Microsoft Office for iPad and Mac Update Coming?

MIcrosoft OfficeiPad users have long been looking at Microsoft and wondering if they see the writing on the wall. Do they realize they are losing market share ignoring the iPad and its cousins? Microsoft has a long-awaited iPad version of Office reportedly ready to go and an Office update for Mac users, but has been tight lipped about when they will be coming out.

It is believed that Microsoft held off releasing iPad software as a means of pushing its own Windows tablets. They uncharacteristically sat by while businesses, schools and just about everyone widely began using iPads and Android tablets hoping theirs would catch on. However, according to technology research giant, Gartner, Microsoft’s market share only reached 2.1 percent in 2013, which was double what they had in 2012 but still way behind Apple and Android-based tablets who had the rest of the market.

It looks like Microsoft will eventually have no choice but to release their tablet version of Office for use on other systems. While they have been sitting on the sidelines, new products have appeared that enable users to do many of the same word processing, spreadsheet and presentation functions without Microsoft Office. For example, Quip is one product which has emerged that works on any platform, allows collaborative editing, provides offline support, shared folders and more. There are several other new products too that allow productivity on the go – without bringing Microsoft Office along.

One analyst noted in Singapore Today that with 200 million iPads out there, Microsoft has given up what could have been $2.5 billion a year in revenue with an iPad Office product. Exacerbating the issue for Microsoft is the fact that more companies are moving to a Bring Your Own Device practice, which allows people to use their own laptops, tablets and smartphones to access company technology. Other software products will be used if Microsoft Office cannot be used on iPads and alternative tools in the workplace, or the Mac version still lags behind.

Many are hoping Microsoft’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, will finally announce a release date of the tablet version of Office and the new Mac version before Quip, Evernote, Google Apps and other competitors catch on further. A new Mac Office package is reportedly coming out later this year, four years after the last major update.

Another issue for Microsoft is making sure new software whatever they release for mobile devices makes better use of touchscreen technology. The most recent versions of Office even for Windows 8 use are not fully optimized for touchscreen use, which is mandatory on tablets.

Microsoft did announce at a SharePoint Conference last week and now on its blog plans to release an Office 365 Personal for individual consumers. The blog post says that purchasers will be able to install versions of the Office applications on “one Windows or MacOS computer and on one tablet.” Rumors are that this might have been Microsoft’s hint that they will allow the product to be used on any tablet. Previous announcements specifically said Windows tablets. The vague wording of this Microsoft posting has furthered talk that Office for iPad and a Mac update are coming.

By Dyanne Weiss

Microsoft Office
Singapore Today
Tech Crunch
Network World

11 Responses to "Microsoft Office for iPad and Mac Update Coming?"

  1. Dave   March 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Been a lifelong Microsoft User until I tried the iPhone, then the iPad and now I just converted to the MAC air with the 27″Thunderbolt Display as a docking station. I have gone to heaven!!!! Microsoft has waited too late to change, I will never switch back.

  2. Rpasea   March 15, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Balmer ran an arrogant organization. Let’s hope the new CEO understands the market better with a customer focus

  3. Robert Donnell   March 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    As a former Microsoft Partner – I cringe every time a relative or friends asks for help with a Microsoft product… they squandered an unbelievable market advantage by forcing people to work in unnatural ways with lousy interfaces… and tried to make it better with Windows 8 – FAIL. Macs are not perfect, but they are way better than Windows machines.

  4. josh   March 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Copperhead if you like “barred windows” and the equally unusable nest of “micro gone soft” products whats the problem. Mac users sometimes dont like some apple products as well but 95% of the time they do work and thats why apple has a loyal following. Don’t sell us…or if you prefer…dont call us we’ll call U?

  5. copperhead   March 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve used Windows 8 and liked it. Many of the comments on this site seem to be written by Apple followers. If you can learn to use an Apple product, you certainly have the intelligence to learn to use Windows 8. I’ve tried Apple and still turn to Microsoft and Android products which are just as good and less expensive.

    • inverse137   March 15, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Windows 8 is a horrible OS. You are going to have to explain to me how building a tablet interface….and then deciding to use it on the desktop….was a good idea.

      My android OS does not run on my mac desktop. My iOS interface does not run on my mac desktop. My windows 7 interface does not run on my phone.

      Windows 8.1 on the desktop is a HORRIBLE experience.

      • Mac Guru   March 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm

        I’ve used Windows 8.1, and liked it. For sure it will take sometime to learn a new OS. By the way, I am a Mac guru!

  6. Andrew Nguyen   March 15, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    thanks Apple, now i am completely a Mac guy. Starting with iphone, then ipad now iMac. Unbelievable and greatefully a mac guy now. Sorry Window, saying good bye after 20 plus year with you is finally come.

  7. ocinfo   March 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I’m done with Microsoft. I just bought an iPad Air and plan to replace my HP laptop with a Macbook Air in a few months. Windows 8 sucks. I used it for a few weeks and reverted back to Windows 7. Looking forward to dumping Windows completely.

  8. JC3459   March 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    The iPad runs on an ARM processor (CPU) so it cannot run the desktop version of Office that can be installed on Intel based PCs. Mac would be the closest because of the chip inside. Surface RT/2 run a Windows on ARM port of Office H&S w/ Outlook. Microsoft is primarily an enterprise business and the impact you described about tablets in the enterprise is overstated. Poor sales of Windows PCs to consumers is a different matter and has been true since the early 2000s.

  9. Pat   March 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    After using Windows 8, I wouldn’t buy ANY Microsoft product.


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