Apparently Microsoft Has Office For iPhone And iPad Ready, So What’s The Holdup?

Office_iphone

Microsoft has full versions of Office for iPhone and iPad ready for release, and now all it has to do is allegedly pull the trigger. It’s up to newly-appointed CEO Satya Nadell to make the call, according¬†to Reuters.

Office for iOS has been rumored for years, but recent reports point towards the company finally releasing the software this year. The questions now are why has Microsoft waited so long, and has the ship already sailed?

The Reuters piece, titled “Microsoft poised to fight back as iPad generation shuns Office,” frames the news bleakly:

Tired of waiting for Office to be optimized for their mobile gadgets, a growing contingent of younger companies is turning to cheaper, simpler and touch-friendly apps that can perform word processing and other tasks in the cloud.

Indeed. Services like Google Drive, Evernote, and even Apple’s iWork suite are more affordable, cloud-accessible, and user friendly. Office is still the business standard, but Microsoft’s foothold has been slipping over the past couple of years. By keeping Office off just the iPad, an analyst told Reuters that $2.5 billion in yearly revenue is being lost.

The main reason for the delay is reportedly “internal politics.” The Windows and Office divisions within Microsoft haven’t always worked together well, which unfortunately, is common for most companies Microsoft’s size.

It could be argued that Microsoft has also had a bit of an identity crisis recently surrounding the Windows platform. Marketing Office for products like the Surface has been Microsoft’s attempt to entice potential customers. But with how poorly the Surface has done, it’s clear that the productivity suite alone won’t sell hardware.

Office for iPad is now expected to come out in the first half of this year, and Microsoft has confirmed that a new version of Office for Mac is also in the works.

  • ben

    will it be as good as iwork?

    • Robert Trance

      Surely not!

  • AKC322

    How many times have we read this story? Anyone who really uses an iPad for work has worked out a solution. MS missed its opportunity.

  • Jack Holland

    Yet another great business move by Microsoft.

  • Dickusmagnus

    Will it be the home addition, or the director’s cut, or the home pro junior, or the super pro? Will it be comparable with the Zune?
    You can bet that, within a month, Microsoft will replace it with a newer version chock full of user complaint related bug fixes and patches pretending to be “enhancements.” The sooner I learned to run in a Microsoft-free environment the better things worked.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    iWork is just fine.

  • Grunt_at_the_Point

    I think those of you condemning Microsoft are missing a key factor, that being having an IOS version of Office is or was not a big priority for Microsoft. Like some have said, iWork and other products are just as good. There’s no need for Microsoft to lose sleep over competing in a marketplace that is already saturated.

    • Rob Bowers

      Agreed, but then many are stuck in MS world @ work with Win7/Office. The most seemless compatibility option is to stick with Office (for Mac or PC).

      iPad/iPhone readers for office files are sufficient for most users, so iWork can do that with mimimal hassle. But road warriors needing to get work done can’t wait to get to an office/PC to edit docs, sheets and slides. Is the market big? Obviously not or MS would have solved this a long time ago.

      Then again, maybe they missed the boat. iWork was a cute little app for Mac and nobody, save keynote speakers would think of using iWork for serious business docs. But then, a funny thing happened…Apple decided to take the cute little thing mobile, and updated it with seamless cloud integration…and now it is a serious contender. Perhaps MS missed a chance to maintain the Office edge by not solving this sooner?

      Time will tell.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    What puzzles me is there are so many people who keep commenting on how great the Surface tablet is and it can do so much more than the iPad. If that’s the case, why aren’t more consumers buying Surfaces? Microsoft certainly claims the Surface is so much better for actual work productivity than the iPad and is so much better for actual business use. Why aren’t more businesses buying the Surface if they’re that great for getting serious work done? I’d heard the Surface can do true multitasking, so wouldn’t businesses want that. The geeks say the iPad is no good because it can’t multitask. It seems some people like to do two and three things at once but I hate working like that.

    • Rafterman00

      They are. The university I work for is already offering the Surface as an option for staff members (laptops, desktops, Surfaces and Macs and Macbook Pros are all offered).

      • http://mysite.verizon.net/vzepr1xp/index.html unsean

        Actually, you don’t know. The university you work for is, though that doesn’t speak for anywhere else.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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