or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Microsoft hints at Office, voice recognition iPhone apps
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Microsoft hints at Office, voice recognition iPhone apps

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Microsoft Corp. has been taking a long hard look at Apple's iPhone software developers kit (SDK) since it was released earlier this month in hopes of profiting from the thriving mobile platform by releasing a few native applications of its own.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is already the largest software developer for Apple's Mac platform outside of the Mac maker itself, with Fortune's Big Tech blog estimating that its Mac Business Unit generates revenues in excess of $350 million and profits of over $200 million each year.

Add to that the firm's expertise in its proprietary Exchange email protocols and business email systems, and it's almost a certainty that Microsoft will be among those bearing fresh wares for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch a bit later this year, Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Specialized Devices and Applications Group, told the business publication.

"We do have experience with that environment, and that gives us confidence to be able to do something,” he said. “The key question is, what is the value that we need to bring?"

Gibbons' team of Mac developers, which actually resides in Mountain View, Calif., just a few miles from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, is reportedly weighing its most viable options for an initial native iPhone application, which appears as if it will fall within the Office family of productivity applications.

"It's really important for us to understand what we can bring to the iPhone," he said. "To the extent that Mac Office customers have functionality that they need in that environment, we're actually in the process of trying to understand that now."

In addition, Mike McCue of Microsoft's recently acquired TellMe voice recognition unit told Fortune that his team is also excited about iPhone development assuming the SDK will allow third party software to tap into voice recording and location-based features.

"If the SDK supports these things," he said, "we’re absolutely going to get a version out there as soon as we can, get TellMe out there on the iPhone."
post #2 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft Corp. has been taking a long hard look at Apple's iPhone software developers kit (SDK) since it was released earlier this month in hopes of profiting from the thriving mobile platform by releasing a few native applications of its own.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is already the largest software developer for Apple's Mac platform outside of the Mac maker itself, with Fortune's Big Tech blog estimating that its Mac Business Unit generates revenues in excess of $350 million and profits of over $200 million each year.

Add to that the firm's expertise in its proprietary Exchange email protocols and business email systems, and it's almost a certainty that Microsoft will be among those bearing fresh wares for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch a bit later this year, Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Specialized Devices and Applications Group, told the business publication.

"We do have experience with that environment, and that gives us confidence to be able to do something, he said. The key question is, what is the value that we need to bring?"

Gibbons' team of Mac developers, which actually resides in Mountain View, Calif., just a few miles from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, is reportedly weighing its most viable options for an initial native iPhone application, which appears as if it will fall within the Office family of productivity applications.

"It's really important for us to understand what we can bring to the iPhone," he said. "To the extent that Mac Office customers have functionality that they need in that environment, we're actually in the process of trying to understand that now."

In addition, Mike McCue of Microsoft's recently acquired TellMe voice recognition unit told Fortune that his team is also excited about iPhone development assuming the SDK will allow third party software to tap into voice recording and location-based features.

"If the SDK supports these things," he said, "were absolutely going to get a version out there as soon as we can, get TellMe out there on the iPhone."


Can anyone say Zune-Office?
post #3 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

Can anyone say Zune-Office?

If it had some form of hand writing recognition, actually that from ANYBODY would be sweet...

Cough Apple Cough
MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

If you're a troll and you have been slain. Don't be a Zombie.
Reply
MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

If you're a troll and you have been slain. Don't be a Zombie.
Reply
post #4 of 68
Quote:
If it had some form of hand writing recognition, actually that from ANYBODY would be sweet...

How about voice recognition especially for making phone calls.
post #5 of 68
Maybe MSN instant messaging for the iPhone?

I think maybe an Entourage app for the iPhone would be nice if they integrated some featured not available in Apple's mail+calendar+address book trio. Things like, out of office assistant, import Entourage/Outlook rules and mailing lists, to-do list syncing, and notes syncing. And they must use Active Sync.
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"It's really important for us to understand what we can bring to the iPhone," he said. "To the extent that Mac Office customers have functionality that they need in that environment, we're actually in the process of trying to understand that now."

I like the idea of having office apps on the iPhone. I think that although the iPhone is the coolest piece of tech ever, it would benefit from having office apps and an open directory framework analogous to the windows mobile devices. I used to own the t-mobile "Wing" before the iPhone came out, and i enjoyed the freedom to navigate within my phone. I realize that my jailbreak program gives me that functionality, but i think it should be standard functionality for iPhone.

I also feel that if SJ is serious about wedging the iPhone into corporate america, having those apps is essential. let's face it, Office is the standard, and no software created by Apple is going to replace it in corporate america. So, looks like this is another step toward the "EiPhone", or Enterprise iPhone. Can't wait to hear the nicknames: Crackberry, dingleberry.....will be replaced with cryPhone, styPhone.
Apple IIe, Mac Classic, Performa 6200, MacBook (Black Core 2 duo with 2.0 G RAM, IPods (G2 up to G5), iPhone. word?
Reply
Apple IIe, Mac Classic, Performa 6200, MacBook (Black Core 2 duo with 2.0 G RAM, IPods (G2 up to G5), iPhone. word?
Reply
post #7 of 68
I hope they sell enough to break even.
post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

If it had some form of hand writing recognition, actually that from ANYBODY would be sweet...

Cough Apple Cough

Handwriting might need to be preceeded with the capability to write on the iPhone.
I assume using a device like a stylus isn't going to work very well on it, so I think handwriting recognition isn't going to go as far as voice recognition.
(which MS will bring to it)

It's going to be fun watching MicroSoft, Adobe, and others racing to see who can build up the iPhone platform.....
post #9 of 68
I rather have iWorks or a scaled down OpenOffice on the iPhone, I have no need for Bloatware.
post #10 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

Handwriting might need to be preceeded with the capability to write on the iPhone.
I assume using a device like a stylus isn't going to work very well on it, so I think handwriting recognition isn't going to go as far as voice recognition.
(which MS will bring to it)

It's going to be fun watching MicroSoft, Adobe, and others racing to see who can build up the iPhone platform.....

Using a stylus isn't going to work at all, since the iphone's screen requires the touch of a human body part. Tapping the screen with a plastic or metal object would produce nothing.

Handwriting recognition just isn't going to happen. Voice recognition is far more likely and practical for this sort of device. But even that has a long way to go.
post #11 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Gibbons' team of Mac developers, which actually resides in Mountain View, Calif., just a few miles from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, is reportedly weighing its most viable options for an initial native iPhone application, which appears as if it will fall within the Office family of productivity applications.

MacBU is located in both Redmond and Mountain View. The team is split roughly 50/50 between the two locations. We also have small teams in Ireland, China, and Japan.

Regards,
Nadyne.

--
Nadyne Mielke | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
http://blogs.msdn.com/nadyne/
Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
go ahead, mac my day
Reply
Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
go ahead, mac my day
Reply
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Maybe MSN instant messaging for the iPhone?

I think maybe an Entourage app for the iPhone would be nice if they integrated some featured not available in Apple's mail+calendar+address book trio. Things like, out of office assistant, import Entourage/Outlook rules and mailing lists, to-do list syncing, and notes syncing. And they must use Active Sync.

And in iPods, they must implement Lip Sync.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Using a stylus isn't going to work at all, since the iphone's screen requires the touch of a human body part. Tapping the screen with a plastic or metal object would produce nothing.

Handwriting recognition just isn't going to happen. Voice recognition is far more likely and practical for this sort of device. But even that has a long way to go.

I've seen ads for stylus's (styli?) that simulate the same capacitance as produced by a finger.
Still, its a step backward.
Voice recog is the way to go (also meaning that someone has to get on the ball with a DSP snap-on for the touch to allow sound input.)
post #14 of 68
iWork for Mac will probably be ported to the iPhone, so maybe MS Office won't be absolutely necessary. I'm certain Microsoft and Adobe see the iPhones potential. Both of those companies should make a lot of money writing applications for the iPhone. It'll be a brand new revenue stream for them.

It doesn't really matter which company makes good applications for the iPhone. If the apps are good and there are potential iPhone users out there, then maybe iPhone sales will go through the roof. When ePocrates gets ported to the iPhone, I'll bet all the doctors will be wanting an iPhone. The second half of this year should be great for the iPhone platform. I just hope the iPhone hardware can stand up to all the use it's going to have to cope with.

So many people are asking for voice dialing and video recording. Maybe there'll be a dozen of those applications when iPhone 2.0 firmware is available. There should be a heck of a lot of legal apps to choose from to please all iPhone owners and potential iPhone owners.
post #15 of 68
I am glad Microsoft is considering iPhone apps. TellMe is a great idea, as is a light Office.

Personally, I have moved to iWork, except for Excel. I suspect with a serious upgrade to Numbers, I will not use Office at all.

But I still think Office is an important application, and I think competition is good.
post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I've seen ads for stylus's (styli?) that simulate the same capacitance as produced by a finger.
Still, its a step backward.
Voice recog is the way to go (also meaning that someone has to get on the ball with a DSP snap-on for the touch to allow sound input.)

If you want to take notes in a quiet setting, Voice recog is not going to work...

Just a thought, otherwise it might be nice.
MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

If you're a troll and you have been slain. Don't be a Zombie.
Reply
MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

If you're a troll and you have been slain. Don't be a Zombie.
Reply
post #17 of 68
Yeah, whats that we smell? Bloatware stinking up the place?
As long as activeSync works that's about the only sw needed from microsoft thank you very much.
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I've seen ads for stylus's (styli?) that simulate the same capacitance as produced by a finger.
Still, its a step backward.
Voice recog is the way to go (also meaning that someone has to get on the ball with a DSP snap-on for the touch to allow sound input.)

There already is a stereo audio line in channel available through the Dock Connector - it's been there for several generations of iPods now. But that might fall under the EULA restriction which says that no apps developed under the iPhone SDK are allowed to access the Dock Connector - all uses of the Dock Connector are supposed to be submitted to Apple for approval under a different system.
post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post

There already is a stereo audio line in channel available through the Dock Connector - it's been there for several generations of iPods now. But that might fall under the EULA restriction which says that no apps developed under the iPhone SDK are allowed to access the Dock Connector - all uses of the Dock Connector are supposed to be submitted to Apple for approval under a different system.

I saw a posting a while back confirming that the dock connector on the touch does indeed support voice, so its definitely possible.
As with all 3rd party things, there are 2 classes of developers. The unwashed masses and good-buddy partners. The restriction on accessing the dock via the SDK no doubt applies to 99% of regular developers. But hardware partners are a different animal. Apple can allow them any access they wish.
The question is, will they?
I'm trying to figure out Apple's thinking on expandability via the dock connector. Its a gold mine, but I seriously doubt that Apple wants to get too deep into the snap-on market. Gotta wonder what kind of discussions are under way with people like Belken, Griffin, or XtremeMac.
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post

There already is a stereo audio line in channel available through the Dock Connector - it's been there for several generations of iPods now.

http://www.ipodtouchfans.com/forums/...ead.php?t=9347
post #21 of 68
Is it just me or do people have strange expectations of the iPhone..

I don't see it as a desktop replacement, so why on earth would I want MS Office?

I can't understand wy you would want this type of software?????

is it just me ??
post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadyne View Post

MacBU is located in both Redmond and Mountain View. The team is split roughly 50/50 between the two locations. We also have small teams in Ireland, China, and Japan.

Regards,
Nadyne.

--
Nadyne Mielke | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
http://blogs.msdn.com/nadyne/

It's encouraging to see a Mac BU person visiting the forums. I suspect that others like Apple do the same but do so anonymously.

Having said that, I hope you read some of the responses here to your latest version of office. No not the 'M$ suxs' stuff but those with valid and legitimate complaints about Office 2008. As a user of Office 2004 I have refused to upgrade to 2008 because of the poor performance and lack of compelling features in your 2008 version.

While many would love to see office on the iPhone we need a desktop version of office that we like first.
post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZTWatcher View Post

Is it just me or do people have strange expectations of the iPhone..

I don't see it as a desktop replacement, so why on earth would I want MS Office?

I can't understand wy you would want this type of software?????

is it just me ??

Without drag and drop for cells in excel, the iPhone just won't catch on......


(that's a joke, the MS people won't realize if I don't say so.....)
post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZTWatcher View Post

Is it just me or do people have strange expectations of the iPhone..

I don't see it as a desktop replacement, so why on earth would I want MS Office?

I can't understand wy you would want this type of software?????

is it just me ??

Yepper! It's just you!

Nah, i don't think it's just you, however, from a corporate point of view those tools would be necessary. For a personal media point of view, i don't think office would all that important or popular. But again, think in terms of corporate solution for this announcement, and not personal iPhone user.
Apple IIe, Mac Classic, Performa 6200, MacBook (Black Core 2 duo with 2.0 G RAM, IPods (G2 up to G5), iPhone. word?
Reply
Apple IIe, Mac Classic, Performa 6200, MacBook (Black Core 2 duo with 2.0 G RAM, IPods (G2 up to G5), iPhone. word?
Reply
post #25 of 68
God help us if the Mac BU team starts to write email software for iPhone. They *still* can't get Entourage to have the same integration with Exchange that Outlook has. Sheesh!
I got nothin'.
Reply
I got nothin'.
Reply
post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Fortune's Big Tech blog estimating that its Mac Business Unit generates revenues in excess of $350 million and profits of over $200 million each year.

57% Profit Margin

And people complain that Apple makes too much money?
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mh71 View Post

57% Profit Margin

And people complain that Apple makes too much money?

I don't know how you came up with that profit margin. No where in quote you referenced is there info on operating expenses.
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I don't know how you came up with that profit margin. No where in quote you referenced is there info on operating expenses.

Well, the info is from Fortune. I'm not sure where they would have derived that info from - quarterly SEC filings is what I would think. So when they say "profit", I assume they have deducted expenses, R&D, etc. to come up with profit.

For the record, I don't begrudge MS or Apple their profits. If people think they will ge more return on their money than the asking price and therefore buy the products in question, it sounds like MS/Apple are doing a good job.
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I don't know how you came up with that profit margin. No where in quote you referenced is there info on operating expenses.

Ah.... profits of over 200 million.
Revenue of 350 million.
If you make 200 million on 350 million, that's 57 percent.
(I'm using a MAC calculator so you may want to check me on Excel in Office for MAC 2008)
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZTWatcher View Post

Is it just me or do people have strange expectations of the iPhone..

I don't see it as a desktop replacement, so why on earth would I want MS Office?

I can't understand wy you would want this type of software?????

is it just me ??

Because you're thinking of MS Office on an iPhone to behave like a desktop app. The ability to take your PowerPoint document with you, and then maybe make simple edits before hooking up to a projector, can be pretty helpful.

I'm not sure what the possibilities are, but it will get interesting.
post #31 of 68
The first Paragraph was edited from this original version:

Microsoft Corp. has been taking a long hard look at Apple's iPhone software developers kit (SDK) since it was released earlier this month in hopes of profiting from the thriving mobile platform by releasing a few native applications of its own.

"I wish we could just write one application this clean and useful" Said the spokesman. " We have some of the highest paid Software Engineering Meat on the planet, and we just can't figure out how to do an SDK as elegant as this. We are just gonna have to throw another 2 or 2 gross of them at this in the near future. We can just shift them out of the Vista Driver Office Complex, no one would even notice."
post #32 of 68
iT sounds like MSFT is telling tales out of school. Maye they will make some in-roads, really they just want their iPhone, the mac vs. PC ads are making everyone suffer, namely Redmond. All hail iKing!

Thunk Different.



Thunk Different.
post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mh71 View Post

Well, the info is from Fortune. I'm not sure where they would have derived that info from - quarterly SEC filings is what I would think. So when they say "profit", I assume they have deducted expenses, R&D, etc. to come up with profit.

For the record, I don't begrudge MS or Apple their profits. If people think they will ge more return on their money than the asking price and therefore buy the products in question, it sounds like MS/Apple are doing a good job.

On second thought.. I think you are right. My bad.
post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

It's encouraging to see a Mac BU person visiting the forums. I suspect that others like Apple do the same but do so anonymously.

Having said that, I hope you read some of the responses here to your latest version of office. No not the 'M$ suxs' stuff but those with valid and legitimate complaints about Office 2008. As a user of Office 2004 I have refused to upgrade to 2008 because of the poor performance and lack of compelling features in your 2008 version.

While many would love to see office on the iPhone we need a desktop version of office that we like first.

We're definitely aware of the responses that we've had, both good and bad. We've already released an update (12.0.1) to fix some of the issues that our users reported, which has improved stability and performance across the suite. As we did with Office 2004, we plan to release updates that improve the experience for our users as we become aware of new issues, so keep your eyes open for those.

MacTech magazine has been doing benchmarking of our apps, and their tests show that Office 2008 generally performs better than Office 2004. The full article is in their March issue, but you can read their preview of it online here:
http://www.mactech.com/articles/mact...2008Benchmark/

Regards,
Nadyne.

--
Nadyne Mielke | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
http://blogs.msdn.com/nadyne/
Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
go ahead, mac my day
Reply
Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
go ahead, mac my day
Reply
post #35 of 68
"[Microsoft] is already the largest software developer for Apple's Mac platform outside of the Mac maker itself" isn't accurate.

It's one of the biggest, but not the biggest - unless you're just counting revenues for Microsoft as a whole, which would be meaningless. (They'd also be the biggest video game maker, the biggest cable news channel, the biggest search engine etc.)

Adobe says they get 22-25% of their revenues from "Macintosh customers or software that runs on the Mac" - which, in those terms, makes them twice as large as Microsoft at ~$700M revenues from Mac software.
post #36 of 68
Before the MSBU goes about developing applications for the iPhone, this Mac user would rather they set themselves to developing the long-needed and requested cross-platform video chat functionality in Messenger. My two cents. :-P
-----------------
Aluminum MacBook; Black MacBook; Mac mini; 2 x iPhone 3G; Time Capsule, iPod Touch and a few other iPods kicking around.
Reply
-----------------
Aluminum MacBook; Black MacBook; Mac mini; 2 x iPhone 3G; Time Capsule, iPod Touch and a few other iPods kicking around.
Reply
post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by k squared View Post

Because you're thinking of MS Office on an iPhone to behave like a desktop app. The ability to take your PowerPoint document with you, and then maybe make simple edits before hooking up to a projector, can be pretty helpful.

I'm not sure what the possibilities are, but it will get interesting.

Powerpoint might actually be one of the few applications that might actually work on the iPhone...but I don't see any serious computer user making use of Excel or Word on the touchscreen iPHone which is barely adequate for e-mail and texting--

Personally, I think the ridiculous touchscreen is the biggest downfall of the iPhone -- now 9 months down the road, my typing is STILL at least 10 times slower on the iPhone than any previous smartphone I have owned with a normal qwerty keyboard. I know I speak for many many business users who would never use the iPhone for typing.

But that being said, I would think iWork and the fine Keynote program would be ported by Apple long before they permit any Microsoft software on the iPhone -- remember, Apple is making the decision about every single piece of software for the iPhone to approve or disapprove...

They already have their own office suite that will get preference...and they already have their own close relationship with FileMaker (via the recent Bento in particular) to serve as a database point of transfer...

I would love to see what eventually comes of MS's efforts though.
post #38 of 68
PowerPoint reader. Keynote reader. Two very apps that would be very welcome on the iPhone.
post #39 of 68
They are probably trying to reverse engineer it to see if they can repeat history.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Using a stylus isn't going to work at all, since the iphone's screen requires the touch of a human body part. Tapping the screen with a plastic or metal object would produce nothing.

I think it requires breaking the total internal reflection of the glass. How about something like rubber tip?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Microsoft hints at Office, voice recognition iPhone apps