Microsoft optimistic about Office making its way to iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Microsoft still holds aspirations of delivering a version of its leading Office suite capable of running on the iPhone but needs a bit more time to get it all sorted out.



Speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco on Wednesday, Microsoft Business Division president Stephen Elop dropped hints to suggest the set of productivity applications was bound to turn up on the Apple handheld device sometime soon.



However, TechCrunch reports that Elop later hedged his remarks when interviewer Tim O’Reilly probed him over the comments, admitting that the software isn't ready quite yet and stating that hopefuls should "keep watching."



It's been over a year since Microsoft first expressed "confidence" in its ability deliver applications of value to iPhone users. At the time, Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of the company's Specialized Devices and Applications Group, indicated to Fortune that Office applications were a natural choice.



"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."



Although the iPhone ships with built-in support for viewing Office documents, users wishing to make changes to those documents have had few options prior to this week's announcement of Quickoffice, which will support editing (as well as creation of) Word and Excel documents when it's released later this month.



For its part, Microsoft is also likely eager to tap into the lucrative iPhone ecosystem made possible by the App Store. The Redmond-based software giant is already the largest Mac software developer outside of Apple, with its Mac Business Unit estimated to generate revenues in excess of $350 million and profits of over $200 million each year.



That said, Elop also noted Wednesday that Office has half a billion users worldwide, but only half of them actually pay for the software. Going forward, the company says it plans to launch an ad-supported version of Office that will run as a Web app in most browsers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    It's an Excel world afterall.
  • Reply 2 of 61
    nooobnooob Posts: 1member
    Check out the Citrix Receiver in the App Store. You do need to have a XenApp 5.0 server with Office hosted, but it works like a champ. The Citrix Receiver is currently Tech Preview and missing a few things like SSL but it is very promising to business users who need access to Windows apps while on the road.
  • Reply 3 of 61
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    No doubt Microsoft Office would be even worse on the iPhone than the other versions -- bloated and buggy. A native office suite (maybe Quickoffice?) is what's needed.
  • Reply 4 of 61
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,182member
    Unless they plan on moving to Cocoa it's not going to make it to the iPhone.



    OpenOffice would make it to the iPhone far sooner than Office.
  • Reply 5 of 61
    Cant remember the last time I used MS Office. We've been using OpenOffice for months now.
  • Reply 6 of 61
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Unless they plan on moving to Cocoa it's not going to make it to the iPhone...



    Yeah, even the full-blown Office for Mac doesn't use that much Cocoa from what I heard, and their development tools are like Adobe's (non-Mac).



    If MS is doing this, they'd have to literally throw away the code-base and start from scratch to do it right, putting them on the same playing field as anyone else. What would be relatively easy to port however, would be Pages or Numbers since they are native Cocoa apps.



    One of the mysteries to me about iPhone development efforts lately however, is why Apple themselves doesn't seem to have invested any time in developing for their own platform. Where is the MobileMe app? Where is the Quicktime app? Why did it take until iPhone 2.0 to even get the (rather rudimentary) Contacts app on the iPhone? Why isn't there an Apple Store app? Where is iChat? Where is Keynote?



    Apple has been coasting on it's laurels a bit lately IMO. Sure they are great at architecting OS's, but most of their apps have been languishing a bit and some still suck after years of being available. I think with iPhone they are concentrating so hard on the platform that they aren't focussing enough on the actual apps.



    A "real" contacts application could significantly alter the landscape in that half of the things the pre does that iPhone can't could be covered by a sort of "Contacts on steroids" application. A MobileMe app would not only sell more iPhones, but more MobileMe subscriptions. I can buy two dollar apps for my iPhone, but I can't order a new laptop? Why?



    Either they are too busy or there is a severe lack of vision in the applications department.
  • Reply 7 of 61
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bluedalmatian View Post


    Cant remember the last time I used MS Office. We've been using OpenOffice for months now.



    I switched to OpenOffice in the 1990s back when it was called StarOffice -- even before Sun bought it from the German company that originally developed it. In retrospect, that may have been too early, but five years ago would not have been too early to switch to OpenOffice.
  • Reply 8 of 61
    cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    The built-in office file viewer I can understand, but text entry is quite challenging on the iPhone as it is for a featured Word or Excel IMHO.



    And I think a filesystem ought to be a prerequisite feature.
  • Reply 9 of 61
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    I'd rather have iWork Mobile.
  • Reply 10 of 61
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    Yeah, even the full-blown Office for Mac doesn't use that much Cocoa from what I heard, and their development tools are like Adobe's (non-Mac).



    MS reps said Office for mobile devices will be a web app. So no it won't be based on cocoa, it would be built on HTML/CSS/JS. Supporting open standards in this way would be a huge change for MS.



    Quote:

    One of the mysteries to me about iPhone development efforts lately however, is why Apple themselves doesn't seem to have invested any time in developing for their own platform. Where is the MobileMe app? Where is the Quicktime app? Why did it take until iPhone 2.0 to even get the (rather rudimentary) Contacts app on the iPhone? Why isn't there an Apple Store app? Where is iChat? Where is Keynote?



    Why do you think all of these apps are needed. Why do we need to launch a separate Quicktime app? With all of the IM clients why does it need iChat? When Apple originally launched iChat it was the best IM client for the Mac. Its not really needed for the iPhone. Why would you need to buy a Mac Pro on your phone? Whose going to create graphs and charts on their phone?





    Quote:

    Apple has been coasting on it's laurels a bit lately IMO. Sure they are great at architecting OS's, but most of their apps have been languishing a bit and some still suck after years of being available. I think with iPhone they are concentrating so hard on the platform that they aren't focussing enough on the actual apps.



    You really think the apps are more important than the platform the apps reside on?



    By June over the past 24 months Apple will have provided more feature updates than any other mobile platform ever has, I would not call 1000 new API's and 100 new features resting on your laurels.



    Why do you think its on Apple to provide all of these apps, that's the purpose of having a developer community.



    Quote:

    A "real" contacts application could significantly alter the landscape in that half of the things the pre does that iPhone can't could be covered by a sort of "Contacts on steroids" application. A MobileMe app would not only sell more iPhones, but more MobileMe subscriptions. I can buy two dollar apps for my iPhone, but I can't order a new laptop? Why?



    What's a real contacts application?



    Since the phone syncs with MobileMe, why does it need to access MobileMe?



    Apple's website does run on the iPhone. So technically you can buy a new laptop using it, but under what circumstance would that happen?
  • Reply 11 of 61
    irelandireland Posts: 17,490member
    Who is this Microsoft company I keep hearing about?
  • Reply 12 of 61
    wessanwessan Posts: 37member
    Outline editing feature for Keynote would be great start as there is not so much text in presentations and making last minute touches to presentation would be great if it was possible to present directly from iPhone. But I'm afraid that iPhone does not have enough horsepower to render all Keynote transitions in full quality.
  • Reply 13 of 61
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Despite personal feelings the far majority of the word processing world uses MS Office.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bluedalmatian View Post


    Cant remember the last time I used MS Office. We've been using OpenOffice for months now.



  • Reply 14 of 61
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    No the iPhone cannot output graphics in high enough resolution for a large projection. The iPhone does have a Keynote remote control though.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wessan View Post


    But I'm afraid that iPhone does not have enough horsepower to render all Keynote transitions in full quality.



  • Reply 15 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,819member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    I'd rather have iWork Mobile.



    I agree. I'd rather have a headache than Office on my iPhone! Please, go away M$ just go away! Make it for your Zune or something.
  • Reply 16 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,819member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Despite personal feelings the far majority of the word processing world uses MS Office.



    Then it's time for a change. Yes we can!
  • Reply 17 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,819member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Who is this Microsoft company I keep hearing about?



    I think they are relations of Standard Oil, TWA and PanAm.
  • Reply 18 of 61
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    It painful enough working with Office and large programs on a computer, imagine how hard it would be on a phone. I think basic editing and viewing is fine but trying to use even half the features on a mobile device is difficult for the user. I use Office on both Mac and Windows, many times I get problems in the documents and excel sheets fonts and layouts. Imagine what would happen on a phone!
  • Reply 19 of 61
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    There certainly is nothing stopping open office from making a mobile word processing suite.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Then it's time for a change. Yes we can!



  • Reply 20 of 61
    jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Microsoft was also optimistic about Vista being a success and embraced by the masses.



    Microsoft was also optimistic about the Zune.



    Microsoft was also optimistic about ________.



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