No Office for iPad: Does it matter anymore?


ZDNet suggests that Microsoft won’t release Office for the iPad until 2014. Does it even matter at this point?

The enterprise is demonstrating that it can get along just fine without Office on iOS. Good Technology’s quarterly Device Activations Report (PDF), for example, found that iOS garnered nearly 77 percent of all activations in the enterprise, up from 71 percent last year. Also, fantastic apps like Readdle’s Documents do just about anything a mobile Office user could want. Now MS hands developers another year to improve their apps and IT departments another year to get comfortable with the iPad.

Jonny Evans at Computer World agrees, saying:

“Were the company to introduce good versions of Office for the plethora of other devices, it would create new revenue, create good feeling, and, if the software’s liked, stimulate interest in its other products.

However, by making its customers wait until some indeterminate point next year, Microsoft looks like it isn’t watching what’s happening, isn’t interested in serving the needs of its customers, and looks out of touch. These steps encourage disinterest in its products. These actions drive its customers — including its precious enterprise customers — to look elsewhere.

By adopting this path, Microsoft is signing its own death warrant.”

I felt a little late in coming to this conclusion after reading this post from Patrick Rhone, regarding a conversation he had with his wife about a year ago:

“…the iPhone came. There was no Office. People got things done. Then the iPad came. There was no Office. People got things done. Android came. People got things done. All of those things that they, just a couple of years ago, were convinced they needed Office to do. They got them done without it. And thus, the truth was revealed.

Microsoft’s biggest miss was allowing the world to finally see the truth behind the big lie — they were not needed to get real work done. Or anything done, really.”

So no rush, Microsoft. We’re fine at this point.

Microsoft Office on the iPad (Update)

If Microsoft does indeed release Office for the iPad (Google translation), The Daily will flip its lid.

Last February, The Daily claimed that it had seen an early build of Microsoft Office for the iPad:

“A brief hands-on with a working prototype of the software revealed a number of new things. The app’s user interface is similar to the current OneNote app, but it has hints of Metro, the new design language that can be seen in Windows Phone and in the as-yet-released Windows 8 desktop operating system.

Word, Excel and PowerPoint files can be created and edited locally and online.”

The digital publication first hinted at the software’s existence in November, 2011.

Microsoft immediately denied the software’s existence:

“A Microsoft spokeswoman issued this statement: ‘The Daily story is based on inaccurate rumors and speculation. We have no further comment.’ She added that a screen image included with The Daily’s article showing an Office product for iPad was ‘not Microsoft’s software,’ she said.”

Shortly after that, The Daily claimed that it was actually given a demo by a Microsoft employee.

If Microsoft’s Office suite is released for the iPad next year, expect a mighty “I told you so” from The Daily. Provided that The Daily still exists, in May, 2013 that is.

Update: Microsoft’s head of corporate communications Frank Shaw has flatly denied today’s rumor, saying, “The information shared by our Czech Republic subsidiary is not accurate. We have nothing further to share.”

Evening tech news July 16 2012

Today’s tech news, neat and tidy in a single post for you.

The sad state of Office 2013 touch support

Ars Technica’s Peter Bright examines the state of Microsoft Office and touch computing. Considering the emphasis on touch in Windows 8‘s Metro interface, Bright wonders why Office 2013 — one of Microsoft’s important products — isn’t a Metro-style app. Office ’13 does offer some touch support. Specifically, the ribbon features greater spacing between elements when in “touch” mode and apps like Word and Outlook support two-finger zooming. And that’s about it.

What’s worse, Bright explains, is how many elements do not support touch at all, like check boxes and radio buttons in the options screen, as well as dialog boxes like Excel’s “format cells.” As Bright says, “The Office team appears to be positioning touch support more as a way of enabling simple edits to be made as a kind of fall-back—a stopgap solution for those times when the mouse and keyboard aren’t available.”

Adobe releases fix for OS X 10.7.4 InDesign crashing bug

Warning! Of something!

Earlier this week, Adobe admitted that InDesign was crashing on Intel Ivy Bridge-equipped MacBooks running OS X 10.7.4 in the form of blank dialog boxes. Today the company has released a fix, though it’s not easy to apply. The ZIP file includes the necessary components and instructions on how to get InDesign to behave. There’s a script that will install the files for you, and instructions on updating manually if the script fails. If neither of those solutions work, Adobe suggests a third option: “Do not install or remove the installation of the MacOS Mid 2012 Software Update for 10.7.4.” No, “MacOS” is not my spelling error.

iOS 6 will offer email addresses

iOS 6 beta three was released today, and MacRumors notes that the changelog mentions the pending availability of email addresses:

“ email addresses are now available for iCloud mail users. Users signing up for new Apple IDs, or enabling Mail on their iCloud account for the first time, will automatically receive an email address instead of a email address. iCloud users with addresses that have been used with iOS 6 beta 3 will receive an email address that matches their address.”

Note that existing and users will not be required to switch. Heck, I still use the address I got through iTools. Still, I wondered if Apple would make email address available some day. Now I know.

Apple working to fix in-app purchase security problem

Late last week, a hacker demonstrated how to bypass Apple’s in-app purchasing system. This week, Apple has responded to say its working on a fix. Too bad, I was looking forward to ripping off some of my friends while interacting with a Russian hacker’s server.

Microsoft, NBC part ways now resolves to Here’s a look back at MSNBC’s first broadcast from July, 1996.

Reviewers struggle to get a Nexus 7 out of the box

Not news, but a fun way to end this post. Plus, “Fandroid” is a great name for  a blog.

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.

iWork ’09 and Office for Mac 2011

There’s an amusing post at The Apple Blog that gleefully describes all the ways Office 2011 for the Mac trounces Apple’s iWork suite. Here’s an example:

“[The Office demo] shows off Sparklines, in-cell mini-graphs of visual data straight from Excel 2010 for Windows, as well as new PivotTable report designs and layouts. Office-wide, users will now have the ability to do “basic photo editing,” with options like color correction, as well as more advanced ones like background removal, but that’s the small stuff.”

I feel certain that the vast majority of users will never use Sparklines or PivotTable report designs. Not once.

This reminds me of the guy who buys a trail-rated Hummer capable of withstanding three feet of water, sub-zero temperatures and insanely sharp inclines, but all he ever does is drive it to the grocery store. A finely-tuned Vespa would do the exact same job at a fraction of the cost.

I haven’t owned an Office product since 2001 and haven’t suffered because of it for an instant.

[Via Minimal Mac]