Will Microsoft Office Make the iOS Jump?http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/02/28/will-microsoft-office-make-the-ios-jump.aspx Doug Ehrman
February 28, 2013
One of the biggest hopes of enterprise users everywhere is that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Office will become available on Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) devices through iOS, specifically on iPads. Much ink has been spilled on the topic, and Microsoft officials always seem to tap dance away from the topic. The simple truth is that Office is a huge point of differentiation for the software giant that gives its Surface Pro tablet a fighting chance. Equally obvious is the reality that, by keeping a full version of Office off of Apple devices, Mr. Softy is probably leaving a lot of money on the table. Ultimately, I think this is the right call if Microsoft really wants to compete in this arena.
The Surface Pro
One of the points on which the two agreed was that the inclusion of Office helps the device standout. Pogue asks: "Are you getting it? This is a PC, not an iPad." While Mossberg is less enamored with the device, he does concede that "the Pro is a serviceable laptop, especially since, unlike on an iPad or Android tablet, you can use full-fledged PC programs." The takeaway here is that the ability of Microsoft's devices to run Office allows them to stand apart. Taking this unique feature away before the devices have had time to gain significant traction would undermine this effort.
Holt further notes that the numbers that Microsoft could achieve are even higher if the company would simultaneously release a Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android version of the software. In certain ways, an Android release would make even more sense, as the company has seen much stiffer competition for productivity uses from Google Apps than from anything on iOS. While Apple offers various productivity applications like Pages and Numb