There are rumours making the rounds online that Microsoft is preparing to launch the MS Office for tablet devices of Apple, like the much-anticipated iPad 5. Will the software giant finally bring its Office app to the iOS devices? Here is an analysis.
Steve Ballmer may have spilled the beans at the recently held Microsoft's Financial Analyst conference in Bellevue, Washington. At the event, four growth areas were reportedly identified - Cloud, Social, Mobility and Big data.
Although the soon to be retired CEO was not specific about bringing the software to tablet devices like the iPad 5, the hints and indications were strong. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner is reported to have said that a key focus area for the company is to bring "Office mobile experience" to iOS and Android platforms.
The company's primary focus has always been the desktop computer; the company is expected to continue the focus, by building better software to make the desktop computers more productive. At the same time the tablet market cannot be ignored by the company.
Microsoft is already offering the Office for Apple iPhones and Android phones. It is only logical that the next step for the company is to offer the software to tablet devices. Speculations are rife that one of the first tablet devices to have Office would be the iPad 5!
Cracking the tablet market may not be so easy for Microsoft. Apple has launched the "iWork" app for working professionals who need an alternative to the Ms Office, whereas Google has come up with "Quickoffice."
Both apps are currently being given away for free by the two companies. The Office 365 on the other hand comes with a $100 annual charge. The offering to the tablets by Microsoft will need to have strong differentiators and innovation for the users to prefer it over a free app.
With the purchase of the Nokia mobile division, Microsoft could also promote the Nokia devices which are based on the Windows platform. The phones and tablets from Nokia will come with a built in Office app and heavy marketing efforts will not be needed to make the customers make a shift.
Will the Office be available on the iPad 5? If so, can Microsoft afford to offer it for free to capture some market share? It remains to be seen what exactly the strategy of the company is going to be.
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