AMITIAE - Saturday 21 September 2013
Cassandra: Deer Caught in the Headlights - Office for the iPad, Sometime Soon, Maybe, Perhaps
By Graham K. Rogers
While iWork is available for iOS devices (and Macs), there are also many more apps that can be used for productivity. Most are for writing, some are for spreadsheets, while a small number may be used for presentations. What has been missing - some say - since the advent of the iPad is a version of Microsoft's Office for the iPad.
I must admit, I would not use this for a number of reasons, one of which is that if this were ever released, it would just be too late. Some users would want inter-device operations, and if they are happy with Office on their computers, this might work for them. Apparently, however, one of the delays was caused by Microsoft refusing to accept the terms and conditions of the iTunes App Store, especially Apple's 30% charge: "Don't you know who my founder was?
There would be an outcry if Apple were to change the rules for one company, no matter how big.
However, Electronista reports that there is a hint from the soon-to-be-gone CEO of Microsoft that Office apps could be coming soon to iOS devices (and Android). He also told some Wall Street analysts that he noted that "the company executives have their eyes "wide open" when considering the potential benefits". Wide open as in "deers in headlights mode," as in only seeing a crash at the last moment, as in "the horror, the horror" (Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad).
With a potential market of $2.5 billion from iPad sales that Microsoft could be losing (those analysts again), Redmond is working flat out to do what must be done and is expected to have this ready by Fall 2014. Another year, for Heaven's sake; and more than 4 years since the iPad was first announced on 28 January 2010.
Since that time, the Microsoft CEO has been in denial, avoiding the issue, trying to introduce Microsoft's own version of a tablet that bombed like the others it had tried before (but this time with nearly $1 billion written off), and sitting on its laurels - the cash cows of Windows and Office - while failing to notice that even these were less desirable than before.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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