Microsoft's own Office apps much better on iPhone than Windows Phone 8

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2014
In keeping with the growing importance of Apple's iOS platform, Microsoft's new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for iPhone are now far superior than those Microsoft offers for its own Windows Phone 8 platform.

Office for iPhone


Microsoft just released enhanced versions of its Office apps for iPhone (or iPod touch), using the same unified codebase as the company's tablet-optimized version for iPads, now allowing document creation and editing without a paid Office 365 subscription.

In March, when Microsoft initially released its iPad editions of Office, we noted that despite Android's reported 62 percent majority tablet market share in unit shipments, Microsoft decided to bring its Office apps to iPad first, even though iPads were only credited with about 36 percent global tablet share by market research firms.

Seven months later, Microsoft still hasn't released a tablet-optimized version of Office for Android. But even more though provokingly, Microsoft also hasn't bothered to update its own Windows Phone version of the apps, which Tom Warren of The Verge just referred to as "shit."

Warren also tweeted out a comparison photo of an iPhone 6 Plus and a Nokia-branded Windows Phone device each running Office, showing iOS presenting a superior interface and accurate document rendering, while the Windows Phone was just a big mess.

Here's Office for iPhone vs. Office for Windows Phone with the same document open. Guess which is better? iPhone pic.twitter.com/NfnCeIDipz

-- Tom Warren (@tomwarren)


Microsoft is no doubt focusing on its next Office release for the upcoming Windows 10, but that isn't expected to be released for another year. Its tablet-optimized version of Office for Android is tentatively planned to ship in the first quarter of 2015, about one year after the iPad version.

That means Apple will sell at least another 70 million iPads before Microsoft has a mobile version of Office for its own platforms that isn't embarrassing. That won't do much to convince buyers over the next year to try out Windows Phone.

Meanwhile, figures from Good Technology show that Apple is cleaning up in the enterprise space, with iPads making up 90 percent of the new tablet activations it sees in use among its more than 5,000 client companies. Overall, iOS powered 67 percent of all mobile enterprise devices.

Good Technology iOS market share Q3 2014


Microsoft faces stiff competition in the basic productivity apps market, ranging from a variety of specialized iOS offerings to web-based Google Docs and Apple's own iWork suite of Pages, Keynote and Numbers, apps the company now bundles for free on new iOS devices (and Macs).

Microsoft is now giving its iOS Office apps away for free use along with an option to unlock some additional features for paid subscribers, a sea change from just a decade ago when using Office involved a $500 per user license outside of educational or site license deals.

Not too long ago, the general perception was that Apple's sales of premium hardware would be impossible to sustain as commodity hardware makers shipped large volumes of low priced alternatives. Over the past year, Apple's iPads sales have beat the combined shipments of the rest of the top five tablet producers,while the company has seen significant growth in sales of iPhones and Macs.

Meanwhile, on the software side Microsoft must be feeling competitive pain to induce it to give away its mobile Office apps for iOS while also delivering its best versions of Office for iPhone and iPad.

Microsoft Office plans


Microsoft is also rumored to be preparing an update for its Mac Office suite next year, with a public beta planned for the first half of the year, followed by a full launch in the second half of 2015.

Recent leaks suggest the next version of Office for Mac will be revamped to take full advantage of high-resolution Retina Display Macs, and to get full feature parity with its Windows counterpart, including Excel features, easier sharing of files between platforms and enhanced integration with Office 365, SkyDrive and SharePoint.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    I have a Lumia 1520 for sale since it's barely supported by Microsoft and the major devs don't make apps for it.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    It's amazing how quickly things can change.
  • Reply 3 of 52
    At least Nadella is willing to make changes, and Gates doesnt appear to be stopping him.

    It's notable that now that Office is free for the most part, they're preparing an Android version. Which will probably be iffy, despite Microsoft's considerable software talent(yes, it is considerable, superior to Apple's in some cases), due to the craptastic nature of the platform.

    That being said, as far as tablets go, give me Office RT any day. [I]That[/I] is a full fledged mobile productivity suite, missing just a few small features(most notable are Excel macros).
  • Reply 4 of 52
    I wouldn't really put too much weight in the temporary state of those apps in windows phone. Windows phone 10 is based on full windows and should run not just the same apps the iphone runs today, but also the full desktop app if they so wish it.

    The reason it doesn't today is because the apps were baked in the OS and not stand-alone which means they can't update them. And probably isn't worth updating them so close to the release of the next phone OS.

    long term the state of iOS and WP will be similar to the one of the mac and PC. MS own platforms will get the updates before anybody and probably remain most capable. While MS is an open company (something apple should seek to emulate) and will offer its apps everywhere as it seeks to dominate the cloud world, don't expect the slight lag in windows for touch to persist. It is merely a result of the fact the iOS platform versions got started before the windows 8/phone platforms existed, thus they have about a year's lead.
  • Reply 5 of 52
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post



    I have a Lumia 1520 for sale since it's barely supported by Microsoft and the major devs don't make apps for it.

    Funny to see that they are still selling it via their website for $199 (and that may very well be the carrier lock-in)

     

    But MS is still selling Windows RT tablets on the same page as the Windows 8 tablet. Pretty sad, because both tablets look like they run the same software and MS has abandoned RT.

     

    That's MS for you:

      1) Abandonware

      2) So big and bureaucratic that their software isn't very consumer friendly.

  • Reply 6 of 52
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,405member

    This just in:  

    MS seems to have discovered which mobile side its bread is buttered on...

    (probably no film at 11)

  • Reply 7 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,169member
    boredumb wrote: »
    This just in:  
    MS seems to have discovered which mobile side its bread is buttered on...
    (probably no film at 11)

    MS should just become an iOS and OS X developer and give up wasting their money on all else.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    It's amazing how quickly things can change.

    The ghost of Ballmer dances on...
  • Reply 9 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

     

    Funny to see that they are still selling it via their website for $199 (and that may very well be the carrier lock-in)

     

    But MS is still selling Windows RT tablets on the same page as the Windows 8 tablet. Pretty sad, because both tablets look like they run the same software and MS has abandoned RT.

     

    That's MS for you:

      1) Abandonware

      2) So big and bureaucratic that their software isn't very consumer friendly.


     

    RT will receive support until January 2018, at the very least. It remains to be seen if they'll make Windows 10 for the RT based tablets, but Microsoft is still selling both the Surface RT, Surface 2, and the Lumia 2520.

     

    It's a shame it didn't catch on, because with a little work it had the potential to be a great mobile OS.

  • Reply 10 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Recent leaks suggest the next version of Office for Mac will be revamped to take full advantage of high-resolution Retina Display Macs, and to get full feature parity with its Windows counterpart, including Excel features, easier sharing of files between platforms and enhanced integration with Office 365, SkyDrive OneDrive and SharePoint.

    Respectfully, correction made. :smokey:

  • Reply 11 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post

     

    Respectfully, correction made. :smokey:




    Personally, I think SkyDrive was a much better name than OneDrive. I know they did it for branding consistency (though I'm not sure why, as we didn't change anything else to "One") but SkyDrive sounds more...cool.

  • Reply 12 of 52
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,834member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    MS should just become an iOS and OS X developer and give up wasting their money on all else.

    Let's go one step further. Apple should buy up Microsoft stock, do a hostile takeover, keep what they want (maybe just Word and Excel but dump Powerpoint, Sharepoint, and all the other garbage), and shut down the rest. This would be payback for everything Steve's "friend" did to Apple. Microsoft's only selling point is Office, nothing else. Take Office out of Microsoft and there isn't much left. 

     

    Why would Apple want Office? So they could take over all of the government and enterprise systems. I don't believe government systems use Windows because they want to, they use Windows because it has Office and they're so entrenched with Office they don't know how to get away from it. Everything else they use from Microsoft could be handled by something else running linux or unix.

  • Reply 13 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    Personally, I think SkyDrive was a much better name than OneDrive. I know they did it for branding consistency (though I'm not sure why, as we didn't change anything else to "One") but SkyDrive sounds more...cool.


    Yeah, I know what you're saying. SkyDrive sounded much much cooler.

  • Reply 14 of 52
    Getting people to use MS Office is a win. iOS is a leader and developers have a more consistent device to put their products on. IMO, this says more about the success about the iOS platform than the limited market share of the WinMo devices.
  • Reply 15 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    Let's go one step further. Apple should buy up Microsoft stock, do a hostile takeover, keep what they want (maybe just Word and Excel but dump Powerpoint, Sharepoint, and all the other garbage), and shut down the rest. This would be payback for everything Steve's "friend" did to Apple. Microsoft's only selling point is Office, nothing else. Take Office out of Microsoft and there isn't much left. 

     

    Why would Apple want Office? So they could take over all of the government and enterprise systems. I don't believe government systems use Windows because they want to, they use Windows because it has Office and they're so entrenched with Office they don't know how to get away from it. Everything else they use from Microsoft could be handled by something else running linux or unix.


     

    All ideas are welcome, right? You should buy a few shares of Apple stock and go to the shareholder meeting and make that proposal. I'd probably vote no with my 20 shares though. :)

  • Reply 16 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    Let's go one step further. Apple should buy up Microsoft stock, do a hostile takeover, keep what they want (maybe just Word and Excel but dump Powerpoint, Sharepoint, and all the other garbage), and shut down the rest. This would be payback for everything Steve's "friend" did to Apple. Microsoft's only selling point is Office, nothing else. Take Office out of Microsoft and there isn't much left. 

     

    Why would Apple want Office? So they could take over all of the government and enterprise systems. I don't believe government systems use Windows because they want to, they use Windows because it has Office and they're so entrenched with Office they don't know how to get away from it. Everything else they use from Microsoft could be handled by something else running linux or unix.




    Microsoft is more than just Office. Azure, OneDrive, MSN, Xbox, all their other services, there is a lot to the company. Gotta get out of the thinking that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose.

  • Reply 17 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    Who are people here more bullish on Microsoft or Google?

  • Reply 18 of 52
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,462member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Who are people here more bullish on Microsoft or Google?

    No choice "C", none of the above ?
  • Reply 19 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

     

    Who are people here more bullish on Microsoft or Google?




    More bullish on MS if Nadella is allowed to continue. I don't know if they'll ever be as important to consumers as they were, but they have a solid chance at transitioning to a powerful services and enterprise company, like IBM. Microsoft also has multiple revenue streams, whereas Google is still just an ad company.

     

    I'd also add that Microsoft now owns what is currently the most popular video game around, Minecraft, which will introduce Microsoft to a whole generation of consumers they otherwise wouldn't have had (people under 12).

  • Reply 20 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,169member
    rob53 wrote: »
    Let's go one step further. Apple should buy up Microsoft stock, do a hostile takeover, keep what they want (maybe just Word and Excel but dump Powerpoint, Sharepoint, and all the other garbage), and shut down the rest. This would be payback for everything Steve's "friend" did to Apple. Microsoft's only selling point is Office, nothing else. Take Office out of Microsoft and there isn't much left. 

    Why would Apple want Office? So they could take over all of the government and enterprise systems. I don't believe government systems use Windows because they want to, they use Windows because it has Office and they're so entrenched with Office they don't know how to get away from it. Everything else they use from Microsoft could be handled by something else running linux or unix.

    I like it, although a joint Apple / IBM take over of the carcass of Microsoft for the useful assets would seem appropriate. The IBM Swift team could take over all the corporate and institutional IT boneheads that can't think beyond their Microsoft Certification to justify their existence.
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