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.