Is Microsoft Back to Its Old Tricks? It Sure Looks Like It

By now, you've probably heard the news: Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) will put a "touch-first" version of its Office suite on the iPad soon. Fool contributor Tim Beyers says it's a welcome move.

The iPad is a huge platform, after all. Tens of millions of the devices are already in corporate hands. Giving those users the option to work natively with Microsoft productivity apps could juice sales, and give Mr. Softy a leg up in the race to supply business software to the growing number of tablet-wielding workers, Tim says in the following video.

What will it mean for Microsoft stock when the suite is released? Not much in the short term, Tim says, though he's reassured by Ballmer's commitment to "embrace and extend" existing platforms, such as the iPad, in order to sell more Microsoft software.

Do you agree? Disagree? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take, and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

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Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2013, at 6:38 PM, doawithlife wrote:

    Is the version for the Ipad going to suck as much as the Surface RT version?

    How about get a real tablet and buy a Surface pro or other x86 tablet. Then your using the same software you use on a computer.

    Mobile software versions for work suck. Real versions are so much better.

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2013, at 6:44 PM, butthead2u wrote:

    Microsoft should definitely extend to other platforms but do a premium like teaser package where if you want the best the software has to off you have to go with all Microsoft and/or their partners products. This will allow the extended platforms to essentially become Microsoft's sales platforms. Why not showcase your software on their platforms in a limited type release?

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2013, at 7:29 PM, normcf wrote:

    I find the timing of this announcement interesting. The touch Office suite will not be available for at least a year, and that is if it's on time. I think there are rumblings among corporate Office customers that are embracing BYOD. Their employees are trying other productivity tools on their iPads and Android tablets and CIOs are re-evaluating their need for Office. By announcing this now, microsoft is telling their Office customers to "just hold on a little longer before you make a decision". The risk to microsoft is that customers now have one less reason to buy windows tablets. microsoft needs to hurry before competing office suites get too good, or risk losing both windows and Office monopolies.

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2013, at 8:17 PM, GaryH444 wrote:

    When you said "is Microsoft up to its old tricks?" I thought you were going to talk about the extortion it placed on all the oems in paying for Windows installation on all pc machines even if you had another OS installed instead of windows. That is Microsoft.

    As far as productivity software is concerned, let's get a few facts straight for a change on Office. Let me preface my remarks by saying that I have been a systems developer/tech support person for over 40 years, well before Apple. That said, for 90-95% of the people out there, apple's iWork suite is more than adequate and far easier to use than Office (Outlook aside). Word, especially, is the largest piece of bloatware crap out there, it is unintuitive to begin with because it does so much stuff, 90% of which most people are unaware of or don't use. It does not help when each new version moves half the interface around and nothing is where it used to be. the last Office upgrade was For me the final straw. I started to use Pages, numbers and Keynote instead..

    They are all simple and intuitive to use. There is a consistency in common menu items across Apps. If, and only if, I am sending my document to a Windows Office user AND that user will work on it in some way, I just save a copy in Word format. If it is for read only purposes, I save a copy as a PDF. Everybody has Acrobat and I don't have to worry about .doc or .docx or which version of Word they are running , if in fact they are using Word. I use my "word processor" for what 95% of uses do: I write letters, sometime multi column, outline type documents, and insert pictures or graphs where appropriate. I have absolutely no need for Word - thank God.

    Excel is not quite not as simple. Excel does much more than Numbers. I have seen in the past people develop database type solutions in Excel that boggle the mind. But I will still stand by my hypotheses, which is based on observing the type of work people actually do in all sizes of corporations. The overwhelming majority of people who use Excel do nothing more than simple spreadsheets- they do not use the dozens and dozens of functions available in Excel. Those that do need those functions, have them. But why should the 80% of users who don't need them have to suffer throughout Excel?

    Keynote has gotten excellent reviews vs PowerPoint. But PowerPoint is the king of the market and the use of presentation software is minimal compared to word processing and spreadsheets.

    You can certainly Save the iWork documents as their Office counterpart documents, or PDFs , and you can open Office Documents in iWork. It is true that going to iWork from Office might not go smoothly if you are very very fancy in the Office Docs. But these comments are on the 90-95 % usage of these Apps.

    Now, not in the future, I can run all the iWork Apps on the iPad (and even on the iPhone). Only a diehard windows enthusiast who is really ignorant about other choices out there, would think Office coming to the iPad will have any significance to Microsoft (except to cause them to lose more money)

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2013, at 11:38 PM, stevebrinkhoff wrote:

    OK, maybe I'm just dense. The article describes how Microsoft is making a good business move to expand sales of their product. But the headline says they're up to their "old tricks". The headline sounds positively sinister and evil.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2013, at 5:16 AM, sagebrush52 wrote:

    More microsoft bashing as usual. Notice how STUPID these Motly Fool people ALL ARE. Biggest bunch of losers I have ever read from. Why does Yahoo even let these clowns write articles that they publish. They hate , Microsoft, Love Tesla with a passion, like every d- amn day. Hate Most American manufactures, love Foreign cars. Hate Boeing, Love Airbus. Obvious buyouts. These clowns ALL DESERVE FIRING. Totally Biased. I don't believe anything they write. They truly are FOOLS. Named right.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2013, at 2:56 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @sagebrush52,

    >>More microsoft bashing as usual.

    Either you're choosing to ignore the premise of the video or you're just blowing off steam. Either way, bashing this isn't.

    Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2013, at 2:59 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @GaryH444,

    >>As far as productivity software is concerned, let's get a few facts straight for a change on Office.

    Did I miss the needed corrections? I don't see any in your comment.

    Notice that I don't claim Office is easy or ideal. The point is that a lot of people use it and lot of businesses have standardized on it. Making the suite widely available is likely to be a welcome move, IMHO.

    Thanks for writing and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

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