An official Microsoft Office suite for the iPad has long been the subject of hopeful rumors, but a leaked shot of the software in action on Apple’s tablet proves for the first time that it’s real, and that it is on its way to the App Store.
This week’s Microsoft announcement of the details of Windows 8 on ARM-powered tablets raises a big question: Will Windows 8 tablets based on ARM or running on more tradition x86 hardware blunt the iPad’s surge in business and enterprise environments?
A few years ago, it would have been easy to say that Windows 8 devices would become the defacto standard in business, particularly for large companies with Microsoft-centric IT infrastructure. But conventional wisdom like that has broken down when it comes to workplace technology in the face of BYOD programs and the consumerization of IT trends. In today’s environment, there are many factors that could tilt the playing field in favor of either Microsoft or Apple.
Microsoft released a number of important details about its plans for Windows 8 on Arm (WOA) tablets. WOA tablets will focus on having a long battery life as well as being light, thin, and inxpensive. They will feature some traditional Windows elements but have a focus on the Metro interface pioneered on Windows Phone and included as the default on all Windows 8 machines. They can be thought of as Microsoft’s response to the iPad, which will certainly be their biggest competition.
Not surprisingly, many of the first pieces discussing the announcements to hit the media have struck on the “Apple should be worried” theme and have used the fact that WOA tablets will include the major Microsoft Office apps to backup that assumption.
Windows Phone 7 hasn’t been the runaway blockbuster that Microsoft probably envisioned when it launched nearly a year and a half ago. Despite advertising campaigns and a strategic alliance with Nokia, Windows Phone use still ranks well below iOS, Android, and BlackBerry use. But new details about the platforms future that were leaked earlier this week show Microsoft may have a solid strategy for gaining marketshare with the next major Windows Phone update, which will likely coincide with the launch of Windows 8 for PCs and/or tablets.
One thing that seems very clear from this new information is Microsoft seems to be taking cues from Apple’s playbook when it comes to creating an ecosystem of devices – like making it easy to shift apps from a phone experience to a larger tablet experience.
The question is, can Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 on tablets challenge Apple’s iPhone and iPad dominance in the business realms?
Microsoft appears more intent on gunning for Apple when the software giant unveils its Windows 8 ARM-based tablets sometime in early 2012. Reports today suggest Microsoft is throwing out its desktop app and will go finger-to-finger with the iPad’s touchscreen only interface.
For a number of reasons, mainly its long list of stability issues and its unquenchable thirst for any power your system may have, Apple will ensure we never see Adobe Flash on the iPad. And while the company has been criticized by competition for this decision in the past, it’s not the only one turning its back on the aging technology: Microsoft has also announced that Flash player will not feature in Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 tablets.
If you need to take the G Train in New York City or pay for a cab you’re jumping uptown, you now have a new way to pay for your ride: with your iPhone.
Visa has just announced that they have inked deals with the New York City subway to let you simply display your iPhone in front of a kiosk or turnstile in select locations as part of a trial of their payWave system.
What’s payWave?It’s essentially just Visa smart chip circuitry that allows you to wave a credit card or payWave-equipped device in front of a cash register, no signature or pin codes required.
Since the iPhone doesn’t have payWave circuity installed by default, if you want to use it with your iPhone, you need to use a specially designed payWave case to graft the functionality onto your handset.
If you’re willing to pick up one of those, though, you can start helping VIsa test out the service Think of the possibilities! While all those other suckers wait in line to recharge their Metro Cards, you’ll be able to breeze past the turnstiles with an Obi-Wan-style wave of your iPhone.
Pretty neat, but eventually, you can probably expect your iPhone to handle this sort of thing natively. Apple’s been doing some hiring and some research into Near Field Communications, and that, more likely than not, means that a few years down the line, you won’t need a special case: your iPhone will be your credit card.