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Microsoft Launches Office For iPad: Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the to-a-tablet-near-you dept.
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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Microsoft Launches Office For iPad: Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

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  • Perfect (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lgw (121541) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:26PM (#46597407) Journal

    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!

    • Where'd you work? Prom B? :-)

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

    • Re:Perfect (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @07:09PM (#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.

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        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?

        • 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 collaborat

          • For Collaboration, people really ought to look at GoogleDocs. There are features here that are nearly impossible to duplicate without a very expensive infrastructure tied around Microsoft products. And if you're going to go to Office365, well, you might want to try the Google version out.

            The only caveat I have for this, is proprietary documents (secret), where you don't want anyone else to know, in which case you're really talking about a very narrow market.

          • by exomondo (1725132)

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

            Since when? I'm not sure what programs you are referring to that are designed to format for A4/Letter that are disappearing either. Even if that were true, you still need to be able to format your documents for some target media, it wouldn't remove that requirement.

        • by Tsiangkun (746511)
          I went 12 years without needing an office suite. When looking for a new job, it was the first thing I used to update the resume in .doc format, .rtf, and .txt.
      • Re:Perfect (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Grizzley9 (1407005) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:01PM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Student to Professor: "Here is a link to my GoogleDoc version, which shows complete revision history. And I didn't kill any trees creating this document, making it very green. You can't be bothered clicking a link? Okay, let me print it out in dead tree version ...."

          There is no need for "Microsoft Word Formatted File", except people who don't want to learn new things. Funny, but that is exactly how I view many teachers (not wanting to learn new things).

          • I know - what morons. I mean, if they can't handle my MacWrite file on floppy screw 'em, luddites. And my art history prof thinks LATEX is a kind of paint lololll!!!one!!111 I mean, it *says* WordPERFECT right in the name! Get with it!!! Besides if you just run the perl script it outputs in mostly correct XML and what could be easier to understand? They just don't like that I am smarter than they are!

            In other words...No one should have to have a CompSci degree and know the history of computing to read your
            • GoogleDocs converts to PDF just fine. As does your LATEX file. PDF is "portable" while MSWORD, MacWrite, even LibreOffice are not. However MSWORD and LibreOffice both can save as PDF.

              Don't be a douche

      • by Nexzus (673421)

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

      • 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...

        • I've heard this rumor a lot, but, at 26, having worked for ~8years in the IT industry, I've only needed LO less than a dozen of times to merely OPEN some file someone sent me.

      • 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

      • Re:Perfect (Score:4, Insightful)

        by vux984 (928602) on Friday March 28, 2014 @05:45AM (#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.

        • The thing is, people used to buy Office for use at home, because that's what they used at work, and they needed it to work from home. So they bought a copy for their home PC - or pirated a copy from work. Or, just followed the path of least resistance and paid for a copy along with their PC, which has on and off been hard not to do.

          But these days, most occasional work from home is best handled by RDP'ing into your home system (or possibly taking home your company-issued laptop). In other words, if your w

        • 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.

          Serious companies (even small ones) have some web-based (or sometimes desktop) system with an actual database for this stuff. We stopped keeping company inventory and such as floating files years ago.

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

          Accuontants use accounting software. Even more so in corporate environments.

          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.

          Once every few years, maybe? That's far from being standard. Using a browser is way more standard (I've used one for most of the points you mention above).

      • What would you replace Word with in, for example, a law firm?

        • The question might be what you replace WordPerfect with. From what I hear, its main use is legal stuff.

          • No the question is what would you replace Word with in a law firm, given that "Nobody needs office suites anymore"? Do you have an answer to that question?

      • Actually, a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard can be a surprisingly good platform for writing. That said....

        Your analysis of MS Word is rather flawed. For most things people use MS Word for, they can use something simpler, like Pages on my iPhone. This has pretty much always been true, but as long as everybody could get MS Office (which ran on Windows and Mac from the start), and may have learned to use it in a class, there wasn't much reason to use anything else.

        Then these tablets came along, with B

    • 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.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:30PM (#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.

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      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.

  • Hmmm... 'Free'... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chordonblue (585047) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:36PM (#46597543) Journal

    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'... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:40PM (#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.
      • 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 n

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      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 th

  • 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.
  • Odyssee II (Score:5, Funny)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:53PM (#46597717) Journal

    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.

    • by Sir Holo (531007)
      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 lis
  • Implementation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HyperQuantum (1032422) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @06:06PM (#46597839) Homepage

    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)?

    • It'd be pretty surprising if the document data models and engines weren't in separate modules from the UI.

  • by Radical Moderate (563286) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @07:51PM (#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....
    • by jaa101 (627731)

      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.

  • by Grizzley9 (1407005) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:05PM (#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.
  • by norite (552330) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @11:36PM (#46599967) Journal

    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.

  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @11:37PM (#46599969)
    I have had enough of this touch stuff on my ipad. I need to install DOS and get some real work done.
    • by EXTomar (78739)

      DOS? Surely you jest! Applesoft BASIC is the only way if you want really real work done. You have to break out a magazine and type out 1000 lines without error because that is the only way to be sure to be the code is correct.

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