doesn't match those inflates ship estimates, which writers then conflate as sales estimates.
post #39 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

There's lots of truth in that. Android has a long ways to go before they'll be seen as successful in the enterprise segment. That still won't keep MS from releasing Office Apps for Android tablets in the near future.

The major reason for Android's lack of success in the Enterprise appears to be what @melgross stated.

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post #40 of 225
Kind of a long winded article, but here are a few thoughts
... Microsoft shipped Office on OS X
... OS X apps use Objective C
... iOS uses Objective C
... Perhaps Microsoft had some code re-use going on for the non-UI components?
... Office does run on Android, too
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.office.officehub
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