Microsoft sticks it to the iPad with Windows-first Office strategy
And it's 'baloney,' says one analyst, fed up with what he calls 'artificial advantaging' that's not helping Windows on tablets
Computerworld - Microsoft's surprise launch of Office Mobile for the iPhone today shows that the software giant continues to favor Windows' future over Office's fortune, analysts said today.
And they just don't get that strategy.
"It's puzzling, [Office] on iPhone but not on iPad," said Frank Gillett of Forrester Research, referring to the Friday launch of Office Mobile for iOS.
"They're continuing the artificial advantaging of one product over another to change customer behavior," Gillett said. "We think that's a major mistake. In their eyes, not providing Office for iPad will motivate people to buy Windows tablets. That's baloney. People have already bought iPads. You're going to deny them Office and piss them off? That makes no sense. And it's not helping sort things out any faster for Windows 8 [on tablets]."
Bob O'Donnell of IDC was also mystified about the appearance of Office for the iPhone, but no sign of a native app for the iPad. "It sure seems like their strategy," O'Donnell said of the apparent preference of Windows. "But we think that's the wrong strategy now."
Microsoft, said O'Donnell, believes that Office is key to selling Windows RT hardware, including its own Surface RT. (Office Home & Student RT is bundled with Windows RT.) While he agreed with Microsoft, saying, "Office is really the only benefit [that comes with] Windows RT," and that the surest way to kill the tablet OS would be to release Office for the iPad, he said Windows RT was already on its deathbed.
"Almost every OEM that had a first-generation [Windows RT] product has canceled second-generation products, so we just don't see how it can do well, even with Office,' he said.
If Windows RT can't cut it, O'Donnell suggested, what's the point of sticking to a strategy that's not working?
The iOS app, officially labeled Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers, hit the App Store earlier today. While it will run on Retina-equipped iPads and the iPad Mini -- all three shipped in 2012 -- in a chunky expanded view, the versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint are definitely "iPhone-ized" in that they're designed for the smartphone's smaller screen.
That distinction was critical to Wes Miller, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft. "They could have Office for the iPad, but they want to emphasize that Windows is the way you get a great experience on tablets. They're holding that back, but it's their set of cards to hold."
- Use the Mobile App Mix to Choose an Enterprise App Store Strategy In this research report Gartner outlines how organizations can optimally secure, distribute, and manage mobile applications for employees and contracted workers.
- The Case for Mobile Apps Today's mobile apps turn handheld devices into e-book readers, portable navigation systems, digital wallets and more. And for organizations with mobile workers, they...
- The 5 Big Lies About Going Mobile You've heard about the power of mobile to change your business. But have you realized your mobile potential? It's about much more than...
- Transforming enterprise applications for mobile environments This new white paper explains how Dell Application Modernization and Development Solution Set can help you understand when to develop new mobile apps,...
- It's not too late...Get Your Mobile Questions Answered Live! How can IT provide seamless and secure mobile communications and collaboration for all? Join this live Webcast as IDG asks an expert panel...
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success! All Mobile Apps White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!