Perspective: Microsoft hedges on Office for iPad, cites 'thoughtful' decisions
Company's top marketing exec talks up Office's power to make Windows special
Computerworld - thoughtful: adjective, characterized by or manifesting careful thought
Thoughtful. T-h-o-u-g-h-t-f-u-l. Thoughtful.
That was the watchword yesterday for Tami Reller, Microsoft's chief of marketing, when she was asked what plans the company has to extend its lucrative Office franchise to mobile platforms other than Windows.
"As we step back and say, these core applications, these core brands that are so important to enterprise customers and consumers, how do we make sure that we're thoughtful about what we're doing on the Windows platform, as well as cognizant of the fact that there's other devices in their lives (emphasis in original)," Reller replied when she was asked about the status of the decision to put the productivity suite on other operating systems.
"So you'll see us be thoughtful about how and when we bring what applications to what platforms," Reller added at the Goldman Sachs-sponsored technology conference where she spoke Thursday.
A follow-up question from the moderator brought even more from Reller, who talked about the importance of differentiating Windows to customers, both end users and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), the vendors that make and sell devices. "A part of that [differentiation] is Office, for sure," Reller said.
That implied Office would still be used as a carrot for customers to stick with Windows, not desert the OS for rivals, a hint she quickly made even clearer. "With Windows, we're obviously spending a lot of time thinking about how we continue to differentiate the full Windows experience, particularly as we think about our partners and how we differentiate for them to pick Windows over Android."
If that wasn't clear enough, Reller pointed out that changes to Office's platforms would be a business decision, not one based on customer requests.
"We come at it from that angle, which is 'What businesses do we need to drive forward?,'" said Reller. "That's how we will make the decision [to go cross-platform]. It really ends up being business by business, product by product. There's no sweeping one decision."
Reller's use of thoughtful and her comments about differentiation made it sound like Microsoft is still thinking through the strategic implications of untangling Office from Windows, and weighing the advantage to Windows that would be lost if it offers apps for the millions of Apple iPads and Android-powered tablets in circulation.
That would be at odds with former CEO Steve Ballmer's plain-spoken pledge last fall that Microsoft would bring a touch-first version of Office to the iPad and Android after it had been released for Windows 8, 8.1 -- or if the timeline was even further in the future -- for Windows 9.
- Chinese officials seize Microsoft PCs, emails, financial info in antitrust probe
- Chinese regulators target Microsoft for office visits
- Layoffs cool Microsoft employees' opinion of CEO Satya Nadella
- How Microsoft's CEO sees growth for Windows Phone and Lumia
- Microsoft wants you to forget Windows 8
- Microsoft again writes off Surface inventory, renews profitability doubts
- 'Nadella Effect' makes Ballmer $2.8B richer
- Microsoft reveals bankruptcy of devices strategy by dumping Nokia feature phones
- Microsoft may drag out layoffs for a year
- Surface survives Microsoft cuts, but tablet strategy remains muddled
- Mission Critical: Managing Mobile Applications & Content Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become embedded in enterprise processes, thanks to the consumerization of IT and a new generation of...
- 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...
- 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,...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their... All Mobile Apps White Papers | Webcasts