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Microsoft Launches Office For iPad: Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 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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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 @06:26PM (#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!

  • by djhaskin987 ( 2147470 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @06:26PM (#46597417)
    It's because Steve Ballmer refused to acknowledge iOS's existence. Now that a new guy is in charge, things are happening again.
  • by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @06:57PM (#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.

  • Implementation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HyperQuantum ( 1032422 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @07:06PM (#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)?

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @07:10PM (#46597879) Journal

    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:Perfect (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @08:09PM (#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.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments