Microsoft’s gut-wrenching decisions over Office for iPad

The New York Times lays out some of the hard decisions Microsoft has to make around launching Office for the iPad:

“First, the company has its own answer to the iPad coming out this fall in the form of Windows 8, its first operating system designed from the ground up with touch screens in mind. One of the chief selling points of Windows 8 tablets, especially to business customers, will be that they can run an official version of Office designed for those devices. An Office for the iPad could hurt Windows 8’s chances of capturing a chunk of the tablet business.

There is also the question of how Microsoft designs Office for iPad and prices it so it doesn’t cannibalize sales of the software for computers. Quickoffice currently sells for $19.99 on the iPad App Store, a lot less than the $119 or so that Office for PCs starts at.”

The Times goes on to point out that ignoring the iPad’s potential would possibly be the greatest risk of all, as the device is becoming increasingly popular among people who buy Microsoft Office. All of this just as Google forces Microsoft to show its cards. I’m glad I’m not in that game of Hold ‘Em.