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Microsoft Can't Kill the iPad With Office

By Rick Munarriz – May 8, 2013 at 7:00PM

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The software giant is holding back on Office for Android and iOS tablets, and that's starting to become a problem.

Microsoft (MSFT 1.05%) is letting pride get in the way of success.

Bill Gates was on CNBC on Monday, taking jabs at Apple's (AAPL 0.83%) iPad and the tablet experience. He called the iPad frustrating, arguing that one can't create documents or fire up its Office suite of productivity programs.

Users of iPads and tablets powered by Google's (GOOGL -0.15%) Android know that Gates is stretching the truth. One can create documents, and there are plenty of third-party applications for both Apple's iOS and Google's Android that can work with existing Office files. That seems to be one of the many "good enough" examples of the "good enough" computing trend that finds consumers turning to smartphones and tablets as PC sales languish.

If running the official Office software was such a big deal, wouldn't the Surface RT tablet have been a bigger hit? Industry tracker IDC is reporting that just 200,000 Windows RT-fueled tablets shipped during the first three months of the year. The one major selling point when RT rolled out late last year was its ability to run Office. 

Rumors of Microsoft putting out Office for iOS and Android devices have been going on for years, and Gates' comments make it seem as if the software giant may continue to hold back in the fading hopes that consumers will embrace Windows mobile operating systems.

In this video, longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz explains why this could be a big mistake for Mr. Softy.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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