Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is said to be porting its Office suite to iOS, to run on Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder if the world's gone mad.
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Matt Hickey reports the rumor:
Microsoft...is actively working on adapting its popular software suite for Apples tablet. ... [T]hat could mean big bucks for the tech giant. ... [A] new edition of Office is [also] expected for OS X Lion sometime next year.
...Its assumed that...the cost will be around the $10 price point that Apple has established for its [similar] products. ... Office is one Microsofts biggest sellers, second only to Windows. ... By branching out to new platforms...that number should only grow.
Rik Myslewski adds:
So say unnamed sources speaking fittingly enough to...Rupert Murdoch's less than wildly successful iPad newspaper...[which] provided scant details well, none, actually about the purported iOS Office.
...Should such a suite appear...it will most certainly need to shift the decimal point on its pricing. ... Microsoft Office for Mac Home & Student runs $119.99 and Home & Business, $199.99.
And Jordan Kahn remembers previous statements:
[F]ormer Microsoft Business Unit head Stephen Elop...strongly hinted at it...and told T3 they were considering it. ... If implemented well, we could theoretically see Office for iOS eating into some of...the iWork suites user base.
...There has, however, been some conflicting reports regarding whether or not Microsoft is actively developing the app. ... Microsoft has an important decision to make: Do they bless the iPad with the critical business software that businesses need but...risk hurting their Windows PC business by making them replacable?
Meanwhile, Devin Coldewey guesses at the strategy:
Microsoft doesnt need the money so much as the platform presence. ... Preventing the leakage of users to Apple platforms is crucial in maintaining Microsofts dominance.
...The timing just turned out to be a bit awkward; Microsoft will certainly be putting out [Office 15] alongside Windows 8, but the iPads prominence is too great to be ignored...supporting it ASAP became more important. ... Hence a release to satisfy impatient customers and then later the real Office Tablet Edition.
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: email@example.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.