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Microsoft Office for the iPad

by: Karl Johnson | Mar 29, 2012
Categories: iOS Applications, iPad

There were some rumors that Microsoft would be bringing the Office suite to the iPad. The rumor also stated that it would come around the time the 3rd generation iPad was announced. Now that the iPad has been out for a while, we know this part is not true. But that does not mean we won’t see Office on the iOS.

The App Store has many applications that can read Microsoft Office files, but they are not the same as the real thing. Most of them have issues when reading anything more than simple files. Microsoft also makes changes to the file format on almost every version. This makes it difficult for anyone else to keep up. For that reason, many are wanting to see Office come to the iPad. The question is will Microsoft bring Office to the iPad?

Microsoft has two main platforms for business: Windows and Office. Bringing Office to the iPad presents a problem for them. If they bring Office to the iPad, it further weakens the operating system Windows, as many will not need it anymore. However, they will also lose customers if they choose not to bring it to the iPad. As customers start using iPads instead of PCs, they will look for alternatives to the Microsoft workflow. This may lead customers to realize they don’t need MS Office at all. Microsoft is already losing some Windows customers who are switching to the iPad and they may also be leaving the Office platform altogether.

As the iPad and the iOS continue to increase in market-share, the pressure on Microsoft to make a decision will also be increasing. Do they try to leverage MS Office to keep people on Windows, which could cause both to fall or do they put Office on the iPad to keep the platform strong and watch Windows fall? It is hard to tell which way they will go.

Logically, it makes sense to put Office on the iPad to keep it the strongest Office platform and not leave an opening for any competitor to rise. But Microsoft may feel they have to keep Windows going and do everything possible to keep it, even if it means sacrificing Office. There is a big demand for MS Office on the iPad and if Microsoft does not fill it, someone else will.

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