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Friday, April 4, 2014

Microsoft Has a Big Hit on Its Hands

Posted by on Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Unfortunately for old-school Microsoft, the big hit that Microsoft is celebrating is Office apps on the iPad:

It looks like Apple's free iWork suite for iOS just wasn't enough for many iPad users. One week after landing in Apple's App Store, Microsoft's Office for iPad has already seen more than twelve million downloads, the company tweeted from its Office account on Thursday. The Office apps also topped Apple's list of most popular iPad apps soon after their introduction on March 27 and still remain in the top three spots.

But this is good news for new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, since Microsoft Office for the iPad was his first major public release. Not all of—hell, probably not most of—those downloads will result in paying Microsoft customers, but the curiosity was certainly there, and the demand for Microsoft Office is still definitely high. Way to not Ballmer this release up, Nadella.


Comments (18) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
It doesn't help that the newest iWork update for the desktop turned it into a half-assed word processor, at best.

I've actually returned to Word after 5 years of thinking "Thank goodness for iWork, I'll never use Word again." Now I might become one of those people Paul is talking about and pony up for a (gulp) subscription to office 365.
Posted by jnonymous on April 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM · Report this
It takes me 5 minutes to type in a password on a tablet.

How am I supposed to outline a document ?!

By the way I saw "Jobs" on Netflix last night and it was surprisingly good, especially Kutcher's performance.

It seemed to say that it was a much a change in technology, as a change in management. The suits giving way to the jeans.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 4, 2014 at 1:32 PM · Report this
AFinch 3
Um, I think this is called "the power of monopoly" or "monoculture".
Posted by AFinch on April 4, 2014 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 4
@3: The days are long gone when the anti-trust division of the Justice department has to worry about Microsoft.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on April 4, 2014 at 1:56 PM · Report this
JonnoN 5
Dont worry everyone, phoebe has declared microsoft not a monopoly. Case closed.
Posted by JonnoN on April 4, 2014 at 2:22 PM · Report this
@2: This is because you are stupid.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on April 4, 2014 at 2:23 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 7
@2 there is a brisk market in bluetooth keyboard accessories for ipads and iphone if you want to do long-form typing, although you'd be amazed at how fast you can get with the onscreen keyboard and a little practice.

@5 Microsoft still has an effective monopoly on operating systems for desktop PCs. The problem for them is that basically nobody uses a desktop PC on their own time any more(*): if you count smartphones and tablets as computers (which you should, because that's exactly what they are), Microsoft is a minority player heading briskly into niche status.

Microsoft will be around for decades to come: IBM is still selling mainframes after all. But their dominance of the consumer and office computing market has come to a screeching halt over the last 7 years.

(*) ...except for a few die-hard morons who still think it's a great idea to drop $2k on a PC "gaming rig" in order to play $70 retreads of decade-old shooter games, but that's a rapidly dwindling constituency
Posted by Doctor Memory on April 4, 2014 at 2:37 PM · Report this
Totally proud of my boyfriend for doing such an amazing job creating this! Way to go babe!
Posted by Jeffmks on April 4, 2014 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Kinison 9
Microsoft isnt a monopoly given theres Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Chome, Unix and Linux. They lost their grip on the web browser long ago.

You can get 100% Microsoft free systems for less than $150 now. That's system, keyboard, mouse and monitor (running Linux or Android of course). If all you do is Facebook, Twitter, Web and Email, why would you want anything more?
Posted by Kinison on April 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM · Report this
fletc3her 10
iWork isn't free. Apparently Office is. Umm.
Posted by fletc3her on April 4, 2014 at 4:24 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 11
@10, Office for the iOS is only sort-of free, and is highly deceptive. It is a hamstrung demo.

I checked out Word on the iPad. You can download it for free, but with the free version, you can only VIEW Word docs with it. To write anything, you have to pay a $99 p/yr subscription (you are forced to buy the full Office suite, not just Word, even if all you need is Word). And to save anything, you have to also subscribe to MS SkyDrive (the MS cloud server). It won't work with Dropbox. It won't print.

So the free version is basically just a viewer. It is useless in any other capacity. The cost for actually being able to write anything is ridiculously high for an individual user. And even with the fully paid subscription, you still can't save to Dropbox or print.

* fail *
Posted by Reverse Polarity on April 4, 2014 at 4:44 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 12
I'm not sure I'd call it a fail so much as an interesting first version with a few rough edges.

If you're already an Office 365 subscriber this is such a no-brainer it's not even funny. The value of your $99/year just doubled at a minimum. If you're a corporate customer, you're probably jumping for joy: skydrive + office iOS is yet another set of nails in the coffin of your VPN.

For an end-user not yet invested in any of microsoft's new ecosystem, yeah, it's much less of a gimme. But Microsoft is, for once, not trying to be all things to all people here and I actually think that's kind of interesting. They're not trying to displace iWork or OpenOffice, but there's a value proposition here that's not necessarily a bad one: miss Word? (Some people do, seriously.) Need better document management than Pages or Evernote can provide? Well, for $99/year you get it on your laptop and your tablets, with automatic backups.

Printing needs to get fixed, but printing from iOS in general is still vestigial at best. A Word-only license plan is also an obvious need and I'm a little shocked they didn't launch with it.

SkyDrive: this is a gamble to be sure, but I don't blame Microsoft for not immediately ceding the ground to Dropbox. Dropbox, Box, Google, Apple and Microsoft all have (more or less) credible products in this space, and it's very very very far from a foregone conclusion that Dropbox is gonna run the table. Maybe they won't win this one, but I can't blame them for taking a shot.
Posted by Doctor Memory on April 4, 2014 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 13
ugh, apparently dropped a tag there :(
Posted by Doctor Memory on April 4, 2014 at 5:30 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 14
whoa, really stranger comments you don't auto-close tags? Well then: maybe this will work?
Posted by Doctor Memory on April 4, 2014 at 5:31 PM · Report this
/i> Lemme get that for you.

Posted by jnonymous on April 4, 2014 at 7:48 PM · Report this
< /i > oops.
Posted by jnonymous on April 4, 2014 at 7:49 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 17
Okay, maybe "fail" is too harsh, but I was pretty excited about it when I first heard about it, and pretty disappointed in what I got.

I'm sure it's fine for some people. But as an individual private user, $99 a year is a steep price to pay, especially if all I need is Word; I have no use for the rest of the Office suite. I understand MS wanting to pimp their own cloud service, but c'mon, a large majority of iOS users are already using Dropbox. At this point, playing nice with Dropbox is not too much to ask. I'll concede that iOS has long had a troubled relationship with printers, so I won't blame this defect entirely on MS. Maybe I'm not tech savvy enough, but I don't understand why a wireless iDevice can't communicate more easily with wireless printers. Can that really be that hard?

Right now, I'm really not happy with any of the word processors available for iOS, and I do a lot of writing. If MS comes up with a pricing structure that is reasonable for a private individual (and unbundles Word from the rest of the Office suite), and adds Dropbox compatibility, I'll jump all over it. Keeping my fingers crossed for a better future version.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on April 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 18
@17: If you want the basics, you can achieve them with OneDrive and all of the basic web editing.
Posted by undead ayn rand on April 6, 2014 at 10:41 AM · Report this

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