If Office Hits The iPad, Even Fewer People Would Buy A Surface

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Gadgets, GT, IOS, Microsoft
Tags: , , ,

Remember this ad? The ad where Microsoft
attempted to position the iPad as a chopstick-playing
toy and the Surface as a PowerPoint-editing
machine? Yeah, that’s why we can’t have nice things. Microsoft just released Office for the iPhone. It lets
users edit any Word, Excel or PowerPoint document.
As the oh-so-catchy name states, Office Mobile for
Office 365 subscribers is Office Mobile for Office 365
subscribers only, meaning the app is essentially $100
a year. It’s not “Office for iOS.” It’s just a way to open and partially edit Office files for those saps paying for
Microsoft’s pricey cloud platform. Judging from the screenshots, it looks like a quality
application. It supports rich-media content like charts,
animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. And since
it works through Microsoft’s cloud service, all
changes saved on the phone are also made to the
original. But forget about a native iPad app. Microsoft can’t kill
the only legitimate selling point of its struggling
Surface tablet. Microsoft might have moved enough Surface tablets
to avoid calling it a flop, but the tablet was far from a
blockbuster hit. Ever since it launched the Surface,
Microsoft has supported it with constant ad
campaigns touting the tablet’s productivity chops.
The latest TV spot pits the Surface RT against the iPad, deeming its offering as the superior choice for
those who need to get work done. However, in
Microsoft’s world, “work” equals editing a PowerPoint deck. This is something you can do quite handily on the iPad using Keynote and, in fact, I suspect
Keynote users are well aware of the benefits of their
superior platform. Middle-manager infighting must be rampant at
Microsoft. On one hand, the company has to properly
support its Windows 8 ecosystem, which means it
has to position its tablet offering as the only MS
Office solution. But then, likewise, a true mobile
version of MS Office would have a better shot at fighting Google Docs. In this case the Office team
lost, relegating Office to just the iPhone — and in a
truncated version at that. Windows 8 wins, the
Surface stays slightly more interesting, and
everybody in Redmond wins. Only the consumer loses.

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