After several decades of Mac vs PC debates, the world seems to turn on its head with Microsoft’s announcement that it was launching Microsoft Office for iPad. No, it’s not the first time Microsoft has published software for an Apple product, but given the nature of the Apple App Store’s strict requirements and Microsoft’s recent Apple iPad bashing commercials for the Microsoft Surface, the level of collaboration required for this product launch is definitely a sign of a new start with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.
Although Apple’s share of tablet sales have dropped of dramatically the past couple years, there are still a lot existing Apple iPads out there, especially in businesses where Android’s security isn’t widely trusted, yet. Since Apple dominated tablet sales for many years before there were any legitimate contenders and the iPad 2 has been supported up through the most recent iOS update, that makes over 3 years and 6 generations (including iPad Mini) of iPads that largely haven’t needed to be upgraded to newer hardware.
On top of this, a massive number of low end tablets have recently been injected into the market, skewing Apple’s market share due to the loose definition of the word “tablet” that causes Apple iPads to fall into the same category as low end tablets with sub 1GHz tablets.
Many businesses have traditionally turned towards iPads for their tablet needs, and the presence Microsoft Office now gives iPads the seal of approval most companies need to continue sending Apple their business. Although Windows PCs might not be as prominent as they once were, Microsoft Office has never gone out of style.
Many alternatives have popped up, such as Open Office and Google Docs on desktop systems and Documents 2 Go, Google Docs, and Quick Office via mobile, but none have worked nearly as well as the Microsoft branded suite, specifically when it comes to Excel and Powerpoint.
Viewing Powerpoint presentations or Excel documents has been possible for years, but no application could properly either, so it was extremely difficult to view, much less edit. Powerpoint and Excel are very interactive tools, so this lack of functionality made the existence of any “solutions” practically moot.
Although the apps themselves are free, the Microsoft Office Suite for iPad is read-only without an Office 365 subscription, just having the functionality to properly interact with an Excel spreadsheet is enough for many. Also, Office 365 subscriptions cost less than $6 a month, so any power users that do require on the go office editing abilities don’t have to break the bank to get it.
Source: Apple Insider