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Microsoft Launches Office For iPad: Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the to-a-tablet-near-you dept.

Microsoft 184

An anonymous reader writes "At an event in San Francisco today, Microsoft Office General Manager Julia White unveiled Office for iPad, featuring Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The new suite, which supports viewing but not editing for free, will go live in Apple's App Store at 11:00AM PDT (2:00PM EST). Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for iPad feature a ribbon interface just like the one featured in Office for Windows and OS X. The trio of apps are much more powerful on the tablet than the smartphone, but naturally aren't comparable to the desktop versions."

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Perfect (2, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46597407)

The absolute best use of a phone in the office IMO is to connect the meeting-room projector/screen to the phone HDMI out and project without needing a laptop. When I worked at VMware we'd do this with a remote desktop app back to a Windows desktop, but just running PPT/Word native is even easier. Plus the opportunities for embarrassing chats popping up are that much better!

Re:Perfect (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 8 months ago | (#46597945)

Where'd you work? Prom B? :-)

Re:Perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46598355)

Can't we go back to text editors and LaTeX to produce the final document?

Re:Perfect (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46598801)

Can't we go back to text editors and LaTeX to produce the final document?

Sure, go ahead.

MS Office and Apple iOS are both fading platforms facing imminent obsolescence anyway. Why not add another set of barely relevant tools to the list?

Re: Perfect (1)

VTBlue (600055) | about 8 months ago | (#46599813)

Define "imminent" please.

Re:Perfect (1)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46599887)

Excel isn't going away any time soon, and PowerPoint isn't going away fast enough! Word rose and fell with desktop publishing, of course, but is actually a decent reader for text eBooks - at least it looks vastly better than Kindle.

Re:Perfect (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 8 months ago | (#46601165)

Damn, I wish I could sell a fading platform that is breaking sales records [theverge.com] .

Just because you wish it so (for some reason) does not make it so. Remember, competition is a good thing for us - the best thing that can happen is for Apple and Google to have a healthy competitor in Google and Apple.

Re: Perfect (1)

robmv (855035) | about 8 months ago | (#46598417)

You don't activate airplane mode before a presentation? How rude!

Re: Perfect (1)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46598451)

You'd think that would be obvious, wouldn't you. :)

Re: Perfect (3, Funny)

TheGrimmReaper (1927686) | about 8 months ago | (#46601577)

"airplane mode"? Hey, I want to be able to FIND my phone, not lose it in the ocean :)

Re:Perfect (4, Interesting)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#46598475)

Is it really even needed for that though?

One thing I keep hearing from the MS fans (yes, they very much exist) is how great it is to have Office for free with Windows RT (Yep, that dead bastardized OS still has fans.) They insist that it is the killer mobile app that makes those devices (windows phone, surface) worth having. Invariably you run into one problem with that statement though: Nobody is buying either of them. If this is really such a killer app, then why isn't it flying off of shelves? I think I know the answer to that: Nobody needs office suites anymore.

Consider these:

Word: How often do you write formal letters anymore to the point that you MUST have Word? Usually it's just an email, sms, or a tweet if you're the social network type. None of those need or even expect fancy formatting, which is what Word is all about. In fact, in those settings, such things are often shunned because they take away from brevity. But suppose you do on occasion need to write a formal letter; you probably aren't going to do fancy formatting on a mobile device. Instead you're going to draft your letter while the thoughts are in your head on an app like evernote, maybe email it to yourself, and then copy and paste it into Word on a desktop system where you'll do all of that fancy shit. You certainly won't write even a half decent resume on a mobile device.

PowerPoint: I don't think I need to explain the problems with creating presentations on mobile devices (kind of annoying to pull up your images and other whatnots and then scale and position them properly using just your fingers, even with the best of NUIs.) But let's set aside that entirely. Look at how much a lot of organizations now hate powerpoint. The DoD says it's making its servicemembers dumber and wants to get rid of it entirely. Certain educational institutes are preferring the old (well, kind of old) whiteboard again.

Excel: Excel is perhaps one of the most useful components of office. Problem is, MS Office suffers a bit from the reverse of the Pareto Principle: 80% of its users only use 20% of its features. This is especially true for Excel where you don't use a whole lot of its more advanced features. That said, MS Excel is overkill (and expensive, I believe $80 buys you a license for ONE PC, and it cannot ever be transferred to another PC once installed.) But even for the free RT/WP versions, the interface actually isn't that well designed compared to other spreadsheets for mobile devices. In my experience, quickoffice has perhaps the best touch NUI for this. Best of all, it costs nothing.

TL;DR, I don't think MS Office, or even LibreOffice or any other office suite, is really needed anymore. I only have it installed because some of my classes at school require me to, but I noticed that when I'm not doing these assignments, I have only used it to create my resume.

Re:Perfect (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 8 months ago | (#46598895)

Nobody needs office suites anymore.

What do you mean "anymore"? What did they used to need them for that they suddenly don't now? What changed?

Less paper and more collaboration (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about 8 months ago | (#46600983)

People don't need paper, so programs designed to format stuff for A4 or Letter are disappearing.

People need collaboration and sharing, so online tools are greatly helpful, and generally don't require the recipient to have $300 worth of software, and non guarantee that it will render correctly.

The office suite is changing. MS Office has some improvements in electronic documents through OneNote, and Outlook/Exchange are doing some good jobs in Mobile Device Management. Sharepoint is improving collaboration. But these combinations of corporate infrastructure and office suites are very business-oriented, and mostly helpful for data self-determination, not for the general public.

LibreOffice seems to be doing none of this, and Thunderbird seems to be in maintainence mode, as though local email and calendaring has been solved and won't be addressed anymore. That said, I appreciate that the LibreOffice is continually improving in its specific areas, and Thunderbird is mostly feature-complete.

Re:Less paper and more collaboration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46601739)

People don't need paper, so programs designed to format stuff for A4 or Letter are disappearing.

Righto. Get a real job doing real work in the real world first, chief, before commenting

Re:Perfect (4, Insightful)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 8 months ago | (#46599221)

TL;DR, I don't think MS Office, or even LibreOffice or any other office suite, is really needed anymore. I only have it installed because some of my classes at school require me to, but I noticed that when I'm not doing these assignments, I have only used it to create my resume.

You had a good point up until you only considered student assignment usage.

Re: Perfect (1)

VTBlue (600055) | about 8 months ago | (#46599883)

Regarding your Pareto principle, the actual statistic is 90% of users only use 10% of the feature on aggregate. The problem is that every individual in the 90% uses a different 10%. Microsoft telemetry backs this up, and this is why they don't split the product up even further. Consider Excel. A researcher uses a very different subset of the app compared to an engineer or financial analyst. There isn't a year that goes by where I don't see a non-trivial usage model for Excel. As for PowerPoint and Word, the same idea applies but is less apparent until you factor in line-of-business integration of the docs and app on the server side, natively or via add-ons.

While there is definitely a consumer case to argue that Office is overkill for home use, as long as business find value in using the advanced features of Office, people will continue to use Office at home, whether or not they personally utilize said advanced features.

*former MSFT employee*

Re:Perfect (1)

barjam (37372) | about 8 months ago | (#46599925)

Office is essential to your typical office worker. I use word/excel daily and powerpoint at least once a month. Being able to read those documents on a phone/tablet is interested... not sure I care about being able to edit them though.

Re:Perfect (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46599959)

Well, I'm using libreOffice calc for my income taxes (just as I've done for the past 5 years). Works like a charm. I'm happy, the government is happy. I get my return back early, I haven't had to pay tax, and I've got records. Some of the other stuff I haven't used/needed, but if I was doing anything else I would use LibreOffice. Its free, works really well, and I don't need/want anything I have to pay for.

Re:Perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46600197)

Is it really even needed for that though?

Yes. MS Office still rules the business world. business users want mobility and they also want capability to work with business documents even in a limited fashion .Not every edit is major. Sometimes they want to make only simple updates. Further, as usual, MS is late to the table. Nearly every major ERP system has a mobility app already and you certainly wouldn't want to be an order entry clerk using a tablet. A salesperson would though.

Re:Perfect (1)

Nexzus (673421) | about 8 months ago | (#46600337)

I couldn't really live without Outlook. It pretty much manages my life.

Re:Perfect (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46600625)

MS Office suffers a bit from the reverse of the Pareto Principle: 80% of its users only use 20% of its features.

That is the Pareto principle. And just what would the "reverse" be anyway? 80% using 80%?

Re:Perfect (2)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 8 months ago | (#46600763)

Yes, it is needed...

When you get out of school and move on to the real world, you'll find businesses use MS Office, it is the standard and is quite useful...

Social media is nice, but that isn't where business is done...

Re:Perfect (1)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about 8 months ago | (#46600961)

It's handy having your an office suite on your tablet as it allows you to make quick edits on the go. No one is expecting you to write your thesis on a tablet, but for reviewing documents, writing comments and making small changes having Office on the iPad stupidly useful.

As for Office suites in general, I don't know what it's like where you are but in the UK you're almost guaranteed that to run into MS Office files in whatever job you do. There's no avoiding it even as a techie as your specifications and such are almost certainly written in Word.

Re:Perfect (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#46601031)

I only have it installed because some of my classes at school require me to, but I noticed that when I'm not doing these assignments, I have only used it to create my resume.

I've never met any sort of admin person who could function without office. They need excel and word for literally everything they do all day long.

AND anyone who interacts with an admin person needs to be able to read, and often write to those files.

An inventory manager might send someone an excel sheet of inventory that is missing and needs to be located. Or an asset list that needs to be completed. Or a table of phones that were stolen.

An accountant uses Excel in all kinds of ways, and those documents need to be disseminated to management.

What do you think your companies policy manuals were written in? The ISO quality manual? Material Safety Data Sheets? The log sheet to record when the bathrooms were cleaned? Device Master Records? Customs declarations paperwork? Grant applications? Investment Prospectus? Meeting minutes? New Employee Orientation packages? Legal Contracts? Stock Option Grants? SEC Filings? Press Releases? Performance Reviews?

How many of us need to fill out an excel or word document to submit a timesheet, prepare a customer a quote, submit an expense report, request vacation time, fill out an order, prepare a project budget, estimate a job?

I have only used it to create my resume.

Yeah, not everybody is you.

Re:Perfect (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46601083)

Word: How often do you write formal letters anymore ... fancy formatting,...

If you prepare non-trivial documents for human reading, a word processor is useful, and Word is a great word processor. If the most demanding communication you do is forum posts, then no, you probably don't need one. Or understand why other people do.

PowerPoint...kind of annoying to pull up your images and other whatnots and then scale and position them properly using just your fingers...

You've clearly never used an iPad, so why are you writing this crap? "Pulling up your images and other whatnots and then scale and position them properly using just your fingers" is exactly what the iPad excels at. Not pixel-by-pixel editing, but positioning and cropping and rotating for a presentation is a perfect use case.

Excel...80% of its users only use 20% of its features...

So...? The program exists and people know how to use the 20% they need.

Re:Perfect (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 8 months ago | (#46600757)

My wife does just that, but she uses a Droid 3 for it. It no longer is a "phone", it has been wiped and setup just for use thanks to HDMI out.

The phone itself has almost no dollar value, but it is a great device for connecting to a TV.

Well, that took a while (1, Interesting)

djhaskin987 (2147470) | about 8 months ago | (#46597417)

It's because Steve Ballmer refused to acknowledge iOS's existence. Now that a new guy is in charge, things are happening again.

Re:Well, that took a while (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 8 months ago | (#46597493)

It's because Steve Ballmer refused to acknowledge iOS's existence. Now that a new guy is in charge, things are happening again.

Yeah I'm sure they whipped up the whole office suite for iOS in the last few weeks since Ballmer left.

This would certainly enable Office devotees to invest in iPads (or do more with existing iPads) but I don't see it converting many existing Google Docs users or those who are already ensconced in the iWork suite...though that's probably not the point.

Re:Well, that took a while (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 8 months ago | (#46597949)

PowerPiss! It's better, on an Apple?

I push rectangles on slides, all day long...

Re:Well, that took a while (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46598045)

PowerPiss? really? thats the best lame-ass crap you could come up with? you know if youre that angry maybe you should just get one of those stress balls, if microsoft is able to have you frothing at the mouth like that then perhaps you need to get off the internet for a while and find some real meaning, get a hobby.

Being on a touch device they should have called it PowerPoke!

Re:Well, that took a while (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46598881)

It's better, on an Apple?

Not really, it'd be better on a platform most people actually use.

Given that there's now more Android devices than Windows or Apple machines put together, you have to ask yourself why MS isn't making Office available for the dominant platform. They obviously have a good reason, but it doesn't appear to involve sales of the Office suite. Leveraging their lockin desktop office document formats to disadvantage their key competitor maybe?

Fortunately, Open Office is already available on Android, and has better compatibility than MS office with their own formats.

https://play.google.com/store/... [google.com]

Re:Well, that took a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46598929)

Office Mobile is on Android. It isnt supported on Android tablets yet but most Android devices (by a large margin) are phones rather than tablets anyway.

Re:Well, that took a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46599019)

It isnt supported on Android tablets

It's not the same, have you even tried the phone version? Using it is an exercise in frustration.

You'd have to be a very dedicated masochist to even consider installing it on a tablet.

Re:Well, that took a while (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 8 months ago | (#46601189)

In order for Microsoft to keep making money on Office, they need to keep selling Office. If they sell watered-down versions for iOS, they accomplish two things:

1. Extend the vendor lock-in of people creating documents and content in Office on full-client desktops and laptops, so they continue on the upgrade treadmill
2. An iOS device sale is better in Microsoft's eyes than an Android device sale, because it's less traffic to Google.

Re:Well, that took a while (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 8 months ago | (#46597759)

Microsoft office for iPhone was released last summer while Ballmer was still CEO and the iPad app is much more advanced, so I would guess they probably started working on that around the same time they started on the simpler iPhone app.

Re:Well, that took a while (0)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#46598531)

I do like how Microsoft has gotten all lovey dovey with Apple now that Android has basically pulled the platform war out from underneath both companies.

I knew that Apple would turn into Microsoft if they had the chance back when slashdot used to praise Apple for being "open" with OS 10 (Yep, slashdot used to love apple until about 2006ish.)

Of course, Android isn't perfect either, but I like how it gives you options that the competition would never EVER consider allowing you to have.

Re:Well, that took a while (0)

blahbooboo (839709) | about 8 months ago | (#46598987)

All while google harvests tons of information about android users....

Harvesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46599861)

Bing and Outlook also harvest data from their users....of what little they have.

Re:Well, that took a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46599003)

(Yep, slashdot used to love apple until about 2006ish)

Well, everybody around here spoke wll of those goddamned iPods. Something about a wheel being clever? I didn't know or care. Fuck Apple.

But computer and OS wise, Slashdot has been overall a fruit-free zone since forever. Thank goodness.

Re:Well, that took a while (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 8 months ago | (#46600221)

that's why we are not hearing about and Android version. How does that saying go, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."? To Microsoft, Apple is the lesser of two evils and by making these PR statements the new CEO can look like he's now a new player while Bill Gates is behind him pulling his strings to do everything they can to try and save Windows. I doubt we'll see an Android version before the Microsoft Surface version if at all.

LoB

Re:Well, that took a while (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 8 months ago | (#46597879)

It's a pretty seismic shift in Microsoft's direction. The unholy trinity of Windows-Office-Backoffice has been the guiding paradigm of Microsoft's strategy for two decades. Now it's pulling Windows out of the loop and allowing Office-Back Office to stand semi-independent (yes, I know, Exchange and Sharepoint still run on the Windows operating system). It looks like the split between operating system and software is happening a decade later than it might have if the DOJ had stuck to its guns.

Re:Well, that took a while (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 8 months ago | (#46598719)

That's because the New Wave is Cloud. A chance to charge you monthly for what you used to just buy outright.

Re:Well, that took a while (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 8 months ago | (#46601223)

Plus, every accountant loves turning what used to be capital expense (one time software purchase) into operational expense (recurring monthly subscription)!

I can't imagine why these schemes aren't being adopted on a massive scale!

Re:Well, that took a while (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 8 months ago | (#46599389)

It's a pretty seismic shift in Microsoft's direction. The unholy trinity of Windows-Office-Backoffice has been the guiding paradigm of Microsoft's strategy for two decades.

The only flaw in your premise is that we are now just four months away from the 25th birthday of *Microsoft Office for Mac*. This predates the Windows version by more than a year. Also, Word was first made for Xenix (Microsoft's brand of Unix) under the name *Multi-Tool Word* (along with an MS-DOS version).

There has never been a time when Office was only available for Windows. And this latest move to iOS does not mean that "Windows is out of the loop". There is still (and always will be) the Windows desktop version of Office, and it does have more features than the mobile version.

Jesus Tapdancing Christ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46597419)

It's been better than twenty years of this kind of shit from them. Why do people continue to let them get away with it?

Re:Jesus Tapdancing Christ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46597831)

What are you talking about?

"Naturally aren't comparable"? (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 months ago | (#46597465)

Doesn't seem that way: [zdnet.com]

Make no mistake about it: These three apps are feature-rich, powerful tools for creating and editing Office documents. They look and act like their Office 2013 counterparts on Windows. And although these iPad apps obviously can't replicate every feature of the full desktop programs, they deliver an impressive subset of those features. Anyone who was expecting Office Lite or a rehash of the underwhelming Office for iPhone will be pleasantly surprised.

(Thanks to DaringFireball [daringfireball.com] for the link and summary).

I will download them for sure, but it really puts me off having to use a subscription to use them for editing.

Re:"Naturally aren't comparable"? (2)

exomondo (1725132) | about 8 months ago | (#46597599)

I will download them for sure, but it really puts me off having to use a subscription to use them for editing.

I agree, I would have thought "free for non-commercial use" would have worked well enough. Corporates are the ones driving Office revenue anyway, end users are much more likely to go with iWork or Google Docs than paying for Office.

Re:"Naturally aren't comparable"? (1)

DaHat (247651) | about 8 months ago | (#46597695)

I would have thought "free for non-commercial use" would have worked well enough

So you want to rely on a DRM system which decides if you are using it for commercial purposes? Or just the honesty of users?

Neither sound like a good options when dealing with a product that is known for making good sums of money.

Re:"Naturally aren't comparable"? (3, Interesting)

exomondo (1725132) | about 8 months ago | (#46597767)

I would have thought "free for non-commercial use" would have worked well enough

So you want to rely on a DRM system which decides if you are using it for commercial purposes? Or just the honesty of users?

Neither sound like a good options when dealing with a product that is known for making good sums of money.

It's already been done for years, this isn't a foreign concept, have you not seen Office Home and Student for example? Not sure why you don't think it's a good option given it's been used for so long and continues to be used today.

Forgot to mention even a flat fee for a perpetual non-commercial Home & Student license would probably work.

Re:"Naturally aren't comparable"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46597907)

Actually, Student versions require an E-mail address from a recognized college or university to be activated. So they really don't just take your word for it, they actually check something.

Re:"Naturally aren't comparable"? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 8 months ago | (#46597935)

Wrong, I specifically said Home and Student, which does not have the requirement you stipulate.

Re:"Naturally aren't comparable"? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 8 months ago | (#46600345)

It's also not free, for non-commercial use or otherwise. It's cheaper than the other paid editions, especially since it allows installation on multiple machines with a single license, but it does still cost money.

Re:"Naturally aren't comparable"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46599679)

It's already been done for years, this isn't a foreign concept, have you not seen Office Home and Student for example? Not sure why you don't think it's a good option given it's been used for so long and continues to be used today.

Forgot to mention even a flat fee for a perpetual non-commercial Home & Student license would probably work."

There is already Home and Student pricing for Office 365.

It's not perpetual, but there's even a cheap university subscription that lasts 4 years.

Re:"Naturally aren't comparable"? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#46601181)

"It's already been done for years, this isn't a foreign concept, have you not seen Office Home and Student for example?"

Its not relying on honesty or integrity or even DRM to prevent commercial use its relying on "missing a key application" nearly all business users require.

"Office Home and Student" lacks Outlook.

pointless (0)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 8 months ago | (#46597481)

Free, unless you want to edit something, and then it's a subscription? Fuck that. I'd rather pay $15 for the whole mess and be able to edit right away. Microsoft: always finding ways to fuck up a good idea.

Re:pointless (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 months ago | (#46597533)

I (and many other people) would probably pay $15 each app - or more.

I just can't see getting an Office365 subscription to use these applications.

It's nice though they are letting you use them for free as viewers, very handy for those still using PowerPoint. The presentation abilities from an iPad sounds pretty good.

Re:pointless (2)

DaHat (247651) | about 8 months ago | (#46597725)

I just can't see getting an Office365 subscription to use these applications.

While I don't think we'd get to see any #'s... I doubt that many will get an Office 365 subscription *just* to be able to use the iPad apps... instead being able to use the subscription on the iPad and a couple of desktop and laptops (up to 5 devices I think) is where the motivation to subscribe will comes in.

Re:pointless (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about 8 months ago | (#46598289)

I can't see anyone getting a subscription just to use these apps. These are more like addon apps for people who use Office already and happen to have an iPad.

Re:pointless (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 months ago | (#46599051)

I agree that's what they are doing. It just seems like a huge lost opportunity. Arranging things as they have, they are now way behind companies like Evernote even though they might have a technically better product!

Re:pointless (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about 8 months ago | (#46597677)

I'd rather pay $15 for the whole mess and be able to edit right away

really? you'd like to pay less?* that's surprising.

$60 / month for my cell plan? fuck that, i'd rather pay $150 up front. really i would.

* $6.99 / month, and of course you are going to keep it for >2 months.

Re:pointless (0)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about 8 months ago | (#46598259)

Most people who are going to be using this are just using it for viewing / displaying anyway. If you don't want to pay just do the creating in Open Office or some such.

Hmmm... 'Free'... (3, Insightful)

Chordonblue (585047) | about 8 months ago | (#46597543)

This isn't so much about a paid subscription as it is not having to pay Apple for each copy of Office sold. This is their way of getting around that. Wonder how long it'll take Apple to close this loophole in the future...

Re:Hmmm... 'Free'... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46597579)

Not really, because Apple still takes a 30% cut if you buy the subscription as an in-app purchase. This is more about getting a constant stream of money ($10/month) rather than a one-time (or every two or three years) payment of $50 or whatever.

Re: Hmmm... 'Free'... (1)

VTBlue (600055) | about 8 months ago | (#46599909)

They skirt around this by not offering in app office365 subs.

Re: Hmmm... 'Free'... (2)

base2_celtic (56328) | about 8 months ago | (#46599975)

That's incorrect. They do offer the subscription in-app. It goes through the App Store, and Apple takes 30% if you choose to do it that way.

http://recode.net/2014/03/27/m... [recode.net]

Re:Hmmm... 'Free'... (2)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 8 months ago | (#46600921)

Not really, because Apple still takes a 30% cut if you buy the subscription as an in-app purchase. This is more about getting a constant stream of money ($10/month) rather than a one-time (or every two or three years) payment of $50 or whatever.

Let's just take a look at this deal. I just bought a 356 subscription and according to the in-app purchasing wizard in the Office 365 suite on my iPad the subscription is $156 per annum. For that you are getting:

  1. Word, Excel, Powerpoint and change.
  2. License to install on up to 5 PCs/Macs
  3. Use on mobile devices.
  4. 20 GB of additional OneDrive storage.
  5. Skype world minutes (60 of them per mensem)

Which sounds like a pretty OK deal to me considering the volume of product I'm getting. As far as I can tell there are no temporal usage restrictions on the PC/Mac licenses in this this sub, according to the office 365 community forums multiple users can log into the same account and edit the same document. If that is true than this subscription will cover my office needs, my parents's, my sister's and her husband's and we can split the costs. As for corporate profits.... If Apple is taking 30% then Microsoft is getting $109,8 / 12 = $9,15 per month and they still have to deduct costs and taxes. Mind you, being a corporation, MS, like Apple, Google, IBM and the rest of that ilk probably enjoy considerably lower tax rates than what Joe Six-pack has to contend with. However, MS does have to pay developers, maintain their cloud service data-centers and pay the system administrators of their cloud service department out of that and pay for marketing and other such crap. I'm sure MS makes tons of money off of this stuff but it's not like the profit meter at Microsoft HQ goes Chi-chinggggg! and increments by $9,15 every time they sell an office subscription to an iPad followed by a spontaneous chorus of manic laughter from every MS manager in the known universe over how they are ripping off their customers.

Re:Hmmm... 'Free'... (1)

gonnagetya (3580051) | about 8 months ago | (#46598995)

That might be a bonus side effect for Microsoft, but honestly, I think the primary purpose is to push for more Office 365 subscriptions. I mean it's pretty obvious, even my Microsoft's own reformation as a "devices and services" company in that they don't want to sell perpetually licensed software anymore. They want people to buy subscriptions now, and are pushing VERY hard for this. I wouldn't be surprised if the next main version of Office is subscription entirely like Adobe have done with their latest suite of software.

Re:Hmmm... 'Free'... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 8 months ago | (#46600137)

This isn't so much about a paid subscription as it is not having to pay Apple for each copy of Office sold. This is their way of getting around that. Wonder how long it'll take Apple to close this loophole in the future...

You're under the impression that it matters to Apple that people skirt the rules like that.

Guess what? It doesn't. The only thing is that for payments in the Apple ecosystem, you use Apple's payment provider to provide less confusion and annoyance to users who may wonder if the box with their credit card number in it is secure.

Apps are just a way for Apple to sell more hardware - apps, books, movies, music, etc., iTunes makes some money, but it's not at all clear how much profit it makes or if it goes into their data centers.

Contrast this to Amazon, where sales of hardware are a conduit to sell more content. So Amazon would have a problem if you did this because they want to sell content.

Re:Hmmm... 'Free'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46600211)

Free for viewing, not for editing

Docs to Go (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 8 months ago | (#46597557)

how exactly is this better, in any way, than Docs to Go which is only 10-15 bucks one time, or free if you are cool with having ads, or free if you are on Blackberry 10.

Re:Docs to Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46601121)

The current version is rated 2 1/2 stars. Maybe it sucks?

If you prepare documents that other people consume, or consume documents other people prepare, you need an adult office suite.

I don't understand... (-1, Troll)

jddeluxe (965655) | about 8 months ago | (#46597625)

Why is it I should give a rat's ass exactly???

Re:I don't understand... (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | about 8 months ago | (#46598035)

Because one huge tech company is finally acknowledging the existence of another huge tech company's mobile operating system, something long overdue (according to some). Perhaps boring -- especially if you use neither Office nor iOS -- but certainly tech news.

Ribbons? (-1, Flamebait)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 8 months ago | (#46597627)

So there are still people who think this 'Ribbons' thing is a good idea?

Re:Ribbons? (1)

DaHat (247651) | about 8 months ago | (#46597745)

While the initial presence of them took many off guard... it's been with us so long I'd wager most (who have been using them for that time) are more or less used to them and see the benefit.

Re:Ribbons? (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 8 months ago | (#46598157)

Well,
i have a Mac.
Workimg at client side with ribbons is so awfull .... sorry, what exactly is the benefit you mention?

Re:Ribbons? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 8 months ago | (#46598383)

I find it better than the mess of menus and toolbars where some functions are in one, some functions are in the other and some functions are in both. Even on the Mac version of office the ribbons work really well. Toolbars are horrible things, just a non-contextual mess of little icons.

Re:Ribbons? (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 8 months ago | (#46600391)

For me the ribbon just looks like multitude of toolbars, takes me always ages to find functionality that I need, as the icons tell me nothing and I have to hover over everyone to see what it does.

Re:Ribbons? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 8 months ago | (#46599575)

The problem with the ribbon is that when people complain about it, they seem to forget that the alternative isn't much better from a UX standpoint and that it launched on an application that the ribbon wasn't going to fix.

Office style apps, particularly word processing is just a messy UI. Unless you want less features. Period.

When dealing with new applications, the Ribbon concept is actually quite nice addition to a UI designer's tool kit. Probably one that should be doing what traditional tool bars have been doing for years. It's cleaner. I'd rather lose some UI space in exchange for some clarity of purpose for UI elements.

Re:Ribbons? (1)

InsectOverlord (1758006) | about 8 months ago | (#46601235)

I hate the ribbon with a passion; however, come to think of it, on a tablet it may not be such a bad idea. Better than smartphone-style generic action buttons. And Windows CE showed desktop-style menus and toolbars don't belong on a tablet.

Not that I'd use a tablet for serious work.

Libreoffice? (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | about 8 months ago | (#46597699)

Still waiting for Libreoffice for Android (which would be of use to me) and Ipad (which I guess other people would use).

The best Android app I've found for "office" stuff is Kingsoft Office but it can't work with Open Document files, just Microsoft formatted stuff. I wish I had one that would work with Open Document; it would be a lot more useful.

Re:Libreoffice? (2)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 8 months ago | (#46597857)

You'll probably have to wait a while judging by this: https://wiki.documentfoundatio... [documentfoundation.org]

Re:Libreoffice? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 8 months ago | (#46599801)

Still waiting for Libreoffice for Android (which would be of use to me) and Ipad (which I guess other people would use).

Rather than waiting you should help it along by contributing.

Re:Libreoffice? (1)

temcat (873475) | about 8 months ago | (#46599853)

There is Softmaker Office for Android (commercial) which is said to be good. I personally use their Windows/Linux versions, and compatibility and interface-wise, they're the best.

Odyssee II (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#46597717)

I wonder how porty the ports are.

Will I go to shut down my phone and be greeted with a popup that "Cannot quit Excel now"?

Will I thumb-whip an Excel spreadsheet to scroll down, and be greeted with a popup saying, "Insufficient resources to display", accompanied by a screen that no longer redraws?

These are both still features of 2010.

Re:Odyssee II (2)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 8 months ago | (#46599095)

MS Word has bugs that are at least 18 years old.

For example, endnotes/footnotes and cross-references inevitably screw up with "Bookmark not defined!" if you move them around. Same for Figure numbering, etc.

Example 2: PowerPoint (at least on Mac) will take minutes to open a PPT file if it contains any EPS images. This bug is just as old. And god forbid you copy-and-paste a graphic from Word to PowerPoint. It will fail to render, not for you, but for the customer you sent it to.

Completing the list of bugs >10 years old is left as an exercise to the reader.

Implementation (3, Interesting)

HyperQuantum (1032422) | about 8 months ago | (#46597839)

I wonder if they wrote it more or less from scratch, or if they managed to reuse a lot of code from some other platform (e.g. Office for Mac OS X)?

wont install on my old ipad with ios 5.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46598123)

i have the original ipad. it wont upgrade to the newer ios. microsoft word and excel wont install. there are many other apps that wont install.

Finally (1)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | about 8 months ago | (#46598303)

I can get some fricking work done.

Nice (2)

shafty (81434) | about 8 months ago | (#46598325)

Microsoft gets interesting once you scratch the Surface.

As usual, Outlook is conspicuous... (2)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 8 months ago | (#46598785)

...in it's absence. Honestly, is it really that hard to develop an Outlook client? I mean, I understand that Microsoft is only one of the biggest companies in the world, but, still....

Re:As usual, Outlook is conspicuous... (1)

jaa101 (627731) | about 8 months ago | (#46599789)

I find the iOS mail and calendar apps work well enough with Exchange. Apple may have resisted having Outlook present as a competitor to these core apps.

Re:As usual, Outlook is conspicuous... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 8 months ago | (#46600301)

Fair enough. Exchange does behave pretty well on my iPhone.

Re:As usual, Outlook is conspicuous... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46601693)

There is already an OWA app for ios.

Too much competition already (2)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 8 months ago | (#46599267)

Meh, I'll just use Google Docs. When that isn't enough I'll open Libre/Open Office.

While I prefer Excel, those other options do just fine for anything I'll be doing outside of work. Plus you can get Apple's suite of office apps for free as well. MS screwed themselves by making it a pay to edit setup.

Too little, too late. (2, Insightful)

norite (552330) | about 8 months ago | (#46599967)

Sorry guys, but you're way too late to the party, everyone has already been and gone and eaten your lunch a long time ago. They didn't think you'd ever show up. Your cola is still here if you want it, but it's warm and flat.

$80 for a 365 subscription? pffffft, please.

Still holding out for DOS for ipad (5, Funny)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 8 months ago | (#46599969)

I have had enough of this touch stuff on my ipad. I need to install DOS and get some real work done.

Already Launch (1)

zisel (3561213) | about 8 months ago | (#46600151)

I'm not surprise at all. It was launch months ago when the new Microsoft CEO take over. On the other hand, only MS Office subscriber can edit word, excel and powerpoint in ipad.

Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46600801)

Interesting, so Apple got a free look into the source code of (iOS) MS Office before approving it for the App store?

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