Analysis: Microsoft Office on iPad: too little, too late?

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Microsoft Office on iPad: too bit too late?

Well, it’s happening: Microsoft is bringing aspects of its Office suite, consisting of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, to iPad in a bid to win over the ever broadening tablet user base, which has largely been disregarded by Redmond.

Aside from its Office suites on the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, which run predominately within the ‘Desktop’ mode of Windows 8 rather than being custom apps design for tablets, Microsoft has actually done hardly any to calm iPads users. It did hint consistently that Workplace would ‘one day’ be coming to iOS, however never in fact provided a final variation, until now.

Whether Office on iPad is a success or not continues to be to be seen, but will depend greatly on the way Microsoft opts to carry out the app(s). We can not understand the implementation that Microsoft will opt to make use of for Office on iPad, but we understand the choices.

One alternative is to use Office 365, Microsoft’s subscription service for Office. Microsoft’s Surface area gadgets require Office 365 to run the Workplace suite hinting at the path Microsoft may decide to take for Office on iPad.

For ₤ 79.99 (US$ 99.99, AU$ 119) a year, or ₤ 7.99 (US$ 9.99, AU$ 12) a month, Microsoft 365 offers you OneDrive (née SkyDrive) storage, international Skype minutes, all the Office suite and syncing in between gadgets.

It would stand to reason that the iPad variation would need this to work, however is it always the very best means for Microsoft to tackle it?

The response to that concern is most likely no. Microsoft will understand this due to the fact that the iPad is still not viewed as a ‘production’ gadget, generally due to the lack of keyboard.

Ways to pay

Many users will balk at needing to pay a regular monthly charge in order to use a program they’ll most likely use occasionally. It’ll be made use of to edit a couple of documents they’ve been sent out by means of e-mail or to change a file while taking a trip without a laptop. Naturally some users will register, but not as many as Microsoft would want thinking about the effort that’s actually gone into porting Workplace to iOS.

A far much better alternative would be the more Apple-esque route of charging a small charge per app (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and offering an in-app purchase of Workplace 365 if the customer wishes to sync files effortlessly throughout devices.

While this would suggest sending out 30 % of all sales to Apple, the consumer would get a more cohesive experience that’d equal Apple’s own productivity suite. According to information from App Annie, Pages, the Apple equivalent of Word, has actually been in the top 40 apps all time, despite charging ₤ 6.99 (US $9.99, AU$ 10.49) up until September 2013. Microsoft will likely wish to replicate this success to make their foray into iOS beneficial.

According to a tweet sent out to MacRumors Microsoft could opt to bundle the suite into a single app, permitting users restricted functionality however offering the app for free.

This strategy lends itself to the casual user who wants to edit really easy files, but falls far brief of beating Apple’s offerings on the platform which are likewise complimentary, offer near-desktop degrees of editing ability and can export to both Microsoft and Apple’s performance suites. Users could download the app on an impulse but decide that Apple’s apps transcend in both value and function.

Whatever Microsoft opts to announce at its event later this month will be compared straight to Apple’s iWork suite by both innovation critics and the public, a reality Microsoft must be wary of.

Before September 2013 Apple’s providings came at the expense of ₤ 21 (about US$ 30, AU$ 32) for all three readily available apps, a bar too high for numerous. Now, nonetheless, the apps are complimentary, suggesting that any person can download and compare them to Microsoft’s offerings and users can well decide that Microsoft has actually provided too little too late.

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