Too little, too late: Microsoft Office for iPad

According to this piece from iMore we may see MS Office for iPad as soon (ha!) as March 27. Yes, of 2014.

March 27, 2012 might’ve done the trick. But at this point between iWork apps and other apps like quickoffice, goodreader, and readdle, the rumor that Office will require an ongoing subscription (!), and it’s decreasing ubiquity, I think the iPad productivity ship has sailed.

If there’s a free trial I’ll check it out. But it’ll take a home run to win me over.

UPDATE: Reviews are starting to come in and they confirm suspicions. MS Office for iPad is a fine set of office apps, limited to subscription only (the cheapest plan is $70/year) and tied solely to Microsoft’s cloud storage services.

Thus, unless you’re in an enterprise already tied to Microsoft cloud storage, there is little to recommend it over the free iWork suite or one of the many other free/cheap solutions, most of which are far more flexible with regard to the cloud services with which they work.

For me, this is a PASS.

That said, I predict that sooner or later they’ll sell the apps outright for $10/each or thereabouts, perhaps with a slighty limited feature set or reduced cloud storage capacity.


About Tony Moody

I make movies. I wield a Les Paul and an iPad. I consume media - copious amounts. And I dabble in assorted nonsense. What do you do?
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9 Responses to Too little, too late: Microsoft Office for iPad

  1. Don says:

    Yep, I agree! Not that I use those kinds of programs much anymore, but even if I did, I wouldn’t want what they are “offering” and don’t need any Microsoft junk on my iOS device.

  2. Jack Marshall says:

    “…it’ll take a home run to win me over.”

    Agreed. iWork does everything I need it to on iPad. Furthermore, as Don says above, those kinds of apps aren’t even that great a priority to a lot of folk anymore, displaced by more mobile-oriented things such as Evernote.

    If Office for iPad arrives with more than a fairly low price, it will be only the Office diehards that get on board, and are there enough of them using iPads to make it a success?

    • Tony Moody says:

      Thanks for posting Jack (love the Marshall staxx handle btw; I’m a Mesa boogie guy but I love me some Marshall). You raise an interesting question – what qualifies as success for MSFT here? With Surface, they’ve obviously been doing a fair bit of R&D in the touch UI space, so I would think that the port to iPad was pretty easy with that being done regardless.

      I guess the goal would be at the very least to have the #1 office suite on the iOS charts. Can they unseat iWork at this point?

      • Jack Marshall says:

        I think you’re right that being the # 1 office bundle for iOS is Redmond’s goal, but at some point does that become a little like being the largest manufacturer of LP turntables? The product is very important to a shrinking number of people. In the 25 years or so of its existence, Office has been fundamentally about hard copy and local data, which are not the priorities they used to be. I think to remain viable, Office for iPad might have to be more than just a port of the desktop version.

        BTW: You are among the few to pick up on the Marshall reference. The irony is that my own rig is a far less imposing and somewhat beat-up Twin Reverb. I got the nickname many years ago, and the story behind it is long, and… well, odd. Ah, youth.

      • Tony Moody says:

        Great point about local/hard copy. It’s been so long since I’ve worked in that kind of environment that I frankly forgot how important that is. Or was!

        As for rigs and youth, I feel you. It seems that no one’s rig is ever the one they really want!

  3. Tony Moody says:

    So true Don. It’s funny how my thinking on this topic has evolved. When the iPad was first demonstrated, I thought Microsoft would pretty much immediately release Office for iOS, and that it would be a very important cornerstone for the iPad’s success. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and the dev community didn’t wait around thank goodness! It would’ve been tough to predict 3-4 years ago the extent to which a Office has ceased to be a must-have app.

    • Jack Marshall says:

      “…Office has ceased to be a must-have app.”

      Isn’t that the truth.

      I’ve never once heard any of my coworkers, friends, or associates say they wanted Office on their iPads. Try to take away their Evernote or Byword, though, and they’d beat you with a stick.

  4. Don says:

    I agree with everything being said here. In the app space, people are used to paying an average of $1 – $5, period. NOT $70 a year and then be required to use Microsoft’s cloud space. Definite pass on that. Way before the first iPhone came out, I removed my dependance upon Office by switching to I haven’t needed and won’t need Office for anything. I only see a possibility of success with some businesses signing up, but even businesses are smart enough to know how cheap apps are. Heck, Apple gives away its OS now. Microsoft is very behind the times.

    I totally agree with you Jack…take away Evernote (I don’t know Byword) and you will see an uprising!

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